June 23, 2011 (LBO) – Lengthy delays in entering Colombo port are making Sri Lankan truckers providing services to move cargo containers unprofitable, an official said. “The question to us is why the present infrastructure is not being used. It is a serious issue. If well-managed, we will be able to cut down cost by more than 50 percent.” Upali Gunawardena, chairman of the Association of Container Transporters said several access roads into the port were available but not opened by the authorities.
Truckers’ profit margins were less than three percent, he told a forum organised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.
“Operational inefficiencies, unproductive idling and direct and indirect taxation of material like fuel and spares has badly affected the industry,” Gunawardena said.
A major problem was the truck turnaround time in the port with vehicles sometimes taking up to eight hours to enter the port, unload cargo and leave during the rush hour.
“There are days it takes over eight hours to unload an outbound truck which is the time a truck can take to come from (southern) Galle to Colombo.”
Although the port has four access la