China Merchants Port Holdings Group Marketing & Commercial Department Public Relations Director Catherine Chow and CICT General Manager Commercial and Marketing Tissa Wickramasinghe (second and third from left respectively) with Yilport Holding (award sponsor) CEO Christian Blauert (extreme left) and BBC’s Fiona Bruce, the host at the awards ceremony
Progress of Colombo Port cited at Lloyds List’s gala awards presentation in London
The role played by China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPH) in the development of the Port of Colombo into a leading transhipment hub in South Asia was among the factors in the company being adjudged Port Operator the Year at the Lloyd’s List 2016 Global Awards presented in London on 28 September.
CMPH (formerly CMHI), the parent company of Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), is also the winner of the 2015 Terminal Operator of the Year Award presented by Containerization international.
Presenting the award at the National Maritime Museum in London, Lloyds List, the global leader in maritime commerce since 1734, said: “The judges were impressed with CM Ports’ customer-focused expansion and myriad innovative developments and investments ranging from ‘smart port’ performance programmes to the development of Colombo into a leading transhipment hub in South Asia.”
In recognition of the contribution of the Colombo South Terminal of the Port of Colombo towards securing the award for CMPH, CICT’s General Manager – Commercial and Marketing Tissa Wickramasinghe was invited to be one of the two CMPH representatives to accept the award at the ceremony.
CMPH beat several leading terminal and port operators including APM Terminals, Associated British Ports, Gulftainer, Oman International Container Terminal (OICT), Peel Ports Group, Port of Felixstowe and Port of Oakland to win the Lloyds List award.
“This award, adjudicated by an independent panel of eminent international personalities from the maritime industry, is a noteworthy validation of the role CICT has played in the growth of the Port of Colombo,” the company’s CEO Ray Ren said.
“China Merchants Port Holdings operates 72 terminals around the world, none of which are in any form of competition with the Port of Colombo. Most of these terminals are considerably larger than the Colombo South Terminal. It is therefore a huge achievement for CICT and the Port of Colombo to be considered a factor in the selection of the world’s top Port Operator by Lloyds List.”
CICT, which commenced operations in July 2013, manages the Colombo South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first and currently the only deep water terminal in South Asia equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. The commencement of CICT’s operations is widely credited as the factor in the Port of Colombo achieving double digit growth in 2014 after a lapse of over 10 years.
CICT closed 2015 with an impressive 1.561 million TEUs, with the ULCC (Ultra Large Container Carrier) and VLCC (Very Large Container Carrier) segments making a 67% contribution to that volume. The benefit of these mega carriers calling at the port cascades down to the other terminals by reinforcing Colombo’s status as major transhipment hub.
In just three years of operation, CICT has brought some of the largest vessels plying the Asia-Europe routes to Colombo. Of these, MSC Maya (19,224 TEU), MV Mogens Maersk (18,300 TEU), MSC New York (16,652 TEU), CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEU), YML YM Wondrous, Edith Maersk and EMC Thalassa Hellas (each 14,000 plus TEUs) and their sister vessels are now regular callers at CICT.