With Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) electing a new chairman and executive committee last month, the association is taking initiatives to support many development activities taking place in the shipping industry.
The Chairman and the Executive Committee of CASA met with the Chairman and the Management team of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) recently to discuss matters related to the industry. The meeting was presided by SLPA Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake and was attended by SLPA Vice Chairman P.G. Dassanayake, SLPA Managing Director H.D.A.S. Premachandra, CASA Chairman Ruwan Waidyaratne, CASA Vice Chairman Iqram Cuttilan, CASA Treasurer Shehara Jayawardena and other SLPA and CASA officials.
Amongst many other industry matters discussed, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake briefed on the expansion of the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) and informed that cabinet approval has been granted to increase the terminal length and to order more cranes which will increase the berthing capacity and make the terminal more efficient.
He further stated that the SLPA is taking initiatives to improve the handling of break bulk cargo in Colombo by addressing the issues relating to labour and equipment. He also stated that arrangements were underway to facilitate night pilotage in the port of Trincomalee in order to make the operations more efficient. More tugs will be introduced which would further improve overall productivity of the Port.
Commenting on the East Container Terminal, the SLPA Chairman stated that President Maithripala Sirisena and the Minister of Ports and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe have given a clear directive that the SLPA will operate the terminal and that the Government would expedite development and ensure that all required equipment will be ready in time for commencement of operations. It was also mentioned that a state-of-the-art passenger cruise terminal is proposed to be built with facilities to provide a pleasant experience to passengers as the SLPA are targeting more cruise passenger vessel calls in Sri Lanka.
CASA appreciated the recent engagements the Minister of Ports and Shipping has had with them and the commitment that was shown towards improving the port facilities.
Under the SLPA’s digitalisation initiative, CASA suggested that SLPA introduce an online platform to accept payments as well as delivery orders electronically. The SLPA Chairman whilst welcoming this move, suggested that CASA and SLPA work together on this initiative. CASA commended the SLPA Chairman’s proposition of facilitating a regular dialogue with all stakeholders to further improve the overall efficiency of the shipping industry.