Colombo Harbour is on track to record an all-time record of handling around 7 million TUE’s end of this year, said Harbour Master Capt. Athula Hewawitharana. Last year this figure was around 6 million TUE’s.He said that the Colombo Port was recognized in the world as the best harbour showing the highest growth and this mile stone was achieved as all the operators worked as one to promote Colombo Harbour.He however said that Sri Lanka still needs to come out with better competitive rates and also offer a more efficient service.
“Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will soon introduce an online application and approval system to issue license for port related matters within 24 hours,” he added.He was speaking at the Sri Lanka Ship Suppliers Association (SLSSA) annual general meeting at the Colombo Hilton on Friday.
He said that this includes renewing of license as well and this in turn will speed up the approval process. Fresh Expressions of Interest (EOI) to develop Galle Harbour as a tourism harbour has also been called and it would be operated as a PPP project. “We will study the proposals forwarded by the ‘bidders’ and then decide the best plan to covert Galle as tourism harbour that could accommodate yachts as well.” The SLPA has already built a breakwater at the harbour. He said currently over 600 ships call over at the Galle harbour and over 80% of these are for crew changes for supply of security personnel for ships. “This operation would continue. However though we have observed an increase in ships calling over in Galle we observe a dip in them obtaining services from Galle.”
Here again the suppliers must re look at their pricing structure and provide a more efficient service. He said that currently Galle Harbour lacked a bonded storage and SLPA will seek private sector investments for th