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IT helps improve daily operations at Colombo Port


                                                                   Capt. Nihal Keppetipola

Information Technology (IT) has played an important role in increasing the number of vessels being handled at the Colombo Port. With the introduction of the computerized terminal management system the throughput and the vessel turnaround has increased sharply.

With this, the hourly productivity of the throughput has also increased up to 20 - 25 percent, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Managing Director, Captain Nihal Keppetipola told Daily News Business.

There was a decrease in the number of inward vessels due to the global economic downturn during the past several months. However, with the dawn of peace and with the global economy recovering from the crisis we expect this downward trend to change to an upward trend in the near future.

The SLPA has provided many facilities for shipping lines even during the time of the economic meltdown and we have signed several agreements with new shipping lines. Therefore, we hope to handle more business and we expect to increase our income and profits in the near future, he said.

He said the Colombo Port is in a strategic geographical position and has the advantage of being in the main East - West shipping routes. This has made the Colombo Port to be the best port in the region. With work commencing on the Hambantota and Oluvil Ports and with the expansion of the Colombo harbour we could compete with the other regional ports. This would help the country to become the Port hub of South Asia.

The Colombo Port handles 10,000 operations daily, where it contributes immensely to the country’s economy. The north entrance of the Colombo harbour that remained closed for some years due to terrorism was re-opened recently and the port’s capacity has increased to handle more services. Therefore, the SLPA expects the future to be more profitable, Keppetipola said.
(DM 05102009)

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