Port of Colombo's container throughput slips 4.7pc in 2020

THE container throughput at Port of Colombo declined by 4

16 February 2021 - 19:00
THE container throughput at Port of Colombo declined by 4.7 per cent to 6.85 million TEU in 2020 due to Covid-related effects compared to the previous year, according to Sri Lanka's Port Authority (SLPA) data.

The Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) handled 2.88 million TEU during the year, marginally up from 2.87 TEU in 2019. It contributed to 42 per cent of container throughput of the port in 2020, compared to 40 per cent in 2019.

Meanwhile, SLPA-managed Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) handled 2.1 million TEU in 2020.

The South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) handled 1.87 million TEU in the period, with disruptions related to second Covid wave taking a toll on the terminal operations.

In the fourth quarter of last year, SAGT's throughput suffered the highest decline among the three terminals, recording 14 per cent year on year decline, according to Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror Online .

'Profitability at SAGT continued to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and by a change in the throughput mix due to continued import restrictions in place in the country,' the terminal operator noted.

The data showed transshipment volumes of the terminal increasing in the range of 86-90 per cent from 80 per cent, after import restrictions came into force towards the end of the first quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, East Container Terminal (ECT), which began operations towards the latter part of last year, handled 40,000 TEU in 2020.

SLPA managing director HDAS Premachandra said setting a container throughput target for 2021 is difficult due to current volatile environment caused by Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that almost every major port in the world is registering lower container throughput.

As transshipments contribute to about 82 percent of Colombo Port's container throughput with a significant contribution from India, he said the success of the vaccine drive would be crucial for the Port to return to its pre-Covid growth trajectory.

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