Call to revive Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier

A call has been made for Sri Lanka’s flagship carrier to move more wholeheartedly back into the container business.

The Sri Lanka Association of NVOCC Agents (SLANA) has urged the government to convert Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) to a strong regional non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) operator.

Addressing the second annual general meeting of the SLANA earlier this week, chairman Captain A.V. Rajendra said, “Ceylon Shipping Corporation, which introduced containerisation to Sri Lanka in the early 1970s, due to various economic reasons, gradually ceased its container operations overtime. But CSC can easily be converted into a very strong regional NVOCC operator. It may be the only way to revive the national carrier.”

CSC currently owns two bulkers, a pair of tugs and a passengership, having sold its last boxship some 20 years ago.

Speaking to local newspaper Daily Mirror, NVOCC vice chairman Prasad Jinadasa said, “Being an island nation, we need to have our own shipping line. If we can’t go to that level of owning ships, the first step is to become an NVO, that’s to have your own containers and serve the regional ports, which include the Indian sub-continent, Middle East and Southeast Asia.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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