Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SG Logistics Resumes Shipping Freight Containers by Rail to Colombo

Four Decades since Last Shipment
Shipping News Feature

SRI LANKA – SG Logistics, part of the Expolanka Group, has recently run its first shipping containers along the Colombo to Trincomalee railway, the first such run on the route in forty years. The operation opens up the possibility of fully re-establishing intermodal operations in the near future as the country, so recently subject to decades of civil strife, seeks to rebuild itself.

Niroza Gazzali, CEO at SG Logistics explained that:

“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 – and we at Expolanka Group are proud to have been the first to do this.

“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.”

Undertaken with the support of Sri Lanka Railways and SG’s partner DB Schenker, the operation is quite a feat considering the old and limited equipment that was available. The successful run bodes well for future investment to revitalise the network and boost Sri Lanka’s logistics infrastructure.

Nalaka Bandara, Additional General Manager of Sri Lanka Railways said:

“For the first time today, we have once again reactivated the facility of the ship-to-rail cargo transfer facility. Introducing the rail service at Port Terminals for handling export would reduce the congestions we face when cargo enters the port as well as difficulties faced at road and bridge restrictions. This is in a way is both economically productive and environmentally friendly.”

Mr. Gazzali added that he was confident that rail freight would soon be a common transport method in Sri Lanka.