A remarkable growth of the cruise ships calling at the Port of Colombo has been reported in this year. According to the records of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, 45 cruise ships have been called at Port of Colombo in last 10 months of this year which is 28.8 % increase against the corresponding period in 2017.
This record-breaking growth is a significant achievement after declaring the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 as tourism and investment years of Sri Lanka by His Excellency the President Maithripala Sirisena with the objective of creating a prosperous country. These years have been declared to ease the planning for the next three years to overcome all challenges in the fields of hotel and tourism in Sri Lanka by 2020.
Meanwhile, the Port of Colombo has witnessed the highest growth of 19.5% in transshipment container throughput for the first ten months in 2018 as against the corresponding period in 2017. During the first ten months of 2018, the Port of Colombo handled 4,717,746 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of transshipment containers as against 3,948,163 TEUs handled in the corresponding period in 2017.
Under the leadership of Honourable Minister of Ports and shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe, and advice by the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Dr Parakrama Dissanayake the positive increase at SLPA controlled terminal, Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), and Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT), and South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) collectively resulted in this increase.
Following Hon Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe assuming office as the Minister of Ports and Shipping, an exclusive 3-year plan was introduced to develop the entire port sector to establish Sri Lanka as the most preferred maritime gateway to South Asia. The Port of Colombo is ranked as world’s No.01 container growth port among the top 30 container ports for the 1st half of 2018. In container handling, Port of Colombo has recorded a 15.6% growth for the 1st half of 2018 over the same period last year according to Alphaliner Monthly 2018. It is also a significant achievement as it is the first time in history the Port of Colombo reaches the top of a global maritime ranking. With this growth, Port of Colombo has leapt ahead many other Asian Ports, Major European Ports and Dubai as well.
The Port of Colombo expects to handle 7.0 million containers in 2018, up 12.9% from the 6.2 million TEUs handled in 2017 with joint marketing by three terminals, JCT, SAGT and CICT.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) was awarded the Ports Authority of the Year 2018 Award by the Global Ports Forum (GPF). The fourth GPF awards ceremony, followed by the conference forum, was held in February this year at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.