Shiver me Timers

Sri Lankan shippers say the Colombo port is getting too expensive, eroding any cost competitiveness they have for their products in the international market. Sri Lankan shippers say the Colombo port is getting too expensive, eroding any cost competitiveness they have for their products in the international market. The shippers, who are mainly Sri Lankan exporters say Sri Lanka is the fourth most expensive port to ship from in terms of the terminal handling charge alone which is upto US$ 40 more per twenty foot container than the Dubai and Singapore ports.

Port service charges at Colombo are at about US$ 137, with another US$ 148 to US$ 228 paid as terminal handling charges depending on the size of the container.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Managing Director W.G. Samaratunga however says the Colombo port’s service charges have not been raised significantly since 1997.

Samaratunga says volumes however had risen, with March container handling reaching 202282 TEUs (Twenty foot equivalent Units), the highest in 45 months or since July 2001.

Container handling in the port is also 11.4 percent higher in the first three months of 2005 from a year