Box Moves

Dec 14, 2009 (LBO) – Container volumes at a Colombo port terminal controlled by Sri Lanka’s John Keells Holdings have almost reached last year’s levels but those at the state-run facility are still lagging behind, latest figures show. The November 2009 volumes at South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) were up 10.4 percent to 153,793 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units or containers) from the same month in 2008, after dipping in October, according to SAGT figures.

Analysts said it was the private terminal’s strongest monthly percentage increase growth in volumes from a year ago in the past 12 months.

SAGT’s container volumes had dipped 3.6 percent in October from a year ago, its first fall after growing for five straight months.

The terminal’s container volumes have been growing this year despite an overall slump in cargo volumes at Colombo port this year because of the global economic downturn.

Container volumes at the state-run Jaya Container Terminal, the port’s main transshipment facility, are still down this year compared with last year and it has lost market share to the private SAGT, in which JKH has a 42.2 percent stake.

Colombo port’s total container handling in September, the latest month for which figure