The Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) announced that it handled a total of 2.9 million TEUs in 2019, achieving an 8.6 percent increase in its throughput, accounting for 40 percent of the volume of the Port of Colombo in the 12 months ending 31st December 2019.
The company, which manages the Colombo South Terminal said its 2019 performance represented a four-fold or 322 percent growth over the past five years, from 686,639 TEUs
handled in 2014.
CICT’s performance helped the Port of Colombo increase its total throughput by 2.6 percent in 2019, despite the slower growth of maritime transport in the region.
Announcing the year’s final volume, CICT said ULCCs (Ultra Large Container Carriers) of a size that only CICT is capable of handling, had contributed approximately 72 percent to the volumes the terminal achieved for the year.
“We believe that our unwavering commitment to efficiency and other key performance indicators coupled with our deep water capacity enabled us to grow faster than some of the other terminals in the region,”CICT CEO Jack Huang said. “True to our mandate, we continue to explore ways of maximising capacity utilisation to generate growth for the Port of Colombo.”
CICT was adjudged the Best Container Terminal in Asia in the Under 4 million TEUs category at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards for the third consecutive year in 2019 in recognition of its performance.
The concluded year was also a busy one in terms of investments in the terminal’s infrastructure. CICT commissioned Sri Lanka’s first, and South Asia’s most advanced, Dangerous Goods Storage Facility (DGSF) in 2019 with an investment of US$ 1.5 million and also completed the addition of two new mega Quay Gantry Cranes (QGCs), six new Rubber-tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) and 12 Prime Movers to enable the handling of 22,000 plus TEU vessels.
Information technology plays a vital role at CICT, and many projects like the e-LTE project, e-payment systems, ITT auto gates, electronic vessel info and customs info release systems were developed by the company.
Additionally, mobile apps such as truck scheduling apps and HSE monitoring apps were introduced to increase productivity, efficiency and safety and reduce the usage of paper. These developments have also helped to cultivate better customer loyalty, the company said.
In terms of good corporate citizenship, CICT continued to be the principal sponsor of the SLTA’s wheelchair tennis programme in 2019, and with the support of the China Merchants Charity Fund (CMCF) gifted stationery and school bags to more than 300 students and donated gift packs containing nutritional food and other essential items to 120 elderly persons in Pannila in Horana.
Besides its significant contributions to the growth of the Port of Colombo in volume terms, CICT is also responsible for several firsts in service innovation and eco-friendly operations. These include a US$ 10 million programme to convert its entire fleet of diesel operated rubber-tyred-gantry cranes to electricity driven rubber-tyred gantry cranes (E-RTGs) which have zero carbon emissions. As a result, CICT has achieved a 45 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a 96 percent reduction in diesel consumption.
CICT is the first and currently the only deep water terminal in South Asia equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. Since its inception in 2014, the terminal has incrementally grown the volume it has handled; from 686,639 TEUs in 2014, to 1.56 million TEUs in 2015, 2 million TEUs in 2016, 2.38 million TEUs in 2017 and 2.67 million TEUs in 2018. In its last four full years of operation, CICT has brought some of the largest vessels plying the Asia-Europe routes to Colombo. Of these, Milan Maersk (20,568 TEU), EMC Ever Glory (20,388 TEU), MSC Maya (19,224 TEU), Mogens Maersk (18,300 TEU), MSC New York (16,652 TEU), CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEU), Edith Maersk and EMC Thalassa Hellas (each 14,000 plus TEUs) and their sister vessels are now regular callers at CICT.