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Sri Lanka Ports Authority Records 48% YoY Increase in Container Volumes

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has announced a remarkable 48% year-on-year (YoY) rise in container volumes for the first quarter of 2024. Total container traffic surged from 441,032 to 652,766 TEU during this period. SLPA attributes this substantial growth to various factors, including the Red Sea crisis and its wider implications.

Transshipment throughput at SLPA during the first three months of the year reached 582,403 TEU, marking a significant 49.81% increase compared to the same period last year. This surge in transshipment activity has significantly contributed to the Port of Colombo’s (POC) overall transshipment volume, which soared to 1.72 million TEU, reflecting a notable 24.20% increase over the corresponding period in 2023.

Keith Bernard, Chairman of SLPA, underscored the port’s readiness to emerge as a pivotal transshipment hub for the Middle East. Many shipping lines are redirecting vessels to bypass current concerns in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, and SLPA is prepared to meet this demand efficiently.

Bernard praised SLPA staff and workers for their diligent handling of the situation amidst challenges. Effective management by SLPA and POC has led to a significant uptick in throughput.

The Port of Colombo witnessed a substantial surge in volumes, reaching 2 million TEU, marking a noteworthy increase of 24%. Moreover, the completion of the East Container Terminal (ECT) Stage II and the acquisition of new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes will bolster POC’s standing as a premier shipping hub in the region.

The introduction of new cranes will enable the port to accommodate ultra-large GMX 24 ships, facilitating higher volumes in the future. Additionally, ongoing infrastructure developments by SLPA will further enhance POC’s competitiveness, attracting more volume and strengthening its capacity to handle larger vessels.

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