Transhipment container capacity drops in the first two months as the global economy slows

  • April 17, 2023
  • News

All the transhipment container volumes at the Colombo port dropped in the first two months of 2023 due to the global recession around 1.026 million TEUs which is 15.1 % year-on-year. There is an overall downturn in volumes due to the economic slowdown in the United States and Europe and this might continue till the last quarter of the year. Even India’s export was down by 8.8% year on year to US$33.9 billion.

Import (laden) container volumes dropped by a steep 38.9% YoY to 60,491 TEUs while export (laden) container volumes were down to 15.2% YoY to 43,433 TEUs in the period.

Sri Lanka Port Authority-managed Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) and its partially operational East Container Terminal (ECT) managed only 272,942 TEUs in the period, recording a YoY decline of 27.9%, due to the prominent decline in transhipment container volumes from India. The port’s only fully operational deep container terminal, Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) managed 494, 648 TEUs in the two-month period, dropping by 7.4% YoY.

Similarly, the container volumes handled by South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) also dropped by 7.4% YoY to 258,828 TEUs in the period. A reputed global shipping player warned that lower container volumes and freight rates would drive a four-fold plunge in profits this year, however, the total ship arrivals to the Port of Colombo increased by 13.1% YoY to 654 ships in the period.