South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd.
Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Port of Colombo

The Port of Colombo, located in the South-West corner of the island is rated amongst the Top Container ports in the world.

The port’s natural geographic location is strategically positioned on the main East-West shipping route, linking the Far East with Africa, Europe, and the East Coast of the US, providing ideal connections to the trade in the Indian sub-continent. This makes the Port of Colombo a superb strategic hub.


Location - Sri Lanka

Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is an island nation of 20 million inhabitants, strategically located at the crossroads to the East & West. The city of Colombo remains the country’s commercial capital, whilst the administrative capital was moved to Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte in 1982.

Boasting a proud history of over 2500 years with its original inhabitants crossing the Palk Strait from India, Ceylon was ruled for centuries by Sinhalese and Tamil kings. Beginning in 1505 Ceylon was colonized for over 400 years, first by the Portuguese then the Dutch and finally by the British. Sri Lanka was granted self rule in 1948 by the British and went on to adopt a democratic style of government based on the Westminster system.

In the late 1970’s Sri Lanka liberalized its economy and to date remains the most open in the South Asian region. It has a well developed capital market and infrastructure especially in the services sector. Its per capita income of US$850 remains one of the highest in the region.


The city of Colombo derives its name from “Kolomtota” (Colombo harbour), which dates back to the 14th century Kingdom of Kotte. “Kolomtota” was the first port used by merchants from China, India and Persia who came through the silk road to trade island's famous spices.

A 443-year long period of foreign occupancy prevailed in Ceylon when the Portuguese fleet sailed into the harbour in 1505. The Dutch gained the control in 1656 followed by British in 1796 who upgraded and converted to a sheltered harbour during the latter part of their Ruling.

After independence in 1948, the Port was expanded with the construction of the Queen Elizabeth Quay with 16 alongside berths, transit sheds, and warehouses. The harbour underwent a major transformation to handle containerized cargo in early 1980s with Cranes, Gantries and other staples of a contemporary container terminal followed by deepening the access channel in the 1990s. The strategic location of the port of Colombo amidst trade routes became more attractive to main line shipping than any other port in the region.

Today the Port of Colombo is rated among the top 30 container ports in the world.

Current Facility

04 Container Terminals

14 Container Berths (includes 10 Container Berths and 04 Feeder Berths)

20m/16m Access Channel and 18m/15m Alongside Dredged

Over 04km of Quay Length

47 Quay-Side Gantry Cranes

138 Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes

04 Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes

402 Terminal Tractors and Trailers

Feeder Network

To Chennai

4 calls a week

To Chittagong

3 calls a week

To Cochin

2 calls a week

To Haldia and Kolkata

4 calls a week

To Karachi

once a week

To Male

3 calls a week

To Mangalore

once a week and once fortnight

To Mundra

every 10 days

To Tuticorin

3 calls a week

To Vizag

once fortnight