MSC America, the first container vessel under the business promotion programme to attract new lines to the Port of Colombo (POC), called at the East Container Terminal (ECT) of the Port of Colombo yesterday (7).
The latest programme to attract new shipping lines to the POC has been planned and implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) and Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Owners (SLAVO) to effectively address strategic business promotions as a fruitful means to overcome the prevailing economic crisis.
Attracting more new lines to the POC, increasing operational efficiency, expediting naval services, efficiency in logistics and warehouse management and container and cargo transportation are among the objectives.
MSC America will be operated as a weekly caller to Colombo.
On the first call, the vessel carried 2,300 TEUs to Colombo and is expected to carry 2,500 TEUs on a weekly basis. The vessel with a length of 334 m and a 7.5 m draft sails under the flag of Panama. The port rotation includes Singapore and South Africa.
MSC is the largest global shipping line with a fleet of more than 775 TEU vessels for container transportation around the world. The shipping line that maintains long-term operations with the POC has a collaborative business relationship of more than 10 years with SLPA. Since 2015, it is the prime shipping line of the POC with an annual operational capacity of 2 million TEUs. It performs about 900 calls per annum at the POC.
The deep draft vessels owned by MSC call at the CICT of the POC, whilst also calling at the SLPA-controlled JCT and ECT with more than 1 million TEUs per annum, becoming the main customer of the SLPA.
According to MSC Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the local agents for MSC shipping lines, another three new shipping lines under INGWE West Bound service, East Africa Express service and East Med Service will call at the POC this month.
To mark MSC America’s first call at the POC, a special plaque exchange was held at the ECT of the SLPA between Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva and the Master of the vessel, Capt. Matlin Alexander. SLPA Chairman, Keith D. Bernard and several representatives of MSC Lanka (Pvt) Ltd also attended the occasion.
Speaking at the occasion, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said, “With the deep draft of the East Container Terminal, there is ample potential for mega vessels to call at the port. The remaining development process of the terminal is expedited with an investment of Rs 5.9 billion. Today, a mega vessel of the MSC has contributed for container operations via the Port of Colombo. Similarly, four new services will be added to increase the capacity of the POC. That will increase our revenue. This has further strengthened the trust placed by the international shipping community in the Port of Colombo.”