Colombo Kick-Starts Huge Smart Port Upgrade


The Port of Colombo will upgrade its entire IT infrastructure as part of its smart port transformation, according to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Sagala Ratnayaka.

The project is being initiated to ensure Colombo, the world’s fastest growing port in the first half of 2018, taps into the rapidly advancing smart technology market and retains its position as a major regional shipping hub.

“Transforming the Port of Colombo into a Smart Port is a timely need. This is a long-drawn process that will happen over time with rapidly advancing technology,” Ratnayaka said.

“But our Smart Port initiative will lay the groundwork for the longer-term transformation with the right IT and tech infrastructure.”


Port of Colombo 


It is part of a broader collaborative effort with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to accelerate Sri Lanka’s port development.

A brand new Port Technology technical paper looked at holes in the supply chain and how ports can help fill them 

At its heart, the US$ 5.17 million transformation will see the Port’s information systems upgraded to streamline terminal management and terminal management and cargo systems. It is due to be completed by mid-2020.

“There are many technical aspects to this,” the Minister continued.

“For instance, the upgraded Terminal Management System will include Gate Automation, Yard Automation, Quay Side Automation, Prime Route DGPS, Business Intelligence Tools, web portals and simulation tools.”

“In layman’s terms, this means Colombo Port will operate with greater efficiency and handle a greater volume of activities within a shorter period of time with the use of advanced IT and information systems.

“What we need to understand is that being smart is a mindset. Colombo must embrace the Smart Port concept with the right frame of mind.

“This is not about upgrading IT and information systems and forgetting everything else. Cleanliness of the port, the attitude of workers, its administration and welfare should also be geared towards the same transformation.”

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