SRI LANKA PORT HIT BY DELAYS
Ships calling at Colombo port are experiencing delays owing to teething problems in a new Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) computer system to manage its container terminals, shipping agents said.
But the SLPA has told port users that it was working to solve the problems with the terminal management system and that the delays would end soon.
Shipping agents have complained to the SLPA that problems with the new computer system have resulted in reduced efficiency at the main government-run transhipment facility, the Jaya Container Terminal.
They said ships calling at Colombo face delays in getting a berth, miss connections with other vessels, or have to spend too much time at berth.
The new computerised terminal management system has been a long-felt need to modernise port operations and improve efficiency.
"There are some teething problems in the system which are causing bottlenecks," said a shipping agent.
"This has affected planning and vessel berthing. Containers have also gone missing."
The problems have also affected transfers of containers between different terminals in the port.
SLPA chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said the problems would be sorted out soon and the delays ended.
"We've implemented the new system and have had problems with the conversion," he said.
"We had problems regarding transfering of data. However, we're working to rectify the problems and it should be resolved in one or two days."