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The Management of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the two private sector terminals, Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd (CICT), South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd (SAGT), together with CASA (Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents), assure global Shipping Lines and Operators of Container and Conventional services, of operations being carried out uninterrupted and at normal and expected levels in the Port of Colombo, despite the economic and political crisis situation in the Country. Continued and unhindered operations at the Port is also receiving attention at the highest level of the Government of Sri Lanka consequent to the appointment of the new Prime Minister last week.
The Port of Colombo (POC), being identified as an essential service catering to vital transhipment, exports, imports and related logistics services which are the backbone of the economy of Sri Lanka, has received and is assured of an uninterrupted supply of electricity and fuel to maintain the demand required. Ports and Shipping services are essential service exports and contribute immensely to the Sri Lankan economy and hence the shipping community recognises and stresses the importance of Colombo as a regional transhipment hub.
Inter-terminal trucking between terminals and transport for logistics services to move domestic laden and empty containers are receiving priority and connections for transhipment containers are able to make their targeted on carriers without misses. Clearance of imports and export shipments are moving at desired levels notwithstanding delays in the clearance of some import cargoes due to a shortage of foreign currency.
The Port trade unions acknowledge the vital importance of the sector for economic sustenance and revival of the Country and the Management of the SLPA and the private terminals, CICT and SAGT are confident that they would be in a position to meet the economic challenges and ensure service delivery to customers.
In terms of performance, the POC continues to grow year on year and figures for the first four months up to April 2022 reflect an overall growth in volumes of 100,356 TEU (4.3%) and in transhipment 92,099 TEU (5%) over the same period of 2021. The Port of Colombo is recording steady progress while continuing to play a pivotal role as a regional transhipment hub with strategic intent and plans well underway to expand capacity and services to continue to evolve as a regional shipping centre second to none.