Two international cargo shipping lines have included the Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port to their route network from December 18.
Both ships will transport fertiliser.
The first ship from China will call over on December 18 carrying fertiliser. The ship will transport 7,500 tons and would be stationed at the Rajapaksa port for three days. The second ship, from South East Asia will call over on December 23 and would be in the Port for four days. This ship will also transport fertiliser as loose cargo (in packed plastic bags) ready for use.
“The fertiliser would be distributed in the Southern, Uva and Central provinces,” said Chief Engineer of the Port Agil Hewageganage.
He said that for the first time lorry owners would get an opportunity to reap the benefits of the Port by transporting the fertiliser from the Port. Moreover, the ships would need other logistical requirements and entrepreneurs would get the opportunity to supply them with water, food and other essential items.
Distributors who had been unloading this cargo at the Colombo Port would also save on transport costs due to the cargo being unloaded in Hambantota.
The hotel trade would also benefit as the ship crew would need a place to stay.
He said that an international shipping line which has ships with floating libraries had also sought permission to anchor their ships at the Rajapaksa Port for one week. “This is a regular service which patronises the Colombo Port and this year they are keen to use the Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port,” he said.
Ports Authority Chairman, Dr. Priyath Wickrama has approved the proposal and the public especially school children would get an opportunity to visit this ship.