Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) announced that all vehicle carriers would be diverted to the new Hambantota Port for unloading from May 31.
The SLPA said the action was initiated in consultation with shipping lines and motor vehicle importers since vehicle parking yards in the Colombo Port have become congested due to the large influx of imports in spite of the SLPA releasing many underutilized areas for vehicle parking.
"Due to the non-availability of berthing facilities at the Colombo Port, vessels experience delays of more than ten days and as a result freight rates have been increased by the lines which in turn add to the cost of the selling price of a vehicle in the local market," the SLPA said in its statement.
"The situation also results in a reluctance of the shipping lines to enter Colombo," the SLPA said.
The authority has promised to give concessions to vessels calling at Hambantota port and in addition to providing ample and secure parking facilities.