In a record breaking effort the Port of Colombo was able to handle its 7 millionth TEU on 31st December 2018. A special function was held at the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to celebrate the handling of the 7 million mark. The function was graced by.Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayake with the participation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development and the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake. Higher officials of all three main terminals, the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) and the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) of the Port of Colombo also attended the event. The 7 millionth TEU was brought by MV CPO Hamburg of the MSC Line.
The Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development and Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake speaking at the occasion stated that the achievement was primarily possible because of the clientele of the Port of Colombo. He also thanked the Management and staffs of the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT), the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT), pilots and the navigational staffs, all employees, trade unions, and also the former Minister and the ministerial staff for their enormous contribution.
“The port of Colombo having handled one million TEUs in 1995, took nine years to handle 02 million TEUs in 2004. Having handled 04 million TEUs in 2010, it took 05 years to handle 05 million TEUs in 2015. In the year 2017, the port handled 06 million TEUS and it took 02 years to handle that extra million. But what is unique is that this year, the Port of Colombo handled 07 million TEUs and that 01 million took only o1 year. By the end of this year the transshipment volumes of the Port of Colombo has increased by 19.3%,” Dr.Parakrama Dissanayake, said adding that in moving forward the, present need to increase the capacity, change in the competition dynamics between the ports competing with the Port of Colombo, understand and act according to changes taking place within the shipping lines and the shipping industry should be strategically addressed in time.
Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Rathnayake speaking at the occasion stated that the Government was working on the most appropriate and a comprehensive marketing policy for the entire shipping industry of Sri Lanka. The Minister also thanked everyone who expressed their enormous contribution towards achieving this target.
The Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Capt.Athula Hewavitharana, Additional Managing Director of SLPA Mr.Upali De Zoysa, Director Operations of SLPA – Mr.Jayantha Perera, Chief Executive Officer of South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd; – Mr.Romesh David, the Chief Financial Officer of the Colombo International Container Terminals Limited – Mr.Raymond Mu, A number of Directors and Highest level Management officials of SLPA and a number of representatives from the shipping industry were also present at the occasion.
The Port of Colombo is ranked as world’s No.01 container growth port among the top 30 container ports for the 1st half of 2018. In container handling, Port of Colombo has recorded a 15.6% growth for the 1st half of 2018 over the same period last year according to Alphaliner Monthly 2018. It is also a significant achievement as it is the first time in history the Port of Colombo reaches the top of a global maritime ranking. With this growth, Port of Colombo has leapt ahead many other Asian Ports, Major European Ports and Dubai as well.
The Port of Colombo handled 7 million containers with joint marketing strategies by three terminals, JCT, SAGT and CICT.
The three terminal operators at the Port of Colombo; the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) under SLPA, the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) and the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) early this year, reached into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to operate collectively to promote the Port of Colombo. Under the new collective agreement, it was expected to minimize the waiting time of all container vessels outside the port waters by allowing operations of vessels at the immediately available terminal. Further, through this agreement, terminals are also able to promote the Port of Colombo collectively and collaboratively in the arena of international maritime business.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) was awarded the Ports Authority of the Year 2018 Award by the Global Ports Forum (GPF). The fourth GPF awards ceremony, followed by the conference forum, was held in February 2018 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
The Port of Colombo marked the operation of its first TEU in the year of 1973. Accordingly, the constructions of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) controlled Jaya Container Terminal’s stage – I was completed in 1985. The completion of the stage – II of the JCT in 1987, stages – III and IV in 1995 and 1996 respectively marked the increase of operation volumes of the Port of Colombo. Commencement of the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) at the Port of Colombo took place in 1999. And the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) was built in 2012.
With the rapid development of port infrastructure including the construction of new terminals and the public private partnership in operations at the Port of Colombo, the TEU handling capacity at the port has dramatically increased during minimum lapses of time period after 2004.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) signed its first Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with the South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) in 1999 for 30 years that brought an investment of US $ 220 million to date. Under the agreement, the SAGT owned 85% of shares locally and internationally whilst the SLPA owned 15%.
The next PPP agreement by SLPA for terminal operation, was with the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) in 2013 for 35 years that brought an investment of US $ 550 million to the Sri Lankan port sector. The agreement took the same course to claim 85% of shares by the CICT and the rest by SLPA.
The Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) that occupies a 100% ownership by SLPA is operated as the main state owned terminal. Although it showed a negative growth in 2016, with the accelerated procedures to increase efficiency, the terminal reached a 15% growth against 2017, handling 2.3 million TEUs by the end 2018. The JCT has also recorded an increase of 23.3% transshipment volumes.
The Port of Colombo, marked the achievements of operating, 01 million TEUs in 1995. Although it took almost 9 years to reach the mark of 02 million TEUs collaboratively with the SAGT in 2004, the Port of Colombo marked 03 million TEUs in 2006, 04 million TEUs in 2010, 05 million TEUs collaboratively with the CICT in 2015 and 06 million TEUs in December 2017.
With the latest initiatives implemented at Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), all sectors of port operation show a rapid growth compared to similar periods during past. A number of procedures are currently being implemented in all commercial ports around the country under the purview of Sri Lanka Ports Authority to enhance the vision of the Government to develop Sri Lanka as the maritime hub in the region, optimize strategic location & economic contribution to the country, bring further development to the port sector in Sri Lanka, capacity building, increase port investment opportunities as well as promote T/S, value addition and tourism.