The transportation of goods and passengers, including warehousing activities, contracted by 6.7 percent in 2020 in value-added terms, in comparison to the growth of 1.4 percent recorded in 2019, the Central Bank (CBSL) said.
The decline was attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions on mobility and the setback in the tourism industry, the CBSL said in its 2020 annual report.
In land transportation, the total number of kilometres operated by bus operators as well as Sri Lanka Railway declined sharply in 2020, compared to 2019.
The CBSL pointed out that the dull passenger traffic was also reflected in the Google Community Mobility trends for Sri Lanka, with respect to public transport.
In air transportation, activities contracted significantly during the year, mainly due to the restricted operations of Sri Lankan airports since mid-March 2020, as a measure of containing the pandemic, the CBSL said.
With regard to water transport activity-related indicators, the container traffic (measured in terms of TEUs - Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) and cargo handled by Sri Lankan ports too witnessed a decline during the year of the pandemic, compared to 2019.