Setting Sail

Feb. 24 (LBO) – State-run shipping carrier is floating its own service to tap the feeder business in the Indian subcontinent and plans to tap commercial banks to buy a tanker later this year, top official said Monday. Initially, Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC), will charter two vessels each having capacity to carry 1,000 TEU’s (twenty foot equivalent units).

We are starting off in April, with services to the West and East coast of Sri Lanka focusing initially on Chittagong in Bangladesh and Karachchi in Pakistan and will expand as volumes increase,” CSC’s Chairman Krishan Deheragoda told reporters.

Total Indian subcontinent feeder business generates volumes of around five million TEU’s, of which about 1.5 million TEU’s are channeled through the Colombo port, he explained.

CSC, which currently owns two-vessels, has got firm bookings from few main lines.

We are hoping CSC’s decision will encourage other feeder services to call on Sri Lanka,” Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dileepa Wijesundara said.

Around 30 main line shipping operators call on the Colombo port each month, and Wijesundara hopes the move will expand transshipment business within the region.

Meanwhi