The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) achieved a profit of 11 billion rupees (US$ 0.74 million) in 2016, a rise of 83% compared to the previous year. The achievement was particularly impressive given market challenges and the need to pay off debt and interest on the Hambantota Port project. However, the SLPA has reduced operational expenditure through efficiency measures and that has enabled the improved bottom line figures.
Another issue for the port is the inability of the Jaya Container Terminal, the biggest in Colombo port, to handle vessels bigger than 350m in length and 14m draft. This resulted in a potential loss of traffic of more than 500,000 teu, the port authority estimates. The Sri Lankan government says it is seeking investors in the Eastern terminal to try and alleviate the problem.