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Saturday, December 7, 2019
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 H'tota port welcomes motor car carriers

The unloading of motor car carriers at the Hambantota Port commenced yesterday. The ships carrying the first two carriers arrived from Japan.

The action taken to unload motor car carriers at the Hambantota Port is timely and will have huge economic benefits.

A Majority of the vehicle importers are of the view that this move would facilitate fast clearance while bring in cost savings in their operational overheads, Motor Vehicles Association of Lanka Co- President K. Deekiriwewa told Daily News Business.

"The proactive measure is a tremendous boost in terms of commercial viability and this will havea positive impact on socio development in the Hambantota area, he said.

The Port activities are carried out in a conducive environment and will supplement the overall economic development of the country.

The Motor Vehicle Association of Sri Lanka has a membership of 235 across the country, including the Southern Province, Central Province, Colombo, Kurunegala and Negombo.

The Sri Lanka Port Authority will give a seven day 'no fee' grace period to clear vehicles from the Port. Subsequently another seven day time limit would be given to clear vehicles from the Port where importers would have to pay only 'half rates'.

In addition to the already announced concessions granted to any type of vessel calling at the Port by the SLPA, importers of vehicles will be given special conseccions. The prompt berthing of vessels, ample secure parking facilities would assure speedy turnaround of vessels.

Califolink Logistics said that they have also signed agreements with leading automobile importers to begin clearing, conducting of pre delivery inspection and the transportation of cars from the Hambantota Port.

The SLPA has taken this initiative to ease the heavy congestion at the vehicle parking yards at the Colombo Port due to large volumes of imports.

The congestion prevented the vehicle importers from speedy clearance of their imports from the Colombo Port and the Hambantota Port has opened new opportunities for them in terms of saving time and cost.

Commencement of these operations at the Port has expressed itself as a dedicated and reliable facility for international maritime transportation in the region.

These new developments will also extend a practically positive reply to a number of adverse reports made by certain parties against the new port during the recent past.

At present due to the non availability of dedicated automobile terminals in the Port of Colombo and lack of yard storage areas, Roll on Roll off vessels have suffered long delays in berthing. This has in turn resulted in operators increasing freight rates to Colombo, and this increase freight cost has to be borne by Sri Lankan importers. Furthermore, major Ro-Ro operators could not promote automobile transshipment business over the Port of Colombo.

In 2009 the Port handled 4,973 vehicles as transshipment and in 2010- 2,455 vehicles and in 2011 only 993 vehicles. This clearly

indicates the drop in transshipment of automobile volumes over Colombo due to the congestion and non availability of dedicated automobile terminals.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority
#19, Church Street,
Colombo 01, Sri Lanka.
E-mail : webmaster@slpa.lk