Colombo is the largest port city and capital of Sri Lanka, located on Kelani River's southwestern shores. This is a major cargo terminal (one of the world's largest) with strategic location in Indian Ocean. Colombo is currently ranked world's 23 biggest cargo port and also has one of the world's largest man-made harbors. The seaport is also country's naval base.
From Colombo are exported mainly spices, rubber and tea. This major commercial city also features numerous churches, monuments, museums, fine restaurants and shopping malls. Modern structures and wide avenues contrast with the old Pettah quarter. Notable tourist attractions are the Old Parliament, Presidential residence, Gengarama Temple, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara Temple, Dewiwala Zoo, Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, Pinnawala elephant orphanage. Kandy is a town located by a beautiful lake high up in the hills. Temple of the Tooth preserves the golden relic of Buddha's eye-tooth.
Colombo is Sri Lanka's largest seaport. In the early 1980s it was expanded and modernized with new gantry cranes (serving large container ships) and all terminal facilities were upgraded.
Port's current annual capacity is around 6 million TEUs (containers) and around 31 million tons of cargoes. Colombo Harbour's main channel was deepened to depth (min draft) 15 m / 49 ft, The managing company is "Sri Lanka Ports Authority" (SLPA, established 1980) .
- The 1 million TEUs mark was in 1996. In 1997 was opened the Oil Berth and traffic reached 1,5 million TEUs. In 1998 and 1999 were inaugurated two new container terminals.
- In 2000 was opened Peliyagoda Container Freight Station and was started North Pier project's Phase 2.
- In 2002 was opened Ashraff Quay (multi-purpose terminal).
- In 2003 were opened Unity Container Terminal and Colombo Port Maritime Museum.
- In 2004 was reported annual volume of 2,2 million TEUs (increasing to 2,45 million in 2005).
- In 2008 started an USD 1,2 billion port expansion project with contractor the Japanes company Hyundai Engineering and Construction. By this project (completed in 2012) were built 4 new cargo terminals (3 berths each, total quay length 1200 m, min draft 18 m / 59 ft, max draft / dredging 23 m / 75 ft)).
- Colombo Harbour's channel width was expanded to 560 m and its draft to 20 m. Turning basin's diameter is 600 m, with min depth 18 m. This allows the port to handle boxships (container carriers) with capacity up to 12,000 TEUs. Breakwater's total length is 6830 m (22410 ft).
- The first private terminal was awarded to the consortium China Merchants Holdings-Aitken Spence in September 2010, and was opened in 2013.
- Port Colombo's South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT, opened in 1999) is leased to an international consortium that includes APM Terminals (Holland-based company) with 33% steak. The container terminal was opened in 1999 as the country's first privately-owned terminal. In 2017, the facility reported an annual shipping traffic of 1,8 million TEUs, while the port's total volume was 6,2 million TEUs.
- Colombo South Container Terminal (CSCT) has annual capacity of 2.4 million TEUs and is joint venture between China Merchants Holdings and Sri Lanka Ports Authority. Its construction started in December 2011 and was opened in August 2013.
- In April 2014, the company CICT (Colombo International Container Terminals) started full operations. It manages Colombo South terminal - South Asia's first deepwater terminal with capacity to handle world's largest boxships. An USD 10 million project was started in 2018 to reduce the environment impact of terminal's cargo operations, By this project, all rubber-tyred-gantry cranes were replaced from diesel to electric-driven (E-RTGs) with no COx emissions. Also in 2018 was implemented the "Boat Note" plan to reduced paper use (previously 4 pages per export container on avrg). The new system is linked directly to Sri Lanka Customs.
- In May 2018, the Singapore-headquartered ONE (Ocean Network Express) introduced its new EC5 route that also includes Port Colombo. ONE is a container shipping company established in July 2017 as merger between K-Line, MOL and NYK Line. The weekly EC5 service (launched on April 23, 2018) links Asia with East Coast USA-Canada, with call ports Laem Chabang (Thailand), Cai Mep (Vietnam) Singapore, Colombo, Suez Canal, Halifax (Canada), USA (NYC, Savannah GA, Norfolk VA, Jacksonville FL), and returns eastbound - Halifax-(Suez Canal) -Jebel Ali-Singapore-Laem Chabang.
Currently, Port Colombo has 3 container terminals - Jaya (managed by Sri Lanka Ports Authority), South Asia Gateway (by John Keells Holdings) and Unity ("Colombo International", by China Merchants Port Holdings). As facilities and equipment, the port offers 4 Feeder Berths (serving small container vessels), 7 Container Berths (for large vessels), 14 Quay Cranes, 12 Super-Post Panamax Gantry Cranes, 4 Wall Mount Gantry Cranes, 78 RTGs (rubber tyred gantry cranes) and 285 tractors and trailers.
In 2018, Colombo was ranked world's top seaport (among 30 global ports) with highest container trade growth in 2018-H1 (first half) - 15,6% growth in TEU handling.
Port Colombo cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Colombo, Sri Lanka. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
The Colombo cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Colombo, Sri Lanka.
If you lose the Colombo location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.