Container train enters Port
For the first time in four decades, a train load of export containers
entered the port recently. The operation was carried out by SG
Logistics, a part of the Expolanka group, originating from Colombo
carrying the empty containers to the Prima Factory in Trincomalee.
The laden containers then travelled back from Trincomalee to the
"A train can generally carry around 20-24TEUs. However, we decided to
carry out the first operation with just 10TEUs as we were unsure of the
local track conditions for the operation. It was 100% successful - and a
special thank you note should go out to all the government authorities
involved who were extremely cooperative regarding this. This is the
first time in the history of the Colombo Port that a load of export
containers entered via train. It certainly is groundbreaking in the
logistics business," stated SG Logistics CEO Niroza Gazzali. This
initiative, taken up due to SG Logistics' partnering with DB Schenker,
and their focus on being more environmentally conscious led to the
decision to experiment with utilizing the country's rail network for the
transportation of containers.
"This is a big achievement after four decades, taking into
consideration that all these were done by making use of the very limited
and existing resources we currently have," Sri Lanka Railways General
Manager B A P Ariyaratne said.
Traditionally, in Sri Lanka, containers are transported via road -
sometimes posing many logistical challenges and sometimes even leading
to unforeseen delays. Using the railway network for transporting
containers presents minimum pilferage and produces significantly less
environmental pollution. Logistically, the rail network allows for bulk
movement in one go and enables single point tracking.