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
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.
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.