Having its existence dating back to ancient times, the Colombo port is among the busiest in the world. It is also the busiest and the largest port in Sri Lanka and it is mainly a container port that handles over 5 million TEU annually. Located in Colombo, it is in close proximity to the commercial capital with easy access to other logistics facilities throughout the country. The port has four container terminals and two under construction and it is a maritime hub for the South Asian region, handling cargo movement between Europe, South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa. The port also features a dedicated passenger jetty. The Colombo port receives over 330 different types of vessels every month, including cruise liners.
The terminals at the Colombo port operate 24 hours a day and are known to have the fastest turnaround time in the region. The port offers a wide range of facilities including feeder berths, container berths, quay cranes, super-post Panamax cranes, gantries, and terminal tractors and trailers. The port also houses bonded warehouses totalling more than 6,000 m2. The port handles almost every kind of cargo, including Ro-Ro, containerised cargo, break bulk, dry bulk, and liquid bulk.
The off-port limits (OPL) and the anchorage areas of the Colombo port are frequently used for services provided by Lanka Marine Services such as bunkering, crew changes, and provision of supplies. Vessels also undergo underwater repairs in these areas.
The Galle port is located in the southwestern coastal region of Sri Lanka, making it an attractive port for the East-West shipping route. Mainly providing facilities for pleasure yachts as one of the most active regional ports, the Galle port has four berths and 660 meters of quay. While the Galle port is the oldest in Sri Lanka, it is recognised by international yacht societies as one of the best yachting attractions in the world.
Although the port has limitations in handling large vessels due to its limited depth, it, along with its off-port limits (OPL), is used for leisure activities and providing other services, including those offered by Lanka Marine Services. Due to the close proximity of the Galle port to the East-West shipping route, embarking and disembarking sea marshals on vessels serving the shipping route is a common activity at the port.
Hambantota International Port (HIP) is Sri Lanka’s newest port which was opened in 2010 and it is situated only 15 nautical miles from the East-West shipping route. The port features a 4,000m quay, several berths including two dedicated oil berths, two breakwaters of 312 m and 988 m in length, and the capability of facilitating vessels up to 100,000 DWT.
Being mainly a cargo port, HIP offers an oil tank facility for bunkering services (Lanka Marine Services is the sole bunkering service provider at HIP), a Ro-Ro terminal for inbound and transshipment vehicles, and many other facilities. The low congestion and high availability of berths make this port an ideal location for conducting ship repairs and surveys.
As the home of the world’s second-best natural harbour, the Trincomalee port mainly handles bulk and break bulk cargo. Having a long history dating back to the colonial times (held by the Portuguese, Dutch, French, and the British due to the substantial size and depth of the port that provided safety to their vessels), the Trincomalee port is currently the closest major Sri Lankan port for vessels coming from eastern India and northern Asia.
The Trincomalee port features four multi-purpose berths with a quay expanding over 1,750 m. Its location, characteristics, and relatively low congestion make it an attractive point for receiving bunkering services and provision of ship supplies performed by Lanka Marine Services as well as for conducting repairs and maintenance of vessels.
Although the Kankasanthurai port has been kept closed in the past, the port has resumed handling cargo to some extent and restoration of breakwaters, piers, dredging, and other features. Located on the northern coast of the Jaffna peninsula near Point Pedro, the northernmost point in Sri Lanka, the Kankasanthurai port is the nearest to all eastern ports in India as well as ports in Myanmar and Bangladesh.