Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 22 May 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Vehicle congestion, an obstruction:

Smooth operation at Colombo Port

Container transportation vehicle congestion at the Colombo Port is adversely affecting the smooth operation of port activities and causing a colossal loss to the economy, said Secretary and Chairman of the Shipping and Ports Committee of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), Sujeiva Samaraweera.

He said that due to congestion there is a major delay in clearance and transportation of cargo to and from the port. The import and export sector growth is severely hampered due to the waiting time.

“Easing of container transportation vehicle congestion is essential to ensure efficiency and smooth operation of the ports which are the entry points to a country”, Samaraweera said.

Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Rohitha Abeygunawardena with Association heads at the meeting

Over 6,000 container transportation vehicles are registered at the port which makes it all the more important that there are regulations to ensure the smooth operation of the port.

Poor infrastructure, port congestion and lack of efficiency have caused many ports across the world to be less competitive.

The NCCSL convened a meeting of the Association of Container Transportation and Clearing and Forwarding Association recently to address issues affecting the operation of the port due to container vehicle congestion.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways Rohitha Abeygunawardena.

The Minister said that the private sector which is an integral part of port activity has a key role to play in enhancing port efficiency.

The export sector recorded a 48 percent growth in the first quarter this year despite the loss of the GSP Plus and the slow market growth in the USA and Europe. The government is aiming at achieving double digit GDP growth next year.

“The internal operation of ports should be smooth and entrepreneur friendly if the country is to enhance trade and attract foreign direct investments”, Samaraweera said.

Container operators have to pay demurrage for delays exceeding three days to clear cargo and as a result the end user has to pay for the cost escalation.

Vehicle congestion at the port results in waste of fuel and environmental pollution.

Containers are parked on roads leading to the port till congestion eases.

Samaraweera said that many warehouses are overloaded and as a result there are damages to LCL cargo.

Improvements to storage and releasing of LCL cargo were discussed at the meeting.

He said that there is a delay of 28-30 hours of waiting and clearing time at RCTs.

Reducing documentation through computerisation and enhancing capacities were discussed at the meeting.



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