SLPA plans multi-modal logistics park in Colombo | Sunday Observer

SLPA plans multi-modal logistics park in Colombo

14 October, 2018

In a major initiative that will vastly improve the country’s logistics sector, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) plans to build a state of the art multi-modal logistics park spanning over 14-acres in a key suburb in Colombo consisting of both warehouse space and railway links, the Sunday Observer learns. The new facility currently in design stages is expected to be built with the participation of the private sector in the Bloemendhal area in Colombo, in close proximity to the site of the infamous garbage dump.

“We have earmarked 14.5 acres of land and we will be calling for Expressions of Interest from potential investors next year to build this fully fledged facility,” SLPA’s Director - Logistics, Upali De Zoysa said.

He noted that the planned facility could lower Sri Lanka’s freight and warehousing costs whilst reducing vehicular pollution and congestion.

The logistics park is expected to provide value-added services such as customs clearance with bonded storage yards, quarantine zones, testing facilities, and warehousing management services.

“Out of the 14.5 acres, we have to negotiate and acquire 1.5 acres belonging to the Urban Development Authority and nine acres from the Railways Department. The SLPA however owns four acres in the area,” the Director of Logistics highlighted.

According to informed sources, the proposed land area will have four warehouses with conventional cargo at Bandaranayake Quay for its intended development into a fully-fledged passenger ship terminal and also relocate three existing Custom Scanning facilities located outside the port premises into a facility center within the premises, adjacent to the port access road. The move would however force the relocation of 2,320 families from the Bloemendhal area, The Sunday Observer learns.

Meanwhile, addressing a recent event, Zoysa said the SLPA intends to table its three-year corporate plan, currently in draft stages, for cabinet approval by December 2018. In addition, he noted that the SLPA would deploy strategies through ‘a National Port Masterplan’ covering all ferry ports in Sri Lanka.

“We are planning to commission the East Container Terminal in a year,” he said.

Sri Lanka’s ports minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had earlier said the Colombo Port will target to handle a record seven million containers in 2018, improving by 13% from the 6.2 million Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) handled in 2017. Last year, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera expressed plans to liberalise the shipping agency business, a move that could attract shipping companies to set up regional offices in the island.