Port Matters

Sept 02, 2010 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan conglomerate, part of the consortium selected to build a new container terminal in Colombo port, warned against surcharges by shipping lines and also creating excess capacity ahead of demand. “I recommend we should not try to create additional capacity – then there can be a price war,” Dissanayake said. Parakrama Dissanayake, director of the Aitken Spence group and chairman of its maritime unit, called for resistance against moves by feeder operators to impose congestion surcharges in Colombo.

“Today we’re told feeders are trying to impose a congestion surcharge,” he told a forum on ports at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce organised by the Asian Shippers’ Council.

“We should resist the move. Having made the bid (for the new terminal) we’re concerned by it.”

There was congestion in Colombo in recent months because of a sudden breakdown in the movement of containers between terminals, aging equipment, and bad weather.

But port officials said the congestion had largely eased.

The government this week announced it had awarded the 450 million US dollar contract to build the new terminal in an expanded port in Colombo to a consortium consisting of the Aitken Spence group and