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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hambantota Port to be promoted as transshipment hub   – The Morning

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  • Aims to secure more foreign exchange earnings

The Hambantota International Port (HIP) aims to become a transshipment hub in the region to support the inflow of foreign exchange to the country, and as a part of this move, the port recently handled the vessel MV Glovis Champion, carrying 8,147 vehicles and 18 HH (High and Heavy) vehicles. 

The local agents for the vessel expressed their appreciation of HIP’s service offering.  “On behalf of Hyundai Glovis, we express our sincere appreciation to the HIP team, for being very supportive and co-operative towards meeting our principal requirements. It is noteworthy and special thanks to the operations team who managed to complete both first and second calls of MV Glovis Champion, to the given deadline, whilst also meeting cargo safety standards, which is highly commendable. We thank you, and sincerely expect your continued support in the future.”

The port completed the operation within 28 hours, as the largest RORO shipment of 2022 to date. Although transshipment is not direct importation, it keeps sea lanes leading to the Hambantota International Port busy. The high efficiency and productivity was achieved as a result of HIP’s workforce and smart use of technology.

“With these volumes, it is easier to keep the port’s operations at productive levels. These vessels coming into the port bring in business for other services HIP offers such as bunkering, ship repairs, ship chandelling and crew changes. We are also in the process of introducing a new business model by providing value added services inside the port which will considerably increase our volumes.  It will also open up employment opportunities for Sri Lankans as well as ensuring higher foreign exchange earnings for the country,” stated HIPG CEO Johnson Liu.

HIP’s engagement with its global partners and teamwork has helped to keep port operations on an even keel. Transshipment volumes at HIP are back on track and the port is moving full steam ahead. HIP is currently meeting original equipment manufacturers in Asia, assuring them of the Sri Lankan port’s efficiency, innovative technology and safety measures, with a view to further expanding business.   

Meanwhile, Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Aviation Nimal Siripala De Silva visited the Hambantota International Port (HIP) over the weekend. The Minister met top port officials, Johnson Liu, Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) CEO, Jack Huang, CICT CFO Raymond Mu, CICT COO Tissa Wickramasinghe, and Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS) CEO Capt. Ravi Jayawickreme, who were present to brief him on current issues in the port and discuss future development especially in regards to attracting investors to Sri Lanka. Accompanying Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva was the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife, and Forest Resources Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera.

The Hambantota International Port, which is in its fifth year of operations, has kicked off projects both in the short- and medium-term. HIP is being developed as a multipurpose port and is currently engaged in transshipment of vehicles on the east-west sea route.  It is also a port of call for bunkering, energy services, and raw materials used in cement manufacturing. Container handling will be next in line for HIP, which is being positioned as a gateway port for light and heavy industry manufacturing in the Hambantota district and adjacent areas.

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