Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has recorded the highest ever monthly container throughput in the month of January 2011. The actual volume is 205,539 TEUs, which is 4,327 TEUs higher than the previous highest monthly throughput 201,212 TEUs that was achieved in August 2010.
The latest monthly volume of 205,539 TEUs, in January 2011 handled by SLPA against 165,400 TEUs handled for the same period, 2010 also contributes towards the increase of monthly container handling at SLPA compared to the same period in the previous year. Container handling by SLPA for the month of January 2011 compared to the same period last year marks a positive change of 40,139 TEUs which is a growth of 24.2%.
The total containers handled by the Port of Colombo for the month of January 2011 reaches 366,971 TEUs compared to 328,290 TEUs handled for the same period in 2010, marking a positive change of 38,681TEUs, which is a growth of 11.78%.
In the year 2004, the Port of Colombo handled 2 million TEU of containers which has grown to 4 million TEU by 2010. It is expected to be 10 million TEU by 2020, when the port will generate 40% of the Government income. Last year, the state-run JCT of SLPA also single-handedly reached a historic record throughput of 2 million TEUs in eleven months.
Expressing of the steady developments at SLPA, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola the Managing director of SLPA recently commented that it was opportune to note that the throughput performance at the Port of Colombo was erratic or mediocre during early years when ad-hoc and inconsistent policies were being implemented with no coherent vision, and that led to the Port of Colombo being relegated to a lower ranking in the global container market. "However, commencing from 2007, the JCT management had the vision to focus and bring back the Port of Colombo to its current status as the major regional hub-port. It is with a sense of great pleasure and pride, that I place on record the fact that the world's second largest shipping line MSC which had abandoned the Port of Colombo during that period in favor of other competing hub ports, was attracted back to the Port of Colombo by the current management," he added.
The new measures implemented by the Management led by Dr. P.B.Wickrama the Chairman of SLPA through the procedures in the three year plan to develop the local ports, such as the new HRIS procedures, renovation of infrastructure and efficient yard handling systems and the state of the art computerized operation links of handling containers and related processes that assist towards efficient and smooth operation of port activities at SLPA have resulted in the current progress and growth rates that has been continuing to develop since the dawn of the new year.