- Article by Mr. Suren Abeysekera - Sri Lanka The Future Hub for Logistics(16th October 2019)
- 49th AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2019-2020(18th August 2019)
- Speech by the Chief Guest Mr. Mangala P. B. Yapa(18th August 2019)
- Speech by the Outgoing Chairman of Sri Lanka Shippers Council - Mr. Chrisso de Mel(18th August 2019)
- Speech by the Incoming Chairman of Sri Lanka Shippers Council - Mr. Suren Abeysekera(18th August 2019)
- EU - Regulations on Packaging Material with effect from 14th of December 2019(21st March 2019)
- 48th AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2018-2019(24th July 2019)
- Speech by the Chief Guest & the Keynote speaker Hon. Eran Wickramaratne(12th August 2018)
- Speech by Chairman, Mr. Chrisso de Mel at the Post Business Session of 48th Annual General Meeting(10th August 2018)
- Sean Van Dort confirmed as new GSF Chairman(11th May 2018)
- Speech by Outgoing Chairman Mr. Sean Van Dort at the SLSC Post Business Session of 47th Annual General Meeting(04th July 2017)
- Speech by Incoming Chairman, Mr. Chrisso de Mel at the SLSC Post Business Session of 47th Annual General Meeting(04th July 2017)
- Speech by the Chief Guest and keynote speaker Hon. Dr. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister, Ministry of National Polices and Economic Affairs(04th July 2017)
- 47th AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2017-2018(04th July 2017)
- Arjuna no-balls GSP+ benefit with THC move(15th May 2017)
- Competition Policy Issues HK Competition Commission SubmissionHamburg Sud-Maersk Merger(27th April 2017)
- US antitrust regulators raid Box Club meeting(20th March 2017)
- GSF report says radical changes to container shipping market need new solutions(15th November 2016)
- Sri Lanka shippers' Council salutes the Ghana Minister of Maritime Authority for recognizing the plight of its shippers.(30th September 2016)
- Reforms in the Shipping Industry(30th September 2016)
- 46th AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2016-2017(31st August 2016)
- Global Shippers' Forum Chief hails SL's strong competition laws(02nd August 2016)
- GSF announces plan to stop container surcharges(02nd August 2016)
- New container weighing rules: GSF says unjustified VGM charges are unacceptable(04th July 2016)
- Guidance on the implementation of the SOLAS VI Regulation 2 amendment(29th June 2016)
- Shippers Council ICC Transport Guideline(29th June 2016)
- Shippers Council confers honorary membership on Chullante Jayasuriya(04th May 2016)
- Shippers' Council says 'no' to additional fee under new IMO rules(28th April 2016)
- Media Release - 50th Annivesary of Sri Lanka Shippers' Council(01st April 2016)
- Sri Lanka Shippers' Council to celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year(04th March 2016)
- Shippers' Council Chairman warns importers of attempt to distort freight market once again(04th March 2016)
- The Sri Lanka Shippers council welcomed the single window concept implemented by the Sri Lanka customs(04th March 2016)
- Shippers Council extends best wishes to PM(21st August 2015)
- 45th AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2015-2016(09th August 2015)
- Shippers' Council expresses concern over Customs Chief's sudden resignation(27th May 2015)
- NCE organises awareness seminar on Sri Lanka's FTAs with India and Pakistan and proposed FTA with China(17th April 2015)
- GSF calls for rigorous monitoring KPI's for shipping alliances(24th March 2015)
- Private sector expresses concern over truck operators' strike at Colombo Port(18th March 2015)
- Sri Lanka Customs - Notice to All Importers/CHAA(09th February 2015)
- Guidelines issued by Sri Lanka Customs about Documentation & Examination Procedure at Export Facilitation Centre (EFC).(29th October 2014)
- Media Releaes: Sri Lanka Shippers' Council hails the Sri Lanka Customs initiative to facilitate exports(16th September 2014)
- Export Facilitation Centre – Container Flow(05th September 2014)
- Sri Lanka Customs Notice - Goods Clearance sms Service(02nd September 2014)
- Sri Lanka Customs - Notice to Exporters e-CDN(02nd September 2014)
- Trade Notice - Guidelines issued by the Director General of Merchant shipping(29th August 2014)
- Sri Lanka Customs Exports Facilitation Centre - Objectives, Process and its Benefits to the trade(15th July 2014)
- Sri Lanka Customs - Notice to Exporters(14th July 2014)
- Sri Lanka Custom's Announcement: Establishment of a Centralized Cargo Processing Facility at Port Access Road(03rd July 2014)
- 44th AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2014-2015(27th June 2014)
- Trade notice - Issued by Director General Merchant Shipping - Maximum Delivery Order fee(25th April 2014)
- Trade Notice - To be vigilant on exorbitant local charges by some service providers(01st February 2014)
- The Extraordinary Gazette on Terminal Handling and Other Charges(06th January 2014)
- Sri Lanka Shippers' Council welcomes the Budget Proposals on Shipping(02nd December 2013)
- Customs Notice Penalty Tables for late reporting and amendments to cargo manifest(26th November 2013)
- Trade Notice - A list of licensed FFs with DGMS as at 08/11/2013(09th November 2013)
- P3 Network Takes Shape [Infographic](30th October 2013)
- Trade Notice Sri Lanka Customs - New Gazette No 1829/39 of 27/09/2013(18th October 2013)
- Notice issued by Director General Merchant Shipping for non licensed Freight Forwarders and NVOCC Operators(26th Saptember 2013)
- IMO passes mandatory container weighing – but with a compromise for shippers(26th Saptember 2013)
- Shipper anger grows as more airlines weigh in with costly surcharge change(26th Saptember 2013)
- The Minister of Finance has issued regulations and Colombo and Hambantota ports have been declared as Free Ports(16th August 2013)
- Sri Lanka Shippers' Council Meeting with Sri Lanka Customs(26th July 2013)
- Changes to the Export Cargo Clearance Procedure(04th July 2013)
- Container lines band up to beat the blues(21st June 2013)
- 43rd Annual General Meeting 2013-2014 – Sri Lanka Shippers' Council(14th June 2013)
- Awareness Seminar on Avoiding risks on ad-hoc charges in international trade contracts(30th April 2013)
- Full Implimentation Of Sri Lanka Custom'S Asycuda World System(06th March 2013)
- New 20ft box design promises greater capacity for shippers(20th February 2013)
- Shipping lines cut capacity and up rates as Asia-Europe stays weak(18th February 2013)
- Sri Lanka Shippers' Council visits Mattala Airport and Magampura Port(09th February 2013)
- Container Ship Capacity Around the World Is Up 6 Percent(14th January 2013)
- Full time AW help desk to solve urgent operational issues is now in place at Sri Lanka customs(20th December 2012)
- Trade Circular 21:IMPORTANT TRADE NOTICE for all methyl bromide users(24th September 2012)
- SLSC Circular to the membership / Importers & Exporters(17th September 2012)
- Open Discussion - Issues related to SLPA's newly implemented Cargo Management Module(22nd August 2012)
- Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Circular: Implementation of the Cargo Management Module for Imports(08th August 2012)
- 42nd AGM Sri Lanka Shippers' Council 2012-2013(27th July 2012)
- Progress review discussion on Asycuda World (AW) Implementation(19th June 2012)
- Awareness Seminar on Regularizing Methyl Bromide Fumigation Procedure and Usage (01st June 2012)
- SLSC conducted Inspection tour to SLPA Warehouses (23rd & 25th May 2012)
- Online Submission of CUSDECs with blend sheets (17th May 2012)
- Sri Lanka Ports Authority Notice to all Exporters/Shippers/Forwarding Agencies (18th April 2012)
- Seminar on current status of Simplified VAT scheme (29th March 2012)
- Monitoring Procedure for fumigation using Me Br Incompliance with Montreal Protocol (26th March 2012)
- Advance Facilities to the Shipping Industry from SL Ports Authority,an awareness seminar organized by Sri Lanka Shippers Council (26th January 2012)
Article by Mr. Suren Abeysekera - Sri Lanka The Future Hub for Logistics
16th October 2019
In previous years, Sri Lanka was mostly used as a trading hub. Traders would come from different countries in the silk route and they would bring in their goods and some of their services that were traded in the Port of Colombo. There was less manufacturing of goods in the country that were exported except for the well-known Sri Lankan spices and tea.
Therefore, the focus has constantly been on developing the country as a maritime hub. At the Port of Colombo, the majority of container volume are for transshipments. Sri Lanka has taken this advantage as a maritime hub and Sri Lankan ports are increasing capacities to cater to the needs of this sector
However, in terms of international trade, the focus has shifted away from trading goods and services based on a maritime hub. The modern-day businesses concentrate on the speed of product delivery to their customers and how cost efficient they are in terms of their goods and services. Therefore, there is a supply chain that encompass raw material production in different parts of the world being shipped to another country for manufacturing and ultimately distributed globally in an effort to attract best cost and profit.
"If you look at apparel, whatever that we consume as apparel, the cotton starts somewhere in Africa or in India, the thread is being done in China and the material is maybe dyed in Taiwan or maybe in South China or Vietnam, and then the goods maybe produced in Sri Lanka for a brand selling in US or Europe" he stated, explaining the process.
Having realised the importance of transforming into a logistics hub rather than continuing to function as a maritime hub, Sri Lanka has now initiated several projects with this in mind. As Suren Abeysekera explained, Sri Lanka has four advantages towards becoming a logistics hub; location, connectivity, infrastructure and regulation. As an existing maritime hub located in the Indian Ocean, the country already possesses the ability,
space and the knowledge necessary to operate as a logistics hub. Due to the connectivity which Sri Lanka currently enjoys, all major carriers call Colombo Port serving various destinations. In terms of infrastructure, the ports, investment promotion zones, and highways which connect these places have enabled Sri Lanka to reach its goal as a logistics hub.
With regards to regulation, Suren Abeysekera said, "We are slowly going in the right direction with the introduction of hub regulation and the logistic hub concept already in place, helps Sri Lanka to reach its aspirations to operate as a fully-fledged logistic hub."
Apart from being geographically located within days from the Far East, Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa, one of the other most important advantages Sri Lanka has is its ease of access to India. One of the biggest markets with a population of over one billion, India presents a superb opportunity to the Island in terms of logistics services, be it warehousing, simple value addition, manufacturing, part assembly or shipping final products.
In terms of areas for the logistics hub, the Sri Lankan ports such as Colombo and Hambantota as well as specified bonded areas like Mattala Airport and the Mirijawila zone can manage manufacturing, minor processing and logistic value addition.
Meanwhile the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) in Katunayake and Koggala can handle minor processing and logistic value addition. Entrepot trade, off-shore business, front end services, headquarters operations are other activities fueling the growth of commercial hub concept in the country. Logistics hub activities also offer the opportunity for improvements in warehousing, value addition, as well as pick and pack.
"We have a conducive environment where the new legislation of the hub defines boundaries for the Customs minimal involvement in the operation and if you look at cost, we are approximately 30-60 per cent cheaper than the neighboring hubs like Singapore and Dubai depending on the product. Thus, we have the location advantage and cost advantage," he stated. Sri Lanka has the capacity to grow further in this space.
In the past five years, Sri Lankan Hub operators handled approx. 20,000 containers a month, out of which over 70 per cent is incremental business."We recognise that there should be additional controls in place that would leverage some of the environmental issues, but the concept is something
that we should clearly take to the next level for Sri Lanka to succeed as an export based economy," Suren Abeysekera stressed. The Council provides assistance to the committees appointed by the Ministries to draw up logistic related process and future development plans. The Council was a signatory to the National Export Strategy developed two years ago by the EDB in consultation with ITC. Within the Strategy, the hub concept is highlighted, and the Sri Lanka Shippers' Council sits in these stakeholder discussions and advisory committee meetings, supporting the development of entrepot trade process regulations. "Since this is a new sector in the country, there is a need to educate the public, the trade, and overseas investors in terms of its concept. We partner relevant stakeholders in these efforts.
The Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association and Logistics hub association are members of our Council, so we sit together and discuss their issues to support overall logistics functions in the country," commented Suren Abeysekera. "We feel that through the Global Shippers' Forum, and the other bodies we partner with, we should be able to have an inclusive attitude in terms of promoting Sri Lanka as a logistic hub, so that's what we aspire to do," he added. Suren Abeysekera also said.
"We also have another point of action in relation to the National Export Strategy, it is to educate shippers and those involved in the trade to build much needed capacity in logistics workforce which the country will require on its journey to become an integrated logistics hub". In this endeavor CINEC campus and Institute of Shipping & Logistics partner with the Council to award annual scholarships to deserving young talent in the industry. "These parties have been very supportive in terms of helping to build the talent pool so that there is future growth in logistics in the country" Suren Abeysekera commented.
The responsibility of the Government
"We feel from the Government side, there should be additional support to those who would want to enter into the logistics sector. The Government should step into improve the ease of doing business in the country so that new players will want to enter the industry swiftly without having to consider lengthy procedure and controlling laws. We also feel appropriate shipping liberalisation for international involvement and growth of industry is needed, particularly in terms of harnessing new technology.
Looking at the neighbouring liberalised economies one could easily understand various benefits this would attract to the maritime and logistics industry," Suren Abeysekera opined. Adequate dialog needs to be established on this point between those who are already in this space and those who aspire to come into the business including beneficiaries such as importers and exporters thereby creating an enabling environment for business.
"We also work with the border agencies such as customs and several other agencies in terms of trade facilitations. Because we want to see the industry go to a place where things happen virtually, we are pushing ourselves and our members to move into the digital world, and to support the initiatives of the Government agencies to go online so that there are adequate facilitations for trade and as there would be less intervention of humans, reduce corruption as well" he mentioned.
He emphasised that the country is taking steps in the right direction. He also commended Sri Lanka Customs, stating that Customs was "one of the main organisations who have led the race in terms of digitalisation and entered the so called 21st century and they are well ahead in terms of the ability to get into the next level. While we salute them, we work very closely with them to support those agencies."
The Council is involved in almost all necessary meetings connected to logistics and transportation in the country. From five-year strategy meetings to development of road maps and policies, the Council offers valuable advice and assistance to implement plans connected to logistics. However, the Council continues to lobby to address some of the pain points covered in this article.
"I must say, there has been good response from some of the quarters, but the challenges that are mentioned cannot be overcome within a month of two, so it will be continuous work that we need to do," he went on to say. "I know the previous Chairmen have done immense work for the Council to get to this place. The two Vice Chairmen and I will do the best to take it forward, but we recognise that it is an ongoing process that we need to work on diligently."
Source: Business Lanka MagazineNews Top
Solution by Nidro IT Solutions
All rights Reserved. Sri Lanka Shippers Council
C/o. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
50, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 2.
Tel:+94 11 2392840, 5588871, 5588880 Fax:+ 94 11 2449352, 2437477