SLPA in collaboration with JCT, SAGT and CICT holds Port of Colombo Awards Night 2024

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), in collaboration with Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), South ASIA Gateway Terminals (SAGT) and Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), hosted the Port of Colombo Awards Night 2024 at the Lotus Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo on March 15th, 2024.

The event was attended by the Hon. Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva, as Chief Guest, Mr. K.D.S. Ruwanchandra – Secretary of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation, as the Guest of Honour, and Mr. Keith Bernard, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

Amongst 10 nominees for the Main Lines, the Mediterranean Shipping Company was awarded the most outstanding Main Line Operator to the Port of Colombo. MAERSK Line was awarded the second, CMA CGM the third, HAPAG-LLOYD the fourth and OCEAN NETWORK EXPRESS the fifth. Main Line Operator Award at the POC Awards 2024 recognizes mainline operators for all containers discharged/loaded at all terminals within the Port of Colombo in the calendar year to the account of each mainline box operator, regardless of the vessel on which it was carried.

X-PRESS FEEDERS emerged as the top-performing feeder operator among the 10 servicing the Port of Colombo. Following closely, GLOBAL FEEDER SHIPPING, BENGAL TIGER LINE, HR LINES, and UNIFEEDER Line secured the second to fifth positions, respectively. Feeder Operator Award at the POC Awards 2024 recognizes common carrier feeder operators for all boxes discharged/loaded from/to all vessels operated by each common carrier feeder operator at all terminals, regardless of who the box operator is. All such containers are credited to the relevant common carrier feeder operator volumes within the POC in the calendar year.

Expressing views at the occasion, Hon.Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Nimal Siripala de Silva said that recognizing and evaluating the Main and Feeder shipping networks associated with the Port of Colombo, and subsequently rewarding them, was greatly valued. “The objective of this initiative is to inspire the companies by acknowledging their efforts, emphasizing intrinsic value over monetary rewards. Such recognition has the potential to foster competition among the terminals within the Port of Colombo, thereby encouraging the delivery of superior service to the shipping networks through enhanced efficiency and productivity,” he said.

Mr. Keith D. Bernard – Chairman of SLPA, speaking at the POC Awards 2024, stated that the Colombo Port’s initiative to conduct an award evaluation involving the shipping networks connected with the port would foster trust and collaboration among all stakeholders involved.
More than 200 guests, including international and local maritime stakeholders of the Port of Colombo (POC) and several overseas dignitaries, graced the event.
The Port of Colombo (POC) presently holds the 23rd position in the Alphaliner top 30 Container ports globally by throughput and ranks first in South Asia. Additionally, it holds the 10th position in the Drewry connectivity index, reflecting its direct service networks to major markets and the frequency of service connections. The Port of Colombo (POC) has shown consistent improvement in these global rankings in recent years.
Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Port of Colombo (POC) achieved its highest-ever throughput of 7.2 million TEUs in 2021. It remained operational without disruption, supporting global shipping services and meeting consumer demands during the period and recognizing its critical role, the government declared the port an essential service with equal priority for fuel and energy resources to ensure uninterrupted operations during the period.
The Port of Colombo has demonstrated resilience and adaptability amidst disruptive operating environments, emphasizing its commitment to excellence in port operations through multi-organizational collaboration.
At present, with the three-terminal operators offering competitive options, the Port of Colombo serves as a world-class hub facility, positioned as the primary gateway to the Indian Ocean.
Strategic planning by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) included the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP), which aimed to add three additional deep-draft ship terminals with a 3.4 million TEU capacity each. The Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) became the first to operate in the new port. The other two terminals, the East Container Terminal (ECT) and Colombo West International Terminal, are expected to become operational within the next 12 months. Further expansion plans include the West Terminal phase-2 and other capacity development projects, aligning with projected trade growth in the region.
Commitment to a sustainable carbon-neutral agenda and the implementation of operational efficiencies through digitalization, automation, and AI technologies underscore the Port of Colombo’s strategic value and relevance to its customers beyond its geographic location. Operational engagement of the Port of Colombo (POC) with other international container ports further strengthens its position as complementary to the international trade growth aspirations of the South Asian region.
Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation – Mr.K.D.S.Ruwanchandra, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority – Mr Prabath J. Malavige, SAGT CEO – Mr Romesh David, CICT CEO – Mr Jan Zheng, CWIT CEO – Mr Harikrishnan Sundaram and a large number of shipping agents also attended the POC Awards 2024.