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28 Sep

Largest container carrier to call at Colombo Port

Largest container carrier to call at Colombo Port

The 19,224 teu MSC Maya, which will be the biggest cargo ship to enter the Port of Colombo when it berths at the CICT-managed Colombo South Terminal on September 16, 2016.

One of the largest ships afloat is expected to call at the Colombo South Terminal of the Colombo Port for the first time, setting a new benchmark and record for the Port, terminal operator, Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd (CICT) announced last week.

The 395.49 metre (1,297 foot) vessel is expected at the Colombo South Terminal managed by CICT, on Friday, September 16, replacing a smaller vessel owned by the global container shipping company, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Switzerland.

The company said it had secured a commitment for a scheduled service by the Panama registered MSC Maya (which can carry 19,224 teus), the largest container ship to ever berth in Colombo.

Built last year by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, MSC Maya has a draft of 16 metres (52.49 feet) and a moulded beam of 59 metres (194 feet). It has a maximum speed of 22.8 knots (42 kmph).

"The arrival of the ship in Colombo is a perfect example for the rationale for a deep water terminal of the scale of the Colombo International Container Terminal," CICT CEO, Ray Ren said.

"It was precisely to attract such ultra large container carriers that CICT fast-tracked the completion of the terminal, enabling it to launch operations 32 months ahead of schedule. We are now seeing the results of that achievement,"he said.

CICT, General Manager Commercial and Marketing, Tissa Wickramasinghe said the company has introduced global best practices in terminal operations and set productivity benchmarks for the South Asian region, complementing the state-of-the-art infrastructure it built, and continues to provide international standard service delivery. CICT's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by converting its yard cranes to fully electric cranes is also a key factor in attracting these ultra-large container carriers to the Port of Colombo, he said.

Additionally, the company has introduced several IT-related innovations such as e-boat notes and a mobile app which generate cost savings and enhance efficiency for stakeholders in the industry.

"The Port of Colombo achieved double digit growth in 2014 after a lapse of over ten years with CICT coming on stream, and this year we are able to sustain double-digit growth due to our ability to attract more and more ULCC vessels such as MSC Maya to the Port of Colombo," Wickramasinghe said.

"The benefit of these ship calls cascades down to the other terminals in the port, reinforcing Colombo's status as major transhipment hub," he said. CICT closed last year with an impressive 1.561 million TEUs, with the ULCC (Ultra Large Container Carrier) and VLCC (Very Large Container Carrier) segments making a 67% contribution to that volume.

As a member of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited, the world's second largest global terminal operator by throughput, CICT has access to a wide network of 72 terminals operated and invested by CMPH across the globe, none of which are in any form of competition with the Port of Colombo.
(Sunday Observer - 11092016)

Largest container carrier to call at Colombo Port

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