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Private and state owned terminals of Colombo Port together handle 6 million TEUS during 2017

The Colombo Port handled its 6 millionth TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) on December 22. A special function was held on that day at the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to celebrate the handling of the 6 million TEU mark. Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe attended as chief guest of the event according to Sri Lankan media reports.

Speaking at the occasion, the minister stated that it was commendable to witness the Port of Colombo has achieved great feats through public private collaboration. “Deviating from the traditional competition, Sri Lanka Ports Authority controlled Jaya Container Terminal, privately owned SAGT and CICT together have proven of a success story we can continue to make the Colombo Port, the hub port in the region," the Minister said.

 He thanked all officials, staffs and employees of SLPA, SAGT, CICT, shipping agents, freight forwarding agencies and stakeholders who always contributed in numerous ways to elevate the position of the Port of Colombo to higher standards amongst the container ports of the world.

Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake,Chairman of Sri Lankan Port Authority said that it was a historic milestone to Sri Lanka Ports Authority as it was the collective effort of the Port Authority with the Jaya Container Terminal and privately owned, SAGT and the CICT (run by Chinese companies) handling 6 million containers for a year in the Port of Colombo. "We have to be mindful of the marketing challenges we are expected to face.

The commencement of operations of the East Terminal of the Colombo South Harbour in near future will see further increased efficiency in the Port of Colombo to attract more ships at its deep draft berths," Dr.Dissanayake added. The present Sri Lankan government is toying with an idea of handing over the East terminal to India as part of the balancing act with China. India is considering a move to permit the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) to put up a terminal there.

The Port of Colombo marked the Container operation of its first TEU in the year of 1973. Accordingly, the constructions of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) controlled Jaya Container Terminal’s stage - I was completed in 1985. The completion of the stage - ii of the Jaya Container Terminal in 1987, stages - iii and iv in 1995 and 1996 respectively marked the increase of operation volumes of the Port of Colombo.

Commencement of the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) at the Port of Colombo took place in 1999. In the year 2002, with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) initiated the construction of the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) which is known as the Colombo South Harbour.

The new harbour was constructed with plans to the ever increasing Ultra Large Container Vessels. Its first terminal known as the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) was completed with the investment of over US $ 500 million as a PPP loan and on BOT model. The CICT of Colombo South Harbour came into operations in 2013. Both the terminals are run by Chinese companies.

The Colombo Port, marked the achievement of handling 01 million TEUs in the year 1995. Although it took almost 9 years to reach the mark of 02 million TEUs collaboratively with the SAGT in 2004, the Port handled 03 million TEUs in 2006, 04 million TEUs in 2010 and 05 million TEUs collaboratively with the CICT in 2015. Together with the latest developments in the Sri Lankan port sector, the 06 million TEUs mark this year is recorded through aggressive marketing strategies implemented in collaboration with the SAGT, CICT and the public sector controlled JCT to offer a world class service with the maximum customer satisfaction and the minimum vessel turnaround time.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) being the land lord, regulator and the port operator together with other terminals has been able to attract more Main Lines and Feeder Services to the Port of Colombo in 2017.

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