Digital solutions have helped South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) to meet the surge in demand following a sharp drop of transhipment volumes at the Port of Colombo in early 2020.
Shipping lines faced challenges due to shortages in vessel space and container availability and, in turn, terminals were expected to drive faster vessel turnaround times and assist in the speedy delivery of import containers.
To accommodate the faster delivery of import containers, Port of Colombo launched a digitalised import clearance process which SAGT was at the forefront of.
SAGT introduced a simple email-based process for the processing of documents and issuance of electronic delivery advice (e-D/A) which helped customers to have the convenience of carrying out their clearance activities remotely.
The e-DA initiative changed a decades-old process of physical collection of delivery documents at Documentation Centres run by the terminals.
SAGT followed up this initiative with an integrated, secure online platform added on to its online portal, e-Port, which allows customers the convenience of calculating charges and making payment online via an online electronic payment process.
e-Port has further extended benefits to the customer through the automated reconciliation of payments received via the online payment platform and real-time generation of the invoice via the system.
SAGT offers an automatic extension of the import container gate pass validity to 6am on the day after the gate-pass expiry in continued support of the import community.
In March 2021, SAGT became the first and, to date, only terminal in the Port of Colombo to implement the use of Container Top Safety Work Cages as part of the drive to create a safer work environment.
In a further commitment to enhance operational capabilities and quayside productivity towards meeting customer expectations, SAGT confirmed an order for two super post-panamax, twin-lift ship-to-shore (STS) cranes for delivery in March 2022.
The inuction of the ZPMC cranes in 2022 will increase the terminal’s quayside capabilities to five twin-lift and seven single-lift STS cranes.
SAGT also re-fleeted over 65% of its fleet of terminal tractors with the induction of 46 brand new Terberg terminal tractors during the past year.
Keeping with the global drive for a greener shipping industry, SAGT has embarked on a programme to convert all its diesel-powered rubber-tyred gantries to part-electric, employing state of the art hybrid technology developed by Yasakawa of Japan.
This project, which aims to reduce diesel consumption and thereby CO2 emissions by 50%, is scheduled for completion in 2021.