Carriers seek alternatives due to Colombo Port’s capacity crunch

Terminal capacity pressure is mounting at Colombo port in Sri Lanka, leading to a spill-over effect on other ports in the subcontinent region. Adani Ennore Container Terminal (AECTPL) near Chennai has witnessed a surge in ad-hoc MSC vessel calls carrying transhipment cargo rerouted from Colombo due to the space crunch there. The unscheduled vessel buildup has caused chaos in terminal operations at Ennore, affecting the entire southern India supply chain ecosystem.

Indian shippers are bearing the brunt of disruptions, with regular service callers missing windows and sometimes skipping the port due to anticipated berthing delays. Additionally, power outages at Ennore harbour have further compounded the situation.

CMA CGM Agencies India has informed customers of delays in vessel berthing, citing the power problem affecting the APL Boston’s arrival. The New North Europe Med Oceania service, operated by CMA CGM and MSC, has been impacted, leading to delays in vessel berthing until normal operations resume.

PSA Chennai Terminal (CITPL) is also experiencing productivity slowdowns, contributing to trade challenges in the region. This has resulted in vessel bunching, gate congestion, and long truck queues outside the harbour city.
As carriers seek alternative ports to alleviate berth conditions in Colombo, MSC and Maersk have made inaugural calls at Hambantota International Port and Colombo’s East Container Terminal, respectively. These developments are part of efforts to manage the overflow of cargo from Colombo and maintain trade flow efficiency in the region.