COLOMBO : The Ceylon Shipping Corporation plans to operate a Container Feeder Service between Colombo and Bangladesh and this will be followed by a second service between Colombo and Oman.
Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) Chairman Sudhammika Wineendra speaking to Daily News Business said that they have already approved an MoU with the Attorney General to be signed with the Bangladeshi Shipping Corporation soon. In addition, we have successfully had talks with the Oman Ambassador in Sri Lanka to launch a feeder service from Colombo to Oman for containerised cargo as well.
He said that they plan to hire two container ships that could carry around 1,000 to 1,500 TU’s to launch this operation. “We will soon be calling for RFP’s in this regard.”
He said that both these countries don’t have large deep ports similar to Colombo and they wanted to exploit that advantage in bringing additional business to the Colombo Port and revenue to the CSC. “Since there Colombo Port is attracting large shipping lines regularly our objective is to take containers out of them and reship them to Bangladesh and Oman from the two smaller vessels we plan to take on lease.”
He identified raw materials from Colombo to be shipped to Bangladesh and mostly apparel exports from Bangladesh to be shipped to Europe and US via Colombo Port. With the pandemic, freight charges have shot up and we see this business to be very lucrative. Wineendra who was also the former Vice Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said that there were some issues with Sri Lanka Ports Authority and these too have now been ironed out. Ceylon Shipping Corporation will continue their operations for Coal transport through their two fully-owned two vessels M.V. Ceylon Breeze and M.V. Ceylon Princess (pictured) and during the offseason, they would be deployed to transport other essential supplies ensuring that they are not docked but in waters and bringing the much-needed revenue in dollars to Sri Lanka.
During the pandemic, there were suggestions to dock them due to health concerns but I was against it and operated them under added health precautions.
“I must also thank former Shipping Minister Johnston Fernando for taking a bold decision to open and function the Colombo Port even during the peak of COVID -19 lockdowns while several other ports were shut down.