Colombo Port achieves historic growth
The Port of Colombo achieved a year on year container throughput
growth, of 10 per cent in December 2007. This is a record achievement
given the fact that the traditional leaders of the container port league
have only managed single digit growth during last year.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority managed Jaya Container Terminal
together with the South Asia Gateway Terminals, have ended the financial
year with a first-time-ever record monthly throughput of over 300,000
teus. in March.
The Port of Colombo
This record achievement is even more significant given that there was
stagnant growth during the period 2002 to 2004 when there were massive
incentives being doled out to Shipping Lines in the name of "marketing"
to trans-ship more cargo over Colombo albeit with negative results.
It is to be noted that there was unwarranted publicity on the
so-called performance of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority during the
2002/2004 era which now comes to light with the current record breaking
With no new additional equipment being brought into operation since
the present management took over, it is indeed credit-worthy that the
Port of Colombo has achieved this record throughput.
Another important factor in this whole process is the public-private
partnership between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and the privately
managed South Asia Gateway Terminals that is being optimised to the
maximum by both organisations in keeping the Port of Colombo flag flying
high in the midst of heavy competition from other transshipment hubs in
These joint efforts have shown very positive results that could have
been achieved much earlier if the right management was in place at the
Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The current strategy of the SLPA and SAGT in
jointly marketing the Port of Colombo and moving forward with a common
objective is the only way forward.
This is necessary in view of the development of the South Harbour
project which is now making satisfactory progress with the harbour
infrastructure works contractor having already commenced work offshore.
It is a strong indication that contrary to various contradictory
reports, the domestic cargo throughput has in fact achieved the highest
ever monthly volume of over 77,000 teus, during this period.
The previous highest domestic throughput was 71,900 teus.
The highest ever monthly container throughput in the history of the
Port of Colombo was recorded in March 2008 which is 316,967 Teus. It was
4,152 Teus higher than the last highest monthly throughput (312,815 TEUs)
achieved in October 2007.
Port of Colombo has handled 887,278 Teus during the first three month
of 2008 reflecting an increase of 8.5 per cent when compared with the
last year corresponding period (817,578 Teu's).
The Transhipment volume has reported an increase of 8.9 per cent.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority and South Asia Gateway Terminal also
handled their ever highest volume in the month of March 2008, recording
a throughput of 167,683 and 149,284 Teus respectively.
The previous highest volume of 165,043 Teus and 147,772 Teus was
reported by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and South Asia Gateway
Terminals in October 2007.
Industry sources were of the view that these achievements would send
the correct signals to the Shipping Lines that the Port of Colombo is
serious and the measures taken to put computer systems in place and
purchase additional equipment would further strengthen the position of
the Colombo Port as the major hub-port for this region.