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Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 5.37 GMT
Hambantota Port gearing up to handle automobile carriers from June


The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) says Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port ( MRMR Port ) in Hambantota is fully quipped with all required unloading facilities to handle vehicle carriers from June.

Earlier this month, the 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.

SLPA says that on completion of all dredging works, the National Hydrographic Department printed the Navigation Chart for the Hambantota Port which is available for purchase from their office in Colombo . The British Admiralty has also issued a notice to mariners regarding the establishment of the port.

Further major Roll on Roll operators could not promote automobile transshipment business over the Port of Colombo . In 2009 the port handled 4,973 vehicles as transshipment and in 2010- 2,455 vehicles and in 2011 only 993 vehicles.

This new move will enable to reduce congestion over Colombo, introduce a quicker clearance system with Sri Lanka Customs where the document processing can be done in either Hambantota or Colombo without any delay, and promote transshipment business with a dedicated automobile handling terminal facility in Hambantota Port, the SLPA said.

In addition to already announced concessions granted to any type of vessel calling at the MRMR Port by the SLPA, importers of vehicles are being afforded special concessions. The prompt berthing of vessels, ample secure parking facilities would assure speedy turnaround of vessels.






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Last modified: April 18, 2012.

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