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First container vessel ‘MSC America’ arrives at ECT of Colombo Port

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COLOMBO : The first ship under the business promotion program, MSC America to attract new shipping services to Colombo Port, arrived at the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port.

The Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, CICT Terminal, SAGT Terminal, Sri Lanka Shipping Agents Association (CASA), Sri Lanka Ship Owners Association (SLAO) have jointly planned this project to further promote strategic business ventures in the merchant shipping sector in order to overcome the current economic crisis in the country.

This project is implemented under the section of drawing new ships to Colombo port, increasing operational efficiency, expediting shipping services, service supply and warehousing management, making container and ship cargo transportation efficient.

The MSC America ship that arrived at the Eastern Container Terminal today under this project implemented on the basis of Colombo Port as a re-export container operation center (Hub Port), will arrive at the Colombo Port, once every week.

MSC America has brought 1500 containers to Sri Lanka today and it is planned to bring 2000 containers in every voyage. The ship is 334 meters long and 7.5 meters deep. The Panamanian-flagged ship is scheduled to sail to South Africa via Singapore.

Commemorating the arrival of the MSC America ship at the port of Colombo, a special plaque exchange took place between the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva and Captain Matlin Alexander at the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) belonging to the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA).

Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority Keith. D. Bernard and a group of MSC company representatives also participated in this event.

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister said that because the ECT is deep, it is possible to bring in big ships. He said 5.9 billion rupees have been allocated for the remaining development works of this terminal and the development works are being expedited.

“Today, a huge ship belonging to MSC has contributed to carry containers through Colombo Port. They have chosen to add four such shipping lines, thereby increasing the container capacity of Colombo Port and increasing our income,” Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said.

Switzerland- headquartered MSC Shipping Company is the world’s largest international shipping line and currently operates more than 775 ships around the world.

MSC, which has been operating with the Port of Colombo (POC) for a long time, has been doing business with the Sri Lankan Port Authority for more than 10 years.

MSC is the main shipping service in Colombo Port since 2015 with an annual container handling capacity of 2.0 million and about 900 arrivals are made per year.

While MSC’s deep draft ships arrive at the CICT terminal of Colombo Port, carrying 1.0 million containers annually to ECT / JCT terminals controlled by Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the MSC company has also become the main business of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

MSC-Lanka Pvt. Ltd., the local representative of MSC Company, indicates that three new shipping services, namely Ingwe West Bound, East Africa Express, East Med Service, are scheduled to arrive at the port of Colombo this month.

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