Sunday, 14 August, 2022

Colombo Port

Priority berthing for Bangladeshi feeder vessels

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 2 July, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Sri Lanka has announced that state-owned Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of Colombo Port would extend priority berthing to Bangladeshi feeder vessels.

The announcement was made by Chairman of Sri Lankan Port Authority (SLPA) Dr Prasantha Jayamanna while speaking at a discussion hosted by Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo on “Enhancing shipping connectivity between Chattogram and Colombo ports”.

The SLPA chairman spelled out the present facilities as well as ongoing and future expansion plan about Colombo Port which would increase their container handling capacity to 15 million TEUs once completed in 2025-26.

It may be mentioned that Bangladesh High Commission has long been pursuing this priority berthing issue with SLPA. As a result of the constant persuasion, the SLPA chairman, private terminal operators and Sri Lankan shipping community at large assured that they would give continued priority to Bangladeshi users.

Bangladesh High Commission to Sri Lanka organised consultation on Thursday in pursuant to observance of the First Economic Diplomacy Week to facilitate greater understanding of operational issues between Chattogram and Colombo ports and ensure greater connectivity and supply chain security and stronger partnership between the two ports.

Representatives from port authorities of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, terminal operators, main line operators, feeder operators, freight forwarders as well as users of the two ports presented their respective perspectives.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam in his opening remarks shared Bangladesh’s remarkable economic development and the potential it holds for Colombo Port.       He also mentioned the changes in the global logistics operations due to the pandemic and now the war, the resultant trends in shipping and necessity of offer of possible incentives from Colombo Port.

Referring to the recent negative media reporting on Colombo Port, the Sri Lankan side clarified that their port’s operation remains unaffected even after the crisis situation in the country. In this connection, both sides emphasised the importance of real-time communication among all the stakeholders of the two countries.

Representative of Chattogram Port Authority shared, inter alia, that Bangladesh’s container traffic through Colombo Port has increased significantly last year. Representatives of Bangladesh stakeholders shared the users’ perspective about Colombo Port, emerging trends and challenges in shipping operations.

In the interactive session that followed, the panelists from both sides responded to queries from the participants which cleared many of the issues involving Chattogram-Colombo connectivity.

The networking event was appreciated by both sides. It was physically attended by a large number of top/senior representatives from the Sri Lankan shipping community.

From Bangladesh side, Senior Executive Director of Karnaphuli Group and HR Lines Anis Ud Dowla, Head of Operation and Marketing of Mohammadi Group and Country Head of DSV Logistics joined it via Zoom.