Dhaka, June 4 (The Daily Star): Sri Lanka’s state-owned Jaya Container Terminal at Colombo Port has offered priorityberthing facilities to Bangladeshi feeder vessels.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Prasantha Jayamanna has recently announced it at a discussion in Colombo, on Friday (01).
He briefed Bangladesh about the present facilities as well as ongoing and future expansion plan of Colombo Port which would increase its container handling capacity to 15 million TEUs once completed in 2025-26.
The Bangladesh High Commission has been pursuing this priority berthing issue with SLPA for long, said the message from the mission.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Sri Lanka organised a stakeholders’ consultation forum in Colombo recently on enhancing shipping connectivity between Chattogram and the Colombo Port pursuant to observance of the First Economic Diplomacy Week.
The purpose was to facilitate greater understanding of operational issues between Chattogram and the Colombo Port and ensure greater connectivity and supply chain security and stronger partnership between the two ports.
Representatives from port authorities of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, terminal operators, main line operators, feeder operators, freight forwarders as well as users of the two ports presented their respective perspectives.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam shared the potential Bangladesh’s economic development holds for the Colombo Port.
He also mentioned the changes in the global logistics operations due to the pandemic and now the war, the resultant trends in shipping and necessity of offer of possible incentives from the Colombo Port.
The SLPA Chairman, private terminal operators and the Sri Lankan shipping community assured they would give continued priority to Bangladesh users, according to the Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo.
Referring to the recent negative media reporting on the Colombo Port, they clarified that that their port operations remain unaffected by the crisis situation in the country.
A representative of the Chattogram Port Authority shared that Bangladesh’s container traffic through the Colombo Port increased significantly last year.
Representatives of Bangladesh stakeholders shared the users’ perspective about the Colombo Port, emerging trends and challenges in shipping operations.
In the interactive session that followed, the panelists from both sides responded to the queries from the participants which cleared many of the issues involving Chattogram–Colombo connectivity.