Box Trade

May 17, 2010 (LBO) – Cargo volumes at a Colombo port private terminal run by an associate firm of John Keells Holdings surged 25 percent in April 2010 to 166,797 containers from a year ago as trade recovered from recession, latest data showed. It was South Asia Gateway Terminals’ second highest-ever monthly volume, although down from the record 181,991 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) handled in March 2010, analysts said.

SAGT is part of the transportation business of the John Keells Holdings conglomerate.

The group’s transportation business, which includes a bunker fuel venture, has accounted for the bulk of group profits in recent years.

Volumes handled by South Asia Gateway Terminals, in which JKH has a 42.2 percent stake, were up by 32.6 percent to 675,921 TEUs in the year to April 2010 compared with the previous year when recession reduced cargo flows.

Analysts said transshipment container traffic, where margins are lower than domestic cargo, accounts for over two-thirds of SAGT’s volumes. Container flows through SAGT have been rising since May 2009 after volumes slumped owing to global recession.