Sunday, June 16, 2024

India, a key market for Sri Lanka’s freight forwarding industry – SLANA chief

by malinga
June 9, 2024 1:08 am 0 comment 369 views

Swabha Wickramasinghe

With India’s status as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, it offers boundless opportunities for the Logistics and Freight Forwarding industry in Sri Lanka.

“In our pursuit of growth, we recognise the immense potential presented by key markets such as India, one of the largest export and import destinations for Sri Lanka and this area should be further pursued,” said newly elected Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Association of NVOCC Agents (SLANA), Swabha Wickramasinghe.

Wickramasinghe succeeded Harsha De Silva at the Association’s seventh Annual General Meeting on Friday.

NVOCC operators handle a diverse range of containers, including dry, reefer, flat racks, open tops, and ISO tanks.

“While primarily regional carriers, our operations extend to deep-sea routes, facilitated by special equipment such as ISO tank containers,” she said.

Wickramasinghe, the Director at World Link, said that similarly, Sri Lankan connections to other major import destinations such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, and the UAE contribute significantly to local import and transshipment volumes.

NVOCCs play a pivotal role in transporting goods to regions where Main Line Operators face restrictions, notably certain Middle Eastern sectors.

“Our entry into the Russian market, the second-largest buyer of Ceylon Tea, shows the steadfast growth of our industry.

“However, as we navigate through dynamic geopolitical landscapes, characterised by sudden shifts, we must remain proactive and resilient. The challenges ahead require our collective readiness and adaptability.

“While our industry predominantly comprises SMEs, lacking the resources of larger corporations, we rely on the support of Government authorities, and private sector cooperatives to foster an environment beneficial for business growth,” she said.

“In the forthcoming weeks, we plan to engage in constructive discussions with our members to better understand their needs and explore avenues for support.

“Our event schedule highlights our dedication to sharing knowledge and fostering professional growth through informative seminars and workshops,” Wickramasinghe said.

She said NVOCC agents being recognised under a separate licensing category was a

remarkable achievement for them.

“This milestone not only provides us with clarity in addressing pertinent issues with the authorities but also ensures the continuation of our operations under the right identity,” Wickramasinghe.

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