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CICT named Best Container Terminal

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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 this 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 win the award.

CICT’s victory at the best container terminal awards puts 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 Mr 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.”

“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, minimising the adverse impact to the port and the country.”

The AFLAS winners are decided by going through 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.

Mr 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.

Written by leading transport and cargo industry journalists, Asia Cargo News is a vital source of intelligence for cargo, logistics and supply chain companies located in and doing business in Asia. The newspaper includes a range of in-depth features, news and analysis designed to meet the information needs of industry decision-makers.

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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DFCC Bank facilitates the continued growth of Sri Lankan SMEs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

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The unprecedented surfacing of the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting scar on the global population and economy. With no precise warning on the horizon, businesses everywhere were thrown into the deep end, and survival seemed uncertain during the peak of the pandemic. In Sri Lanka, a nation where SMEs form the integral backbone of the economy, the ill effects have been taking a heavy toll on businesses both fiscally and mentally.

However, we as Sri Lankans are resilient at our core, and with the integral support of frontline workers, officials, and essential services such as our banking partners, we set forth on a journey to assess, adapt and survive. One such story about perseverance through a valuable relationship comes from K.S.K. Menan of Star Food Store (Pvt) Ltd, and his trusted banking partner, DFCC Bank.

Emerging from humble beginnings, Menan’s story is one that inspires patriotism, and reaffirms the importance of giving back to your motherland. As a self-made entrepreneur, Menan was successfully engaged with the departmental store industry in the United Kingdom, when one day, he decided to leave everything there and come back to his home, Sri Lanka. He was on a mission to give back to the country that had given him so much, and that led to the birth of ‘Star Food Store’ in Kokkuvil, a supermarket equipped with all the necessary household essentials. DFCC Bank had been by his side throughout the entire journey until the opening of his outlet, and even more when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

“When Imoved back to Sri Lanka in 2016, the very first account I opened was with DFCC Bank, and with their support, I was able to open the first‘Star Food Store’ in November 2019. However, when COVID-19 struck, everything came to halt. When restrictions were relaxed, I faced multiple problems with bringing things back to how they were. DFCC Bank stepped in and gave me overdraft facilities, helped clear my cheques, and provided additional funds at a low interest rate”.

Today, Menan has been able to open a second Star Food Store outlet at Achchuveli in August 2020, and a third at Idaikkadu in February 2021. He states that expansion is the last thing most businesses consider during this turbulent time, however, the X factor that has allowed him to do this is his banking partner.

“The confidence an entrepreneur gains with the right banking partner is immeasurable, and I have been able to find that with DFCC Bank. They have always gone out of the way to ensure my venture’s continuity, from sending someone from the branch immediately if there is an issue with the card machine during business hours, or even understanding that loose change is important for a supermarket and sending bags of coins from the Colombo branch for business use. I now have plans of constructing a state-of-the-art shopping complex in Jaffna, and look forward to working with DFCC on this project”.

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Covid-19 third wave fears dampen stock market

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By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

The CSE witnessed a steep decline following worries over the possible outbreak of a  Covid 19 third wave in the country and the continuation of selling pressure for certain stocks in the market, stock market analysts said.

CSE investors worried over 52 new cases being detected in two retail stores at Pamunuwa and at a state bank in Colombo at the end of the April holidays. Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry warned of a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks, market analysts said.

  Consequently, the All Share Price Index declined by 2.9 percent and S and P SL20 dropped by three percent. Major companies sought after by investors negatively contributed to both indices during the day. According to  market analysts,  these companies  were:  LOLC (27 negative points),  Expolanka (19 negative points), Vallibel One (12 negative points), Hayleys (11 negative points) and JKH (10 negative points).

All Share Price Index went down by 198.39 points and S and P SL20 down by 93.89 points. Turnover stood at Rs. 3.7 billion with a single crossing. The crossing was reported in Ceylon Cold Stores (CIS), which crossed 60000 shares to the tune of Rs. 35.4 million, its shares traded at Rs. 594. 

In the retail market, five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were: Browns Investments Rs. 717.6 million (114 million shares traded), Expolanka Rs. 480 million (9.8 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 392 million (five million shares traded), Dipped Products Rs. 389 million (6.9 million shares traded) and LOLC Rs. 193 million (587,000 shares traded). During the day 197 million share volumes changed hands in 31305 transactions.  

Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer around 192/194 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Tuesday, while bond yields slightly eased, dealers said. Sri Lanka rupee last closed at 194/198 levels to the US dollar in the spot market on Monday. The Central Banks Telegraph Transfer rates stand at 187.93/191.97 levels below the spot rates on Monday.

Sri Lanka’s rupee has come under pressure amid money printing and low-interest rates, despite the worst import controls since the 1970s, observers said.

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SAT launches F5 portfolio to deliver secure digital experiences

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(At left) : Edgar Dias, Regional Vice President of Channels and Partnerships, Asia Pacific, F5. (At right) : Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

South Asian Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, announces its appointment to be a distributor for F5 within Sri Lanka and Maldives to deliver secure digital experience to enterprises.

The cutting-edge technology is a portal for delivering applications and data with greater agility, security, availability, performance, and scalability.

F5’s portfolio of automation, security, performance, and insight capabilities empowers customers to create, secure, and operate adaptive applications that reduce costs, improve operations, and better protect users.

“With the increasing necessity for digitalisation in the workspace, now more than ever, organisations need proven solutions to help secure their businesses. Adding F5 to our existing portfolio gives South Asian Technologies, a more omniscient opportunity to equip our partners and customers with best-in-class application security and delivery solutions. As F5 enables adaptive applications, the SAT team is ecstatic at the prospect of securing our clientele with robust security offerings that have a proven history with Fortune 500 companies across the globe,” said Sanjaya Padmaperuma, CEO of SAT.

Every company today is in the digital experience business. In the wake of COVID-19, customer expectations are higher than ever, as the experiences garnered are the primary way that people interact and transact with just about every organisation at present.

F5 helps organisations deliver and secure the premium digital facilities that customers demand by enabling adaptive applications which, like living organisms, will naturally adapt based on their environment – growing, shrinking, defending, and healing themselves.

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