Sri Lanka offers discount for Myanmar Transshipments, threat from Vizhinjam

Export-Import

Feb 23, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Ports Authority has decided to grant a 10 percent discount on transshipment handling charges of the ship companies who comply to carry out Myanmar transshipment operations through the Colombo port.

The decision aims to attract fast growing transshipment industry in Eastern India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, to the Colombo port.

Ports Authority said the transshipment volumes at East Indian ports and Bangladesh ports have been increased during last two decades though Singapore still claims the biggest portion.

The Authority said the transshipment activities of several deepest ports namely Mundra, JNPT, Hazira and Kochin in Western coastal of India have now divided among several ports.

The Authority however says the port of Vizhinjam has a high potential to obtain a significant portion from the transshipment handling market of Western India, Pakistan and in Gulf region.

Vizhinjam International Seaport is a proposed port by the Arabian Sea at Thiruvananthapuram in India.

The SLPA warns the move would negatively effect transshipment activities of the Colombo port.

“In 1995, the SLPA granted 10 percent discount on transshipment handling charges and aimed to get the attraction of transshipment shipping market of Eastern India and Bangladesh,” Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said.

“That was a good decision which was taken by SLPA at that time. However today we extend the facility to Myanmar as well.”

In 2014, the Colombo port has handled 2,108 of transshipment containers which belong to the Myanmar. However the volume has up to 14,687 containers in 2015.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority said a feeder service between Colombo port and Yangon port of Myanmar was started recently in order to strengthen the effort.

The transshipment volumes in Myanmar have notably increased with favorable political environment that pushed the government to observe new investment opportunities.