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
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
The meeting was chaired by Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways
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
Vehicle congestion at the port results in waste of fuel and
Containers are parked on roads leading to the port till congestion
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
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.