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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

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Government Gazette

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 Colombo Port.

"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.

 

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