Steering Off

Shippers and ship agents say a lack of commitment from consecutive governments is eroding Sri Lanka’s advantages in the maritime business. Shippers and ship agents say a lack of commitment from consecutive governments is eroding Sri Lanka’s advantages in the maritime business. A Ceylon Chamber of Commerce forum on port development and its impact on local shipping industry identified the slow progress with automating the documentation process, installing a port regulator and building infrastructure to service larger vessels are in the list of shortcomings.

President of the Sri Lanka Shippers Council Noel Piyathilake said that a lack of a port regulator was among the reason for relatively high tariffs charged the Colombo Port, rates which are only second the Hong Kong in the region.

A port regulator was due by August 2004 as per a concession agreement signed between the government and the P&O Nedlloyd and John Keells consortium operated South Asia Gateway Terminal in the late 1990s.

Meanwhile, Ceylon Association of Ship Agents say that the government and the state port operators needed to install new infrastructure to cater to