CICT reports record 3.1 m TEUs

  • Celebrates 10th anniversary today

Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) celebrates its 10th anniversary in Sri Lanka today (22) and has reached the milestone of three million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) within a year for the first time.

“We are delighted to have played the role expected of us with flying colours in our first decade as an integral part of the Port of Colombo,” CICT CEO Jack Huang said.

The company said its throughput for the full year is expected to reach approximately 3.1 million TEUs by 31 December, representing a healthy increase of around 11% over 2020.

“We have been a significant contributor to the port’s throughput by attracting vessels, which would otherwise have bypassed Colombo because of the absence of a deep-water terminal. CICT is also proud to have led the way in promoting eco-friendly operations and innovations in service,” he added.

Notably, CICT achieved its first one million TEUs milestone in just eight months, from January to August 2015, and ended that year with 1.56 million TEUs. The company handled two million TEUs in a single year for the first time in 2016. It recorded incremental increases in annual throughput thereafter, handling 2.38 million TEUs in 2017, 2.67 million TEUs in 2018, 2.9 million TEUs in 2019, and 2.89 million TEUs in 2020.

The company, which manages the Colombo South Terminal, commenced the construction of the terminal in December 2011 and began port operations in 2013. The volume handled by the terminal has grown fivefold since then.

Sri Lanka’s single private sector foreign investment project at the time, CICT’s noteworthy progress included completion of Stage 1 of the terminal to a quay length of 400 m by July 2013, reaching Stage 2 with a quay length of 1,000 m in December the same year, and completing the terminal with a quay length of 1,200 m by April 2014.

CICT is also responsible for several firsts in service innovation and eco-friendly operations. These include a $ 10 million programme to convert its entire fleet of diesel-operated rubber-tyred gantry cranes to electricity-driven rubber-tyred gantry cranes (E-RTGs), which have zero carbon emissions by 2017. As a result, CICT achieved a 45% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and a 96% reduction in diesel consumption.

In 2019, the company added two new mega quay gantry cranes (QGCs), which are now the tallest cranes in the Port of Colombo, to a fleet of QGCs, which were already the biggest gantry cranes in the Indian Subcontinent region. This, along with other purchases such as six new rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) and 12 prime movers, were made to enhance the terminal’s deep-water capacity and make Colombo one of the few ports in Asia capable of handling vessels of 22,000-plus TEUs. In the same year, CICT commissioned Sri Lanka’s first, and South Asia’s most advanced, dangerous goods storage facility (DGSF) with an investment of $ 1.5 million.

For five consecutive years since 2017, CICT was also adjudged the Asian Freight, Logistics, and Supply Chain (AFLAS) awards winner for the “Best Container Terminal in Asia” in the Under Four Million TEUs category by Asia Cargo News.