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CICT named ‘Best Container Terminal’ for fourth consecutive year

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Beats terminals in South Korea, China and Indonesia to win prestigious AFLAS award in Under 4 million TEUs category

As the global logistics and supply chain industry struggles to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) has brought honour to the Port of Colombo by being adjudged the ‘Best Container Terminal in Asia’ in the Under 4 million TEUs category for a record fourth consecutive year.

The winner of the coveted award was announced on November 9 at the 2020 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) awards gala in Hong Kong.

CICT, which is managed by China Merchants Port Group (CMport), beat three other shortlisted finalists in its category – Busan New Container Terminal (South Korea), Dalian International Container Terminal (China) and Jakarta International Container Terminal (Indonesia) – to bag the award.

CICT’s victory at the Best Container Terminal Awards places it in the company of globally-respected terminals of the calibre of PSA Singapore Terminals, the Asia winner in the Over 4 million TEU’s category and PSA Antwerp, adjudged the best container terminal in Europe.

Hosted by Asia Cargo News, the AFLAS awards are designed to honour leading service providers including air and shipping lines; airports and seaports; and logistics, 3PLs and other associated industry professionals for demonstrating leadership as well as consistency in service quality, innovation, customer-relationship management and reliability.

“We are delighted to be crowned the best container terminal of our size in Asia for four years in a row,” CICT CEO, Jack Huang said.

“Besides the intense competition among terminals across the region, these are challenging times for all players in sectors linked to international transportation, and retaining our position at the top is a great demonstration of our consistency even in hard times. This award is, therefore, a valuable tribute to the entire CICT team, the management and all our stakeholders”, he noted.

“We are also grateful to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority for its support, and to our staff whose commitment enabled CICT to be 100% operational during the difficult time of the pandemic, minimizing the adverse impact to the port and the country”, he added.

The AFLAS winners are decided by a three-step process, taking into account industry opinions, and through nomination criteria and technical evaluation by Asia Cargo News. The shortlist of finalists is sent out to more than 15,000 readers to vote.

Huang attributed CICT’s achievement to the terminal’s persistently high levels of productivity leading to fast ship turnaround times. Nominees for the AFLAS awards are judged on adherence to criteria standards encompassing higher operational productivity, efficient turnaround of trucks delivering and picking up containers; provision of suitable container shipping-related infrastructure; cost competitiveness, customer service level and customer satisfaction; timely and adequate investment in new facilities to meet future demand; innovative operating environment, facilitation of ancillary services and ease of doing business activities; and effective and easy-to-use IT systems.

Leading companies in the cargo, logistics and supply chain sectors took home more than 40 different awards at the 2020 presentation at the Hotel ICON, Hong Kong.

CICT manages the South Terminal of the Port of Colombo, the first and currently the only deep water terminal in South Asia, which is equipped with facilities to handle the largest vessels afloat. Since its inception in 2014, the terminal has incrementally grown the volume it has handled; from 686,639 teus in 2014, to 1.56 million teus in 2015, 2 million teus in 2016, 2.38 million teus in 2017, 2.67 million teus in 2018, and 2.9 million teus in 2019.

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INSEE Cement continues investment in mason development across Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka’s leading cement manufacturer INSEE Cement is driving transformation across the local construction industry with significant investments in empowering one of the sector’s key stakeholder groups; the mason.

‘INSEE Sathkara’, a multifaceted initiative to develop local masons powered by INSEE Cement is shaping the mason of the future – a professionally, socially and financially empowered individual contributing significantly to the advancement of both the local construction industry and Sri Lanka’s economy.

“The INSEE Sathkara initiative facilitates empowerment and development through up-skilling, social recognition and financial stability, an all-round approach that has successfully nurtured a new generation of masons that are fast adaptable to industry demands through newly developed skillsets, knowledge and capacities,” says Jan Kunigk, Executive Vice President, INSEE Cement.

INSEE Cement’s approach is to build a certified and skilled workforce with recognized credentials to bridge a gaping skill gap in the construction industry. The program ensures sustainable capacity development for masons backed by National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in collaboration with the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) of Sri Lanka.

INSEE Cement also launched a Mason Apprenticeship Program to provide 120-day training opportunities for masons to learn on the job, preparing them to enter the workforce with specialized skillsets.

For Ajith Kumara Dissanayaka from Ambathenna, a mason for nearly 16 years, receiving all-round advancement through INSEE Sathkara has been truly life changing. “Five years ago, I was able to complete a course conducted by INSEE Cement and NAITA and received a Level 3 NVQ certification – my first professional credentials as a mason. This training gave me knowledge and insight that I had not received in over a decade of working as a mason, and it made me look at my profession differently. I improved my tile work skills, which also increased my income,” Dissanayaka stated.

This professional up-skilling has enabled INSEE Cement to create much needed social recognition and acceptance for Masons across Sri Lanka as a crucial link in the construction industry value chain. Mason Chats, Mason Meets and exclusive membership to the INSEE Concrete Society (ICS) has provided local masons industry inclusivity as well as recognition and rewards to encourage new avenues of income and entrepreneurship. Long-established ICS-member masons are also rewarded for their contribution to the local construction industry through ‘INSEE Garu Sara’.

To secure a stronger financial future for masons, INSEE Cement has introduced a comprehensive life insurance policy with disability, medical and accidental cover. This comes in addition to the pension scheme introduced to masons in partnership with the Employee Trust Fund Board (ETFB) of Sri Lanka.

“I joined the INSEE programme five years ago, and have benefited in ways I never imagined. The knowledge I gained about the industry, Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLS) standards and safety requirements have made me a better professional, and my clients respect me more because of it,” stated Ratna Ravindara, a mason based in Kandy with over two decades of industry experience.

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European ride-hail Bolt enters Sri Lanka

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Bolt, the leading European transportation platform committed to making urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable; announced its entry to the Sri Lankan market, with a pilot launch of its service in Colombo, on November 25, 2020 with over 2000 drivers ready to start accepting rides. Bolt pilots its services in South Asia for the first time with the launch of operations in Sri Lanka.

Committed to affordable trips and happy drivers, the company has announced that it will be charging drivers no commission for using the platform and offer fares 20% lower than other competitors, for a minimum of six months. It builds on being smart about how to grow the company, and focusing operations on efficiency, allowing Bolt to pass the savings on to customers, passengers and drivers.

Bolt has chosen to enter Sri Lanka during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis with the firm belief that people still need to move around in the city and doing its best to fulfil the mission to help them do so. Currently available only within Colombo, Bolt services can be accessed by passengers by downloading the secure and free Bolt app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store and setting up a user profile. Any person with their own Car who wishes to join Bolt as a driver, can easily register with the company through https://partners.bolt.eu/driver-signup by completing the relevant formalities or through the Bolt Driver App available on Apple App store or Google Play Store.

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Mobisec marks 6th anniversary as its future outlook remains strong

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International footprint with branch office in Melbourne

Mobisec (Pvt) Ltd, an innovator in the mobile application sector in Sri Lanka is celebrating its 6thanniversary since its inception in November 2014.

Over the years it has served hundreds of thousands of customers across Sri Lanka through its telco and mobile applications. Starting with humble beginnings as a start-up, Ashen Gomez, Founder & Managing Director of Mobisec has worked diligently over the years alongside his wife Sumudu, the Co-founder of Mobisec to build the company and expand its services in different verticals.

The company marked its first international expansion in the beginning of this year by establishing a new branch office in Melbourne, Australia. Today, the company is home to a dynamic team of over 30 software development experts.

Founder & Managing Director of Mobisec Ashen Gomez said; “since inception, we have continued to create applications that revolutionize the way people connect with the technology. Our prime focus is to provide smart and reliable solutions for modern problems our customers are facing and help them improve the quality of their lifestyle.”

Company’s product portfolio expanded further during this year along with the three brand new products that were launched into the Market. “Baby’s Diary” is one of the Android Apps that was added to Mobisec’s product portfolio in the mid of this year and currently the App has crossed over 10,000 downloads. It’s an all-in-one parenting solution, which contains a variety of options to keep track on the baby’s activities while shopping for all the baby essentials. Since its launch, the App has gained widespread attention and it’s shaping to be a game changer for all new parents in Sri Lanka.

“We are pleased to say that the Baby’s Diary App is the first and only Parenting App developed in Sri Lanka exclusively for parents of new-borns.The challenges and struggles for a new parent have never been addressed through out the past and that’s where we strongly believed that the concept of Smart Parenting needs be introduced to the Sri Lankan market”, said PrasannaDahanayake, Product Manager/ Business Analyst of Mobisec.

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