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CICT facilitates weekly service of China’s national carrier CSCL to Port of Colombo


Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has made a major breakthrough for the Port of Colombo by attracting China Shipping Container Line (CSCL) to launch a brand new regular weekly service to the Port of Colombo.

CSCL is the national container carrier of the People’s Republic of China and the seventh largest container carrier in the world.

The very first vessel on this new service MV CSCL Vancouver called at CICT on Sunday 19April.

There was a ceremonial welcome accorded to the vessel when she was coming alongside the berth. The traditional exchange of plaques also took place on board.

The plaque exchange ceremony was held in the presence of Ambassador to the Republic of China in Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang. Also present at the ceremony were Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dr. Panagoda, CICT CEO/Director Nelson Liu and other senior officials from the Embassy of China, Sri Lanka Ports Authority and Colombo International Container Terminals.

CSCL launched this new weekly service to the Port of Colombo after a lapse of almost 10 years, during which period CSCL had withdrawn all regular services calling at the Port of Colombo. The launching of this new service through the Port of Colombo was the culmination of the long-term joint strategic marketing efforts by CICT, through its parent company, China Merchant Holdings International (CMHI), which is now the world’s fifth largest global container terminal operator.

This new service which made the maiden call at CICT on Sunday calls at 12 ports spanning across from China to West Africa. Seven of these 12 ports are featured in the CMHI global port network, and this key advantage was a major catalyst in convincing CSCL to launch this service via CICT in the Port of Colombo.

CICT since its inception, backed by the networking strength of CMHI, embarked on an aggressive and focused marketing strategy in attracting ‘new volumes’ to the Port of Colombo. This approach was coupled together with fitting into the current dynamics of the shipping industry where the major shipping lines are ordering and upsizing their vessels to the ultra-large-container-carrier class, which are now increasing in size to over 20,000teus in capacity.

CICT is one of the very few limited container terminals in the whole of the Asian region, which could handle such large capacity deep draught ships. The ability to handle such ships, complemented by having access to the ULCC niche market through CMHI, is a tremendous boost to the Port of Colombo to attract new volumes.

In fact the Port of Colombo registered a double digit growth of 14% during the year 2014, which directly reflected the market share of CICT in the Port of Colombo. A spokesman for CICT stated that they were confident of attracting more new volumes to the Port of Colombo and one of their immediate ambitions are to attract the larger 19,000+ teu ships of China Shipping Container Lines to call at the Port of Colombo in the near future.

It was also confirmed by CICT, that their parent company CMHI has been short-listed with seven other leading global terminal operators, to receive the best terminal operator award for 2015, to be presented by Containerisation International in June of this year.

(DFT - 27042015)

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