A new container transshipment terminal that aims to compete with hubs in Singapore, the Middle East and India opened Monday in Sri Lanka.
The $500 million Colombo International Container Terminal is 85 percent owned by operator China Merchant Holdings International, which is working to build it into a transshipment hub for South Asia.
The lack of suitable mega-ports on India's south and east coasts often forces shippers to transship in Singapore or Dubai to pick up mainline Asia-Europe services. Sri Lanka Ports Authority, which has a 15 percent stake in CICT, said using the new deep-draft facilities would offer cost benefits and time savings of up to four days.
With berth depths alongside of 18 meters, CICT is equipped to handle vessels or more than 14,000-TEU capacity and offers annual throughput capacity of some 2.4 million TEUs in its first phase of development. Further expansion will double capacity by the summer of 2014.