Shipping Trends

Oct 10, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Colombo port needs to move fast to build new deep-water terminals if it is to remain competitive, a senior official of the local office of Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping line, has said. While the state-owned Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) can be developed it needs to increase efficiency.

“Additional capacity in Colombo is critical,” Rodrigo said. “The government should focus attention and chose the most suitable party and give the contract to build and operate the first new terminal without further delay.”

Existing facilities are nearing saturation and new terminals are needed to handle bigger, new container ships and for Colombo to retain its position as a transhipment hub, said Amal Rodrigo, country manager of Maersk Lanka.

“Colombo port needs a new terminal urgently,” he said in an interview.

A project to build new terminals, called the south port, has been delayed for years, a cause of concern for the trade as the latest container ships have become too big to call at Colombo’s existing terminals.

Although construction of the breakwater for the new port has begun, bids for building the containers have been repeatedly postponed.

“The south port project