60 port workers exposed to COVID-19 to-date; Shipping Ops delayed

60 port workers exposed to COVID-19 to-date; Shipping Ops delayed

60 port workers exposed to COVID-19 to-date; Shipping Ops delayed

Written by Zulfick Farzan

13 Nov, 2020 | 6:52 pm

  • Sri Lanka Ports Authority decided to re-call retired employees to work
  • Mujibur Rahuman said 25 vessels are anchored in the outer-harbour unable to unload cargo.
  • Harin Fernando said unethical events are taking place within the Colombo harbour
  • Covid Preventive Action Committee and 24/7 Operational Center set-up
  • 60 port workers had tested positive for COVID-19 to-date.

Colombo (News 1st); The Sri Lanka Ports Authority decided to re-call retired employees to work for several sectors at the Colombo Harbour.

SLPA Chairman General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake speaking to News 1st said employees from several other institutions will also be called-in.

This decision was made considering the COVID-19 situation in Sri Lanka and also because 60 port workers had tested positive for COVID-19 to-date.

As a result of this situation, over a dozen over-seas flagged vessels are positioned at various locations unable to enter the Colombo Harbour.

However, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority managed to minimize congestion despite in a delay in unloading cargo, said the SLPA Chairman.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority said a majority of the port workers are from the Colombo and Gampaha District and are currently exposed to COVID-19 or placed under mandatory quarantine.

Documents seen by News 1st revealed entry for 38 Cargo Vessels to the Colombo Port was also suspended.

Opposition Lawmaker Mujibur Rahuman on Thursday (13) claimed more than 40 vessels which were supposed to reach the Colombo harbour have proceeded to harbours located in South India over the past 04 weeks.

The SJB MP claimed around 25 vessels are anchored in the outer-harbour unable to unload cargo, as they have been denied entry to the Colombo harbour.

Samagi Jana Balavegaya MP Harin Fernando said unethical events are taking place within the Colombo harbour citing these relate to Sugar imports and Antigen Test Kit imports.

He called on the government to intervene in these matters adding, if the government does not intervene, the government will fail in this aspect as well.

A Covid Preventive Action Committee and 24/7 Operational Center will be set-up to facilitate shipping and minimize congestion at the Colombo Harbour, said Minister of Ports and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena, on Thursday (12).

He said the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, as well as the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, have a special responsibility to carry out the import and export activities of the country without any interruption.

The Minister said due to several port workers contracting the Covid-19 virus, there were some difficulties experienced in the Colombo Harbour and its related sectors.

Operations at the Sri Lanka Ports Authority is considered an essential service, said the Minister adding the operations take place adhering to the health guidelines.

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the unpredictability in consumer demands has rendered the humble shipping container as a ‘hot commodity’.

Being the backbone for trade and commerce for over half a century, these ribbed steel boxes are haunting one of the world’s most important shipping lanes: the transpacific route.

As a result, the cost of shipping containers has increased by a whopping 50 per cent.

Shipping charges all across the world in general – and the transpacific route in particular – are increasing too as a direct consequence.

One of the chief factors behind this is the surge in Chinese exports, along with robust consumer demand in the U.S.

The situation is so dire that some vessels are leaving Asia without full loads because there is not enough equipment that can be found.

According to reports, the shipping industry is experiencing the strongest increase in 40-foot demand following one of the strongest decreases in demand ever.”

European and American ports have been experiencing a high surplus of empty containers.

At the same time, Asian ports face severe shortages.

Latest News

Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]