Sept 21, 2011 (LBO) – Container cargo volumes at Sri Lanka’s Colombo port fell in July although still higher so far this year compared with the same period in 2010, with a noticeable downturn in transhipment traffic. The total number of containers fell 2.6 percent in July 2011 to 354,054 TEUs (twenty-foot foot equivalent units) from a year ago, central bank data showed.
But the volume of containers handled in the January – July 2011 were still up 3.1 percent to 2.4 million TEUs compared with the same period last year.
In July transhipment container volumes through Colombo, a hub for south Asian container cargo, was down 5.2 percent from the year before although domestic cargo was up 7.6 percent.
The re-stowing of boxes in Colombo port was also down sharply in July and the seven months of this year compared with last year. The downturn in container cargo began around April with transhipment traffic stagnant but domestic box traffic up 14 percent, enabling total container cargo to go up 1.9 percent to 340.038 TEUs that month.
In May total container cargo fell 5.6 percent to 334,061 TEUs although in the five months to May it was up 4.2 percent.
This was mainly because in May 2011 transhipment c