Two vessels carrying over 1000 motor vehicles will call at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port for transshipments today and tomorrow, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said.
S L PA recently announced that in order to reduce berthing delays experienced by roll-onroll-off vessels at the Colombo Port, all the vessels carrying motor vehicles should call at Hambantota Port, which is also called Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa port.
“Accordingly, the vessel N4K FRICIA from Japan will call at the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port with 15 vehicles for transshipment today. She will be followed by ASIAN SUN calling from Chennai in India tomorrow, carrying more than 1000 vehicles for transshipment,” a SLPA statement said.
The vehicles brought by ASIAN SUN will be transshipped from Magma Ruh unupura Mahinda Rajapa ksa Port to Algeria by the car carrier ASIAN Legend on June 15.
The SLPA also said that in addition to the already announced concessions granted to any type of vessel calling at Hmbantota Port, importers of vehicles will be given special concessions.
“The prompt berthing of vessels, ample secure parking facilities would assure speedy turnaround of vessels,” SLPA said.
Due to the non-availability of a dedicated automobile terminal at the Colombo Port and lack of yard storage areas, rollon-roll-off vessels have suffered long delays in berthing.
This, according to SLPA has resulted in operators increasing freight rates to Colombo, which was borne by Sri Lankan importers and passed on to the customers eventually.
Furthermore, SLPA pointed out that major roll-on-roll-off operators could not promote automobile transshipment business over the Port of Colombo.
In 2009, the Colombo Port handled 4,973 vehicles as transshipment and in 2010- 2,455 vehicles and in 2011 only 993 vehicles.
“This clearly indicates the drop in transshipment of automobile volumes over Colombo due to the congestion and non-availability of dedicated automobile terminals.”
”The new move will enable to reduce congestion over Colombo, introduce quicker clearance system with SL Customs where the document processing can be done in either Hambantota or Colombo without delays, and promote transshipment business with a dedicated automobile handling terminal facility in Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port,” the SLPA statement said.
According to SLPA, the commencement of operations at Magampura Port will also establish it as an international maritime transportation facility countering adverse publicity against it.