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 SLPA reaches a record high 2 Million TEUs before end of year

The two millionth container being discharged from the vessel ‘APL SHARJAH’ (Top left). Picture shows the Secretary of the Ministry of Port and Highways Mrs.Sujatha Kure  waving the flag, signaling  to discharge the 2 millionth container while the Chairman of SLPA Dr.Priyath B. Wickrama, Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Director (Operations) Mr.G.A.Thalagala, Director (Human Resources) Mr. Norman Weerarathne,  Harbour Master Capt. Ravi Jayawickrama, Chief Manager (Operations – Containers)) Mr.Jayantha Perera, Chief Manager (Marketing and Business Development) Mr. Upul Jayathissa, the Deputy Chief Manager (Communication and Public Relations) Mr.Nalin Aponso and the Managing Director of APL  Lanka Ltd; Mr. Abraham Elias look on.    

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority [SLPA], has displayed a spectacular upward growth trajectory with the SLPA-run Jaya Container Terminal [JCT] reaching a record throughput volume of two million Twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) in a little over eleven months this year.  SLPA has been showcasing its above-average efficiencies through the past years and this rate of performance achieved for the first time in its history as a stare-run terminal is of utmost significance and betokens a manifestly futuristic outlook for the Port of Colombo. The historical container was ceremoniously discharged today, 6th November 2010, from m.v. APL SHARJAH at the JCT.  

With this total TEU handling of 2 million by the SLPA which demonstrates an increase of 26.5% compared to the same period previous year, the SLPA also shows up an increase of 7.6 % compared to the total figure of 1.9 million TEUs, the highest-ever performance rate recorded by SLPA in the year 2008 before recession hit global trade. The SLPA also bagged another record recently by handling its highest-ever monthly volume of 201,217 TEUs in August this year achieving an increase of 22% compared with the month of August in 2009. Meanwhile, the Port of Colombo (including SAGT), by August this year was able to handle 360,973 TEUs marking a 10% growth  compared to the same period last year.   Port of Colombo would also reach four million TEU mark prior to the end of the year which will also be a record written in the history books.  

The breakup of this two million TEUs handled by SLPA alone, includes a 37% increase of local import/export TEUs and a 21% increase of transshipment TEUs. The SLPA is in a better position as a state-run terminal compared to the privately-owned South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) which possesses a 16% of volume increase in the period under review.  

The SLPA attracted about eleven new shipping services to JCT in the recent past and the mega liners such as APL and MSC are now patronizing SLPA.  SLPA’s Managing Director, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola said that the most significant among the other factors that contributed to this growth momentum, is the paradigm shift brought about in the organizational procedures, business processes and the mindsets of employees by the three year plan conceptualized by SLPA’s Chairman, Dr. Priyath B Wickrema which was meticulously followed by the management team and the employees of SLPA.  

He further said “under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, port construction has become a national priority in Sri Lanka and the SLPA, headed by its dynamic Chairman, has been able to bring many port development projects, which have not gone beyond just paying lip service in the past, into realities as stated in the ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ manifesto. Every plan on the part of SLPA has been formulated to develop Sri Lanka as a Commercial Hub, which could serve as a key link between the East and the West, using its strategic geographical location effectively. The SLPA recently declared open its newly constructed Port of Hambantota heralding a new chapter in the port development history in Sri Lanka. The Phase 1 of the Colombo South Harbour which gives an additional 2.4 million TEU capacity will too be ready by early 2013, thus ensuring Sri Lanka, the South Asian Container Hub status”.  
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