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Port of Colombo Operation Update

22nd December 2020

Further to the regular meetings had with your members with Jaya Container Terminal, South Asia Gateway Terminal, Colombo International Container Terminal and Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Current status of the Port of Colombo and the action taken to normalize the Port Operations are given below by three terminals of Port of Colombo.

1. Berthing.

The Port of Colombo is returning to normal berthing window protocols. Harbour Control (HC) continues to seek improvements in these areas. Intermittent delays maybe expected primarily due to navigational demands, unseasonal weather and the current dynamic nature of crew availability. Nevertheless, no disruption is expected with appropriate contingency resources on-call at short notice. Customers may engage Harbour Master (HM) as necessary with any heightened concerns in this regards.

2. ITT

Movements between the 3 terminals have been restored. Customers are requested to avoid transshipment on-carrier nominations beyond 7-days from discharge. Carriers are further encouraged to take advantage of dual cycle (discharge and load) at the same terminal where it is operationally practical, for the foreseeable future. This is possible on feeder services operating to same destinations from the different terminals. This initiative (even for a short period of weeks) is particularly helpful to provide the port adequate relief in order to reduce backlogs:

3. Yard.

All three (3) terminals are working at a very high level of yard density. The situation. has continued to improve progressively from 3-4 weeks ago. Nevertheless, trade patterns indicate continued strong volumes over the Port of Colombo through the festive season and in the lead up to the Lunar new year in February. Therefore, it is prudent to manage container dwell times to under 7 days for transshipments.

It is observe that several services have moved to fortnightly patterns. Additionally, some lines appear not to have sufficient secure feeder capacity to on-carry their incoming Transshipments beyond the Port of Colombo on a weekly basis. This has influenced longer. Dwell time for transshipment containers. All of these factors are contributing to the increased yard occupancy across the 3 terminals.

A review of vessel with incoming containers mapped against the respective vessel's loading plan suggests that a disproportionate number of vessel calls continue to discharge more cargo than they are loading. This is further exacerbating the potential for a snowballing of containers on ground particularly if there were to be void sailings. While the Port of Colombo welcomes the opportunity to support our customer's volume growth, we request line's support and collaboration particularly to evacuate long dwell transhipment/optional containers.

4. Quayside productivity.

The three terminals are respectively deploying regular quay crane equipment with the necessary support equipment and human resources in the yard to serve vessels and gate operation without hindrance. CICT and SAGT have been able to accommodate 4 vessels at their terminals enhancing the reduction of vessels awaiting berthing. At present there is no significant waiting time at anchorage for vessels on window.

The prevailing high yard density is a mitigating factor towards optimum vessel productivity. The terminals are in close engagement with customer operational representatives for improvements in berth productivity.

5. Covid-19 Contingencies.

The Port of Colombo service providers continue to deploy appropriate initiatives (transport/accommodation/extended welfare) to ensure the necessary daily compliment of human resources required to carry out normal port functionalities. Additionally, the Port of Colombo continues to strengthen Covid-19 prevention/protection protocols working closely with the area Public Health Inspector (PHI) and strategic planning officials of the Ministry of Health (MOH).

We recognise the evolving global trade patterns are at a new normal. The Port of Colombo has remained open for service throughout these unprecedented times as a demonstration of our commitment to the international trading community. As a community we have endured many challenges in recent history. We assure you - our customers, we are resilient and will overcome this new challenge with your continued support and collaboration.

Thank you for your confidence and continued support of the Port of Colombo.

Thanking you

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