‘The lack of a proper management system hindering SL’s port efficiency’

By Hiran H. Senewiratne

Sri Lanka does not have a proper port management system and this drawback causes tremendous delays when dealing with documentation. It will not serve the purpose even if the government expands port operations, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

“The government should not regulate the shipping industry but on certain occasions act as a regulator in order to protect the interests of the people. Streamlining the port management system will enable us to create an efficient port. Once the IMF agreement is signed we could develop the shipping industry with assistance from the private sector, De Silva said at the Sixth Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Association of NVOCC Agents (SLANA). The event was held at the Cinnamon Grand on Monday.

De Silva added: ‘Colombo Port has no room for any expansion but the Asian Development Bank is planning to fund the North Port development project and the final feasibility report will be ready soon. Therefore, the private sector could take a leading role in its development activities.

‘Once the IMF agreement is signed we could get more funds for the development of the country. Initially Galle Port will be developed as a tourism and passenger hub in the country. Apart from that, Japan one of our main donor countries, has supported us with US $ 1 billion to set up a night vision system in Trincomalee Port.

‘A large number of investment opportunities are available in the Trincomalee area, especially to set up an LPG gas terminal. Other investments will flow into Sri Lanka once the IMF agreement is signed.

‘Further, the Indian government will invest US$ 50 million to build the break water system and develop other facilities at Kankesanthurai Port. Once the IMF agreement is signed, foreign funds will come into Sri Lanka, which would enable us to develop the country in a systematic manner.’

SLANA was formed to promote and protect the interests of NVOCC agents in Sri Lanka and to formulate national policies to elevate the maritime industry, together with the Ministry of Ports & Shipping. SLANA works with the SLPA, Director General of Merchant Shipping & Customs and other trade associations to identify and address issues faced by its members. Currently SLANA membership stands at 52.

SLANA was formed in 2016 by licensed agents in Sri Lanka representing Non-Vessel Operating Container Carriers who operate fleets of marine containers. The principal container fleets include 20ft & 40ft standard dry containers, refrigerated containers, liquid carrying ISO tank containers and dry special containers, such as flat racks & open tops.

The NVOCC membership consists mainly of regional carriers, who operate shipping services within the Indian sub-continent (including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives), Middle East Gulf Ports (including, Dubai, Sohar, Shuwaikh, Doha, Bandar Abbas, Umm Qasr) and Far East Ports (including Singapore, Port Klang, Busan, Hai Phong, Taiwan, and Base Ports in China).


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