GAC Sri Lanka expands to meet rising shipping demand

Monday, 3 December 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

GAC Sri Lanka, which won the GAC Group Chairman’s award for 2011, is expanding to meet rising shipping demand. Established since 1956, GAC is a global leading provider of integrated shipping, logistics, marine and related services worldwide GAC’s 9,000 people are found in nearly 300 offices worldwide with regional offices in Houston, Cairo, Dubai and Singapore and Cooperate Headquarters in Dubai.

As the demand for ship supply services off Sri Lanka grows, so too has GAC Sri Lanka. The company has moved into new, bigger premises at Galle and Trincomalee and opened a new branch in Hambantota to accommodate increased maritime activities and better meet its customers’ needs.

Director/Chief Executive Officer Preethilal Fernando said: “The strategic location of Galle Port at the southern tip of the country offers an excellent base for offshore ship supply services. Demand for such services is set to grow as the government opens up more areas for oil and gas exploration. The call for more LPG imports and exports of clean products in the Indian Subcontinent has also resulted in a rise in the demand for ship-to-ship transfer services.

“Furthermore, there has been an increase in the movement of security personnel at Galle due to growing concerns about sea crime in the Indian Ocean. It is to better cater to the increased demand that we moved to our new, bigger base in Galle.”

The new office, located near the new highway connecting Galle and Colombo, has helped to reduce the transfer time between the port and Colombo airport by more than three hours. Its close proximity to the local authorities also helps reduce clearance times.

Its operations are supported by GAC’s own fleet of vehicles, including environmentally-friendly hybrid cars, as well as a fleet of steel hulled, fully air-conditioned launches, which operates round-the-clock to manage crew changes, deliver spares, provisions and mail, and to respond to emergency situations.

The country’s newest port, Hambantota, is home to GAC Sri Lanka’s latest office. Hambantota encompasses shipbuilding, ship repair, warehousing and bunkering facilities. Its location on the south-east of the island makes it an ideal option for ships plying the busy international shipping lanes to and from the Far East. The company now operates from all Sri Lankan ports.

Preethilal said: “GAC is one of the first companies to provide agency and bunker services at Hambantota from our offices in Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee. Having our own office at every port gives us greater control, enabling us to provide our customers with enhanced service, faster response and greater cost efficiency.”

Established in 1991, GAC Sri Lanka offers a full range of ship agency and related services, and handles all types of port calls, vessels and cargoes. It covers all ports, terminals, anchorages, holding areas and repair yards throughout the country.