Danger Signs

June 28 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Colombo port risks losing its status as south Asia’s transshipment hub if it does not move fast to add more capacity and make trade more streamlined, a senior Asian Development Bank official said. Although Colombo has a good reputation for reliability the country has not done enough to exploit its geographical position, Anthony Bayley, ADB consultant on trade facilitation and international logistics, said.

The country has a high level of expertise and education in freight forwarding and shipping although less so in trucking, he told the Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders’ Association’s 26th annual general meeting.

The challenge was how to make Colombo attractive as a logistics hub like Singapore and Dubai.

If not these two hubs could take away business from Colombo.

Already a high percentage of Colombo’s business was transhipment, the island has an efficient airport with carriers having enough underbelly space for cargo, Bayley said.

“It also has a beneficial geographical position and the planned new South Port will have 18 metre draft to take the biggest container ships.”

However, Bayley warned, the island’s risks losing its gains because of inaction, lack of co-ordinati