Business as usual Colombo port reassures customers


South Asia’s hub the Colombo port yesterday reassured its global customers that it is business as usual in terms of productivity and reliability in spite of challenging times for Sri Lanka.

All three terminal operators the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLAP), the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) and the South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) gave this assurance and pointed to 4% year to date growth in container handling as testimony.

Noting that early May for a day and half there were some disruptions, the trio said since then issues have been resolved and Colombo port is self-sufficient in terms of fuel, electricity and manpower to ensure uninterrupted service to shipping lines.

The terminals faced the press together yesterday to counter unfounded regional and international press reports alleging ships were bypassing Colombo port. Over 80% of Colombo’s traffic is transshipment to and from the South Asian region.

“The Colombo port has a coherent plan and very resilient and has been handling all lines and cargo efficiently. We don’t have issues,” SLPA Chairman Dr. Prasantha Jayamanna said.

SAGT CEO Romesh Davis said Colombo port is completely insulated from most of the issues facing Sri Lanka and all operators and stakeholders are ensuring support to its global customers. He said that terminal operators are in constant dialogue with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Lanka IOC and Ceylon Electricity Board to ensure smooth supplies.

CICT Terminals CEO Jack Huang also shared similar sentiment and said that though the country’s economy is facing challenges, all port stakeholders were putting a joint effort to keep operations going. “Colombo is an international strategic hub which everyone is cherishing and working towards its growth,” he added.

Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) Chairperson Shehara de Silva said the members and their principals are confident about the ongoing efforts to ensure uninterrupted services. “Other operational issues irrespective of crisis or not are being addressed through continuous dialogue,” she added.