Below Par

June 06, 2009 (LBO) – Ships calling at Colombo port are still experiencing delays owing to problems in a new computerised terminal management system, shipping agents said. Colombo is south Asia’s transhipment hub port with better cranes than other ports in the region but its computer systems had not been updated for some time. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) introduced the new system to replace the existing aging system in order to modernise port infrastructure and speed up cargo handling and vessel operations at Colombo main transhipment facility, the Jaya Container Terminal.

Shipping agents said the problems arose owing to teething problems in the change over to the new system from the old one at container terminals owned by the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

“For the last two or three weeks, vessels calling at Jaya Container Terminal have been greatly affected,” said an official from a shipping line.

“Productivity of vessels is well below par. Some vessels are only achieving a productivity level of nine moves per crane compared to about 20-25 moves per crane levels in the past.”

Shipping line officials acknowledge the need for the new syste