Oct 02, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is in talks with international shipping lines on new services through Colombo port despite the global downturn in trade which has reduced cargo volumes, a senior official said. SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrama said there were signs cargo volumes were picking up as the global economy recovers from recession.
A new computer terminal management system that replaced an aging system has helped increase vessel productivity and win new services for the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), the SLPA-run main transhipment facility in Colombo.
“We’re now talking with a couple of shipping lines to get new services to JCT by the end of the year,” Wickrama told LBO in an interview. “It reflects the improved productivity levels and efficiency at JCT.”
Growth in cargo volumes in future would have to be handled by the state-run JCT with the privatised South Asia Gateway Terminals, across the harbour basin, having reached saturation.
Wickrama said there was no rate war between the two terminals or competition for clients although the state-run terminal was cheaper after a recent rate hike by SAGT.
“We’re promoting Colombo as a port, not individual terminals. We’re working togeth