The transshipment operations at the Port of Colombo show a tremendous increase between the months of January 2017 and January 2018.
Accordingly, against 362,451 transshipment twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) operations in January 2017, together with Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) and Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT), the Port of Colombo has recorded 436,303 transshipment TEU operations for the month of January this year marking a competitive increase of 20.4 percent.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) controlled-JCT, against 114,282 transshipment operations performed for the month of January 2017, has recorded 164,252 transshipment operations in January this year, marking an increase of 43.7 percent.
The container throughput at the SLPA-controlled terminals has also increased significantly compared to the month of January 2017 and January 2018. Against 156,010 TEUs operated at the SLPA in January 2017, it has operated 194,688 TEUs, marking an increase of 24.8 percent between the months in total TEU operations at the state-run terminals. In January 2017, the Port of Colombo had handled a total of 484,866 TEUs that has increased up to 564,155 for the same period this year. Accordingly, with the increase marked at the SLPA and other terminals compared to January 2017, the Port of Colombo has marked an increase of 16.4 percent in total container throughput in January this 2018.
The ship arrivals at the Port of Colombo in January 2018 also shows an increase compared to the ship arrivals of January last year. The arrival of container vessels, conventional cargo vessels, other cargo vessels and ships for repairs and bunkering have increased significantly between January 2017 and January 2018.
Accordingly, in January this year, the Port of Colombo has received 388 vessels against 339 calls received in January 2017 that figures to a competitive 8.1 percent increase between the periods. In January this year, 332 contained vessels called at the Port of Colombo that had received only 304 container vessel calls in the same period of last year. It is an increase of 9.2 percent.
The relationship between the management and SLPA trade unions, collaborative support by all parties and stakeholders engaged in the port operations process has effectively contributed to the increase of productivity at the SLPA. Creating history, the Port of Colombo for the first time has recorded 6.2 million container operations in December last year.
Under the leadership of Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and instructions by SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, the positive increase at the SLPA-controlled JCT, especially JCT, is reasoned towards direct and straight forward decisions reached by the management that has also won employee recognition and credibility for such implementations.
JCT, owned and operated by the SLPA, has expressed steady growth of operating volumes since October 2017. Accordingly, the container operations at JCT have increased by 5.3 percent in October, 8.2 percent in November and 13.9 percent in December 2017. At present, productivity at JCT has increased by 3.2 percent for feeder vessels and 9.4 percent for main lines.
The SLPA at present has prepared a three-year development plan to expedite the port sector development process in the country to further increase container volumes. These developments are aimed at making Colombo the maritime centre in Asia.