Shipping Agents confirm continuity of export import business
Despite several media articles in the recent weeks regarding practical issues faced by the shipping industry as a result of the currency crisis, shipping lines continue their regular services to the Port of Colombo, industry body CASA confirmed yesterday.
In a statement, CASA said in May the Port of Colombo served 236 vessels and a similar number is expected in June.
“Despite few omitted sailings due to seasonal volume drop, schedule delays as a result of congestion in other ports and global impact from the Shanghai lockdown the port has seen steady flow of exports from January-May,” CASA said, adding that it is in daily dialogue with all authorities to facilitate the trade and deal with all operational challenges.
CASA also confirmed that there is no such threat to stop carrying cargo, under the present circumstances and that we have made representations to the Central Bank to facilitate the conversion of rupee-based collections to dollars for remittance to shipping lines.
Meanwhile remittance of freight collected in dollars is being facilitated by the Central Bank. The request was that the shipping line be allowed the option to pay the SLPA in rupees from the rupee-based collections belonging to Principals.
MSC Lanka agents for Mediterranean Shipping Company confirms that they continue to have 20 services per week calling the Port of Colombo and continue to serve the export clients with space and equipment and facilitate import carriage and clearances.
CMA-CGM local agents state that they continue to serve exporters and importers with 12 vessel calls per week. In addition to exports and imports CMACGM also continue their transhipment and relay cargo movements to and from neighbouring countries via Colombo using common feeder networks.
COSCO Shipping Lines’ local agents inform that there is no interruption/omission on any of their services which have been calling Colombo. They continue to accept imports and exports in their services to and from Colombo while continuing to serve the transhipment volumes of the Indian Subcontinent through Colombo as one of their main hubs in South Asia.
Hapag-Lloyd local agents confirm that there are no restrictions in the acceptance of import or export cargo and their services continue to call at Colombo.
“There are challenges for availability of fuel for container transport in and outside the port, however all stakeholders are doing their utmost to keep the supply chain moving at its optimum.
“On behalf of our Members we would like to reassure the local trade of shipping lines’ best services at all times.”
“There are many improvements required in the shipping industry including urgent need for digitalisation of customs processes improved efficiency and also delays due to banking crisis. However, trade is being facilitated with all efforts being made to circumvent challenges,” CASA statement added.