World largest container shipping line has shown their interest to develop East Container Terminal in Colombo port, Sri Lanka. Maersk Line expects to have a partnership with Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) on their long term strategic business interest.
Colombo port ranked in 24th place in 2019 as the world busiest seaport. Port is operating at its maximum capacity at the moment where the development of ECT is critical for the port to cater to the demand of the shipping lines. Sri Lanka government has signed an MOU with the government of India and Japan to develop the ECT and no progress could be seen yet and the port employees protest against the collaboration with India and Japan for the ECT development.
Maersk holds the highest shares of the country’s first public-private partnership (PPP) terminal SAGT (South Asia Gateway Terminal). Maersk line holds more than 20% of the shares for world TEU volume. Further, operates over 70 container ports/terminals around the world.
Colombo port handled a throughput of 7.3 million TEU’s in 2019. However port is experiencing difficulties on catering to the demand with the current capacity. Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) is the only deepwater terminal in Colombo port and failing to operate ECT yet will force shipping lines to look for alternative hub ports in the region.
Having a partnership with Maersk, the giant in the industry will be an added advantage for the Colombo port to secure the high volume and maintain its competitiveness in the region