Challenges & Issues

The Port of Colombo has always played a significant role in Sri Lanka’s growth trajectory. The strategic location of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean enables this growth and provides the country with the unique opportunity to emerge as a maritime and logistics hub in Asia. A massive amount of maritime cargo, nearly 45% from the Indian sub-continent transfers through the Port of Colombo and enables the country to provide global and regional connectivity to transport freight to and from Asia to the rest of the world.  

In 2018, the Port of Colombo was ranked as the world’s number one container growth port among the top 30 container ports and reached the 22nd position among global container ports, according to Alphaliner Monthly. It was a significant achievement as it is the first time in history that the Port of Colombo has topped a global maritime ranking. 

However, retaining the leadership position is going to be a challenge for Sri Lanka due to the rapid growth in regional ports. India is rapidly investing in their port sector and particularly a Deep Water Terminal in Vizhinjam which will affect transshipment volumes from India. Plans to develop a big transshipment port on India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands seems set to spur competition in the regional transshipment business. The islands consist of two groups of islands at the southeastern edge of the Bay of Bengal.

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