August 06, 2007 (LBO) – Colombo port’s state-owned container terminal plans to add more berths for feeder vessels in an effort to improve productivity and reduce congestion caused by growing cargo flows and tighter security. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will introduce four new feeder berths for the smaller container vessels that call at the harbour from ports in the region from where cargo is transshipped through Colombo.
SLPA chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said in an interview they were working on ways to handle the congestion and cater to increasing amounts of cargo until the planned new mega-port, the South Port of Colombo, is ready.
This was part of the port’s effort to overcome delays caused by increasing cargo volumes and restrictions on navigation imposed for security reasons.
Colombo now has four deep water berths at the state-run Jaya Container Terminal, three deep water berths at the privatized South Asia Gateway Terminals and two feeder berths at the Unity Container Terminal.
These berths are equipped with pier-side gantry cranes to load and unload containers from ships.
The SLPA will use a combination of mobile cranes and top lifters to handle cargo at the planned new berths, Wic