Sri Lanka’s South Asia Gateway Terminals said it had ordered two ship-to-shore cranes which will be delivered in March 22, which can potentially boost output by about 15 per cent.
The new STS cranes will increase the terminal’s quayside capabilities to five twin-lift and seven single-lift STS cranes, SAGT said.
Two existing single lift cranes will be replaced.
Based on an average 25 moves an hour, a twin lift could move 50 containers per hour.
However the terminal is constrained by yard space, putting a limit on how many cranes can be upgraded.
Ted Muttiah, Chief Commercial Officer of SAGT, said containers are now waiting longer at the port for the next ship after the Covid-19 crisis, which has affected all terminals in Colombo.
He said the turn time, which was around 4 days in the past, has increased to 10 to 12 in some cases, leading to boxes filling up existing yard space, with fewer ships.
There was congestion in the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh.
Higher rates from East Asia to Europe was encouraging more mainlines to sail direct and there was not much space left for hubs in the middle, he said.
SAGT said it re-fleeted over 65 of its terminal tractors with 46 new Terberg units.
SAGT said it had was using digitalized clearance to help customers with faster clearance of goods with email based processing of documents and issuance of electronic delivery advice (e-D/A).
This enabled customers to have the convenience of carrying out their clearance activities while in the comfort and safety of their own homes, SAGT said.
SAGT followed up this initiative with an integrated, secure online platform added on to its online portal, e-Port, which allows customers the convenience of calculating charges and making payment online via an online electronic payment process.
e-Port has further extended benefits to the customer through the automated reconciliation of payments received via the online payment platform and real-time generation of the invoice via the system.
That innovation was combined with an electronic release by Sri Lanka Customs, thus automating and making contactless a physical and manual process that the trade had been endeavoring to change for almost a quarter of a century.
SAGT is also offering an automatic extension of the import container gate pass validity to 6am on the day after the gate-pass expiry which allows truckers additional free time to pick-up import containers without delay or terminal storage charges for an additional 6 hours.
SAGT in March 2021 also deployed Container Top Safety Work Cages for onboard container unlashing/lashing operations, especially in bad weather improving productivity as well as worker safety especially in bad weather.