Transshipment container volumes at the Port of Colombo fell for the second consecutive month in July by a record 7.5 percent year-on-year (YoY) to 460,736 TEUs as main shipping lines temporarily opted for alternative routes at the height of the country’s political and social unrest.
Although, the operations at Port of Colombo remained largely intact despite the mass protests and political crisis, a local shipping agent pointed out that July 9th further escalated concerns on law and order in Sri Lanka among the main shipping lines.
Industry stakeholders fear it might take several months to regain confidence of main shipping lines.
In the seven-month period, transshipment container volumes declined by 0.2 percent YoY to 3.35 million TEUs.
Overall, container throughput at the Port of Colombo declined by 10.5 percent YoY to 553,890 TEUs in July. In particular, import (laden) container volumes declined by a steep 21.4 percent YoY to 30,366 TEUs while export (laden) container volumes dipped by 6.8 percent YoY to 25,247 TEUs.
The SLPA-managed Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) and its partially operational East Container Terminal (ECT) handled only 115,539 TEUs in July, recording a sharp YoY decline of 39 percent, due to the notable decline in transshipment container volumes from India.
However, the port’s only fully operational deep container terminal, Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) managed to handle 286,419 TEUs in the month, up by 1.2 percent YoY. Similarly, the container volumes handled by South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) also rose by 3.5 percent YoY to 151,932 TEUs in the month.
Overall, the container throughput of Port of Colombo declined by 2.1 percent YoY to 4.11 million TEUs in the seven-month period. Meanwhile, cargo handled by Hambatota Port also declined by 48.6 percent YoY to 147,495 TEUs in July.