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Aitken Spence Maritime & Freight Logistics emerges as Integrated Port & Terminal Logistics Operator of 2020

4 Mar

Aitken Spence Maritime & Freight Logistics was adjudged the Integrated Port & Terminal Logistics Operator of the Year 2020 at the prestigious Global Ports Forum Awards ceremony held in Dubai on 26th February 2020.

The primary objective of The Global Ports Forum Awards is to recognise the most valuable contributions made by the organisations and professionals in different areas of ports and terminals industry.

This award category recognises ports/ terminals specialising in port logistics, enhancing capacity and productivity with sustainable and consistent growth, and providing value added, high quality of service for customers.

“As Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics service provider, Aitken Spence offers an unrivalled gamut of solutions to the industry and the region at large. Our widespread facilities, service excellence and experience add to our competitive advantages in the industry. The award further reiterates our positive influence in the integrated logistics sector and whilst we take pride in this, we will continue to set higher benchmarks”, commented Mr. Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime and Logistics broke new ground by becoming the first Sri Lankan company to venture into port efficiency management and container terminal management overseas. It was also the first Sri Lankan company to enter into an agreement with the Fiji Ports Corporation to operate the country’s two major ports, marking the first ever public-private partnership for a Sri Lankan company overseas.

Aitken Spence is a front runner in freight forwarding in the country, providing total freight and logistics solutions with offices in 15 locations including Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar and Pakistan. The company counts over 35 years of experience in international express services and represents global brands in Sri Lanka and the Maldives whilst representing cargo GSA’s of leading global airlines. Qatar Airways Cargo has been represented by Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka since 2011.

It was the first company in Sri Lanka to set up and operate an inland container terminal, Container Freight Stations (CFS), distribution parks, multi country consolidation, third party logistics, mobile reefer storage and quality assurance centres at the CFS.

The company operates the largest inland container terminal in Sri Lanka located close to the port of Colombo. Additionally, they also operate 3 three inland container terminals at major Free Trade Zones in Sri Lanka.

 

Hapag Lloyd Lanka sets industry benchmark for effective Environmental Management System (EMS)

28 Jan

Hapag Lloyd Lanka is the first liner agency company in Sri Lanka to receive both ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 accreditations

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Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC and the local representation of Hapag-Lloyd AG- Hamburg was recently awarded ISO 14001:2015 from ALCUMUS ISOQAR Manchester, United Kingdom. The scope of the certification covers Hapag Lloyd Shipping Agency Services at Aitken Spence Tower II, Vauxhall Street.

Hapag Lloyd Lanka also received the ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2018 and was re-certified this year. Hapag Lloyd Lanka is the first liner agency company in Sri Lanka to receive both ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 accreditations.

ISO 9001:2015 specifies management system requirements for quality and ISO 14001 sets out the system requirements for an environmental impact management and control. With the aim of improving its environmental performance, Hapag Lloyd Lanka obtained this certification for more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste.

“Hapag-Lloyd Lanka is honoured to be among the pioneers in the industry to achieve this valued endorsement that demonstrates sought after international quality and environmental standards. Our parent company Hapag-Lloyd AG- Hamburg is also ISO 9001 and 14001 certified across the global logistics chain and marine operations, commented Mr. Lalith Witanachchi – Asst. Vice President of Hapag Lloyd Lanka Ltd.

“Aitken Spence actively manages its impacts on the environment in a scientific and systematic way with over 50 diverse management systems benchmarked under internationally acclaimed standards including ISO standards for environmental and social governance. It has become a prerequisite mandated by customers and other stakeholders for businesses including shipping lines to be conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner. We commend Hapag Lloyd Lanka for being pioneers in this endeavour taking the decisive step to be ISO 14001 certified, which is keeping with the Group’s overall objective of developing sustainable businesses,” further commented Mr. Lalith Witanachchi.

Hapag-Lloyd represents one of the world’s leading container shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd based in Hamburg, Germany. Hapag-Lloyd is ranked the fifth largest liner shipping company in the world, operating one of the largest shipping container fleet and today ranks among the top five mainline carriers to the port of Colombo. Hapag-Lloyd currently operates eight services to Colombo on a weekly and regular basis using Colombo port as the Transshipment Hub in the region.

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, liner agency represents Hapag-Lloyd AG- Hamburg is a joint venture with Aitken Spence Maritime. Aitken Spence Maritime was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific Islands. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Mr. Lalith Witanachchi, Asst. Vice President, Hapag-Lloyd Lanka receiving the Award from ISO Auditor Mr. See Jong Tan (ALCUMUS ISOQAR) with Hapag-Lloyd Lanka’s ISO Team and Mr. Iqram Cuttilan Managing Director of Aitken Spence Maritime Sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime and Aitken Spence Travels boost tourism through Marella cruises

31 Dec

Boosting the revival of the tourism industry in Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence Maritime facilitated Marella cruises sailing their largest super-luxury cruise ship, Marella Discovery of the Marella fleet, to the Port of Colombo.

Marella Discovery commenced its voyage from the Persian Gulf and cruised past Cochin to reach Colombo and continued to cruise towards South-East destinations after visiting Sri Lanka. Marella is the third-largest cruise line in the United Kingdom, with a fleet of six ships. Marella cruises is a division of TUI U.K. and Ireland; TUI Group is the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide.

Marella Cruise line offers holidays around Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Marella Discovery is approximately 264 meters in length and 32 meters wide having 902 state rooms with a capacity for up to 2,074 passengers. The ship boasts many features such as an outdoor cinema, a rock-climbing wall, a mini-golf course, five-storey atrium and an indoor pool. Marella Cruises trademarks include a fantastic dining scene, a show lounge to rival the West End, and smart, contemporary interiors and a range of onboard activities enabling a wonderful experience for passengers on board.

Aitken Spence Travels was the shore excursion partner in Sri Lanka. The company offered excursions for over 800 passengers covering many locations close to Colombo, low grown tea estates, historical sites, Madhu ganga river safaris and tours across the city of Galle. The excursions are designed to create memories in Sri Lanka through experiences with culture, cuisine, architecture, heritage and way of life. Aitken Spence Travels is the leading Destination Management Company (DMC) handling majority of the shore excursions of cruise ships that call over to Sri Lanka. The company is a joint venture between Aitken Spence PLC, a leading blue-chip conglomerate, and TUI.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Aitken Spence Maritime promotes a high season for cruises with AIDAvita and AIDAbella

3 Dec

AIDA cruises luxurious vessel ‘AIDAvita’ at the Colombo Harbour

 

AIDA cruises luxurious vessel ‘AIDAbella’ at the Colombo Harbour

Continuing the momentum in the cruise ship season, Aitken Spence Maritime ushered in two super luxury AIDA cruise vessels AIDAvita and AIDAbella on the 10th and 14th November 2019. Over 1,100 passengers visited Sri Lanka and joined excursions to enjoy the Colombo city and other locations outside Colombo, such as Bentota, Beruwala, Akuressa, and Galle exploring the beaches, tea estates and places of historical importance.

The cruises commenced their voyage from India and Maldives to the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka and thereafter headed towards Port Kelang, Malaysia. These luxurious cruise ships are equipped with 1,000 cabins and suits; each ship with capacity to accommodate 2,500 passengers.

AIDA cruises offers cruise holidays around Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Hosting the finest combination of cruising, wellness holiday, city tours, breath-taking entertainment and experiencing nature whilst being one of the most modern and eco-friendly fleets in the world.

“As the local agents, Aitken Spence Maritime facilitated all aspects with the local authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that all passengers and crew members onboard had a positive experience of Sri Lanka, taking back fond memories of our island,” said Mr. Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Aitken Spence Maritime ushers in the first cruise ship for the season – ‘Costa Victoria’

7 Nov

Aitken Spence Maritime launched the passenger cruise season with Italy’s biggest tour operator Costa Cruises. The luxurious passenger vessel ‘Costa Victoria’ called Colombo Port on the 05th of November 2019 carrying 1,739 passengers and 790 crew members on board.

Costa Cruises offers cruise holidays to Europe, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Asian destinations. Costa Victoria is adorned with a stunning combination of Italian and Swedish design, with a capacity to accommodate 2,394 passengers in 918 cabins and suits. During this season, Costa Cruises offers cruise packages to West India, Maldives and Colombo on a fortnightly basis for those seeking to join the voyage from any port of call.

As the local agents, Aitken Spence Maritime persuaded Costa Cruises to continue cruise calls to Colombo, considering all precautions taken by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Navy and the Police ensuring the safety and security of all passengers.

The Costa Cruises will have 6 vessels between November and December 2019 to the Port of Colombo. This operation will act as a key influencer for tourism, paving the way for other cruise operators to call at Sri Lankan Ports.

There are over 700 passengers engaging in excursions to enjoy the city and immediate locations of Sri Lanka such as the Colombo heritage walk, exploring the city of Galle, Kandy and key places of historical interests.

“We are delighted to begin the passenger cruise season by facilitating the first vessel Costa Victoria. Aitken Spence Maritime has been aggressively promoting cruise calls to Colombo and are expecting several cruise operators in the following weeks. It is also inspiring for the team to see their efforts materialise. Aitken Spence Maritime will continue to offer comprehensive, synergised services to cruise operators that in turn will boost tourism in the country,” said Mr. Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of the Aitken Spence Maritime sector.

Aitken Spence Maritime is a pioneer in the industry and was the first Sri Lankan company to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from shipping and cargo handling services, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Aitken Spence Maritime facilitates the first cruise ship to call on Sri Lankan ports following the April aftermath

6 Jun

The luxury cruise ship “MS EUROPA 2”, owned by German operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten Hamburg, recently called on the Ports of Hambantota and Colombo with 309 passengers and 356 crew onboard. Aitken Spence Maritime is the agent in Sri Lanka for Hapag-Lloyd which is one of the largest container shipping lines in the world.  MS Europa and MS Europa 2 are the only cruise ships in the world classified with 5-star rating by the legendary Berlitz Cruise Guide. MS Europa 2 is regarded as the new jewel of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet.

“We are extremely delighted that Aitken Spence Maritime facilitated the first cruise ship to call on two Ports of Sri Lanka after the unfortunate incidents that took place in April 2019. It is also encouraging for the team to see their efforts materialise and with the Group’s active involvement in the leisure industry, the company will continue to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators,” said Iqram Cuttilan, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Maritime.

“Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten having made frequent calls to Trincomalee, Hambantota, Galle and Colombo will also include their ships in its schedule for 2019/20. In fact, Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten has selected Sri Lankan Ports as the beginning and end of their voyages, enabling passengers to embark and disembark in Sri Lanka,” said Lalith Witanachchi, Assistant Vice President of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka.

Hapag-Lloyd’s local agent, Aitken Spence Maritime, is a pioneer in the industry and was the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African Continent and subsequently the South Pacific Islands. The company handles all areas of maritime services – from ship agents and cargo handlers, to liner agency, cruise vessel, port management and development, chartering services and maritime education.

Marella Discovery makes her maiden call to Colombo

27 Dec



Super luxury passenger vessel M.V. Marella Discovery of Marella Cruises with 1,732 passengers and 764 crew on board made her maiden call at the Port of Colombo in December 2018.

In order to mark the maiden call of the vessel at the Port of Colombo plaque exchanges were held between the Master of the vessel, SLPA, local agents – Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd and travel operator – Aitken Spence Travels Ltd.

On behalf of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Capt. Athula Hewavitharana – Managing Director exchanged plaques with the Master of Marella Discovery – Capt. Christopher N. Dodds. Mr. Iqram Cuttilan – Managing Director of Aitken Spence Shipping and Mr. Nalin Jayasundera – Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels exchanged plaques with the Master on behalf of the Aitken Spence Group subsidiaries.

Expressing views at the occasion, the Managing Director of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) – Capt. Athula Hewavitharana said that the Port of Colombo was honoured by the presence of Marella Discovery in Colombo.

Marella Cruises (formerly Thomson Cruises) is a British cruise line offering cruise holidays around Europe, the Caribbean and Asia. Marella Discovery is approximately 264 meters in length and 32 meters wide having 902 state rooms with a capacity to accommodate up to 2,074 passengers. The excursions organised by Aitken Spence Travels had over 1,000 passengers joining in to enjoy the city and immediate locations of Sri Lanka such as the Colombo heritage walk, exploring the city of Galle and Sri Lankan river safari.

Marella Discovery commenced its voyage from Europe calling at Italy, Crete and moving onto Egypt, Jordan, Oman, U.A.E. and several ports in India on her way to Sri Lanka and will thereafter cruise towards Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The vessel that cruised under the flag of Malta called Colombo from Cochin, India and Sabang, Indonesia is her next port of call.

Established in 1868, Aitken Spence PLC marks its 150th anniversary. The Company has grown to great heights, especially with the diversification of the company in 2004 into non-traditional areas. The Company’s involvement in port efficiency enhancement projects in new markets has helped to successfully pursue a long-term directional shift from being service-related to becoming an investment-driven operation.

Fiji Ports Terminal wins Fiji Business Excellence Award for 2018

20 Dec


Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd. is the proud winner of Fiji Business Excellence Awards this year which was given away at a gala ceremony held at Sheraton Fiji resort in Denarau Fiji, last month by the President of the Republic of Fiji Islands Maj. Gen. (Retd) Jioji Konusi Konrote in the presence of a host of high ranking government officials and business leaders.

Aitken Spence PLC has a 51% shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd. which was acquired under a public private partnership venture with Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd. of Fiji Islands. Aitken Spence PLC entered into the first ever public private partnership abroad by a Sri Lankan company when it acquired a controlling shareholding in Fiji Ports Terminals Ltd (FPTL) in 2013 and signed a 15-year concession agreement to manage Suva and Lautoka international ports in Fiji. Aitken Spence Ports International Ltd. provides the management expertise to FPTL.

Fiji Ports Terminal Ltd. CEO Hasthika Bandara Dela received the award on behalf of FPTL. He stated that this was a team effort amongst all members of the staff which was the key to FPTL being very progressive and achieving this award. He thanked the members of the staff of FPTL as well as the Board of Directors for their valuable contribution. He also stated that FPTL had been working hard over the last five years to put together processes and systems to ensure that higher efficiency and productivity levels were achieved while drastically improving the turnaround times of the vessels. This has resulted in more vessel calls, with higher export and import volumes assisting the economy of Fiji.

The President’s Business Excellence Award, is the highest award which is only awarded to organisations that have attained excellent organisational performance levels and are demonstrably world class organisations.

Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd is a pioneer in the industry as it provides import and export container handling services to some of the leading container carriers in the world, handling transhipment cargo, and the servicing of passenger cruise vessels, car carriers and casual callers. The port management segment operates and manages two main ports in Fiji whilst the port management segment manages cargo operations and equipment in the port of Nacala in Mozambique.

Established in 1868, Aitken Spence PLC marks its 150th anniversary. The Company has grown to great heights, especially with the diversification of the company in 2004 into non-traditional areas. The Company’s involvement in port efficiency enhancement projects in new markets has helped to successfully pursue a long-term directional shift from being service-related to becoming an investment-driven operation.

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Walks Away with Best Customer Service Award at 22nd ICS Awards

27 Feb
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Mr. Russell Diaz, Assistant General Manager – Hapag Lloyd Lanka receiving the award

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC and the local representation of German operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten was awarded the “Best Customer Service” laurel for the Europe sector at the recently concluded awards ceremony organized by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers – UK (Sri Lanka branch). The win comes following a similar achievement at the previous year’s ceremony, where Hapag-Lloyd Lanka won the award for the US sector.

The ceremony which was held in Colombo on the 19th of February marked the 22nd installment of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) awards. The ICS founded in London back in 1911, received the Royal Charter in 1921 and is a body fundamentally dedicated towards the promotion of professionalism in the international maritime industry through shipping education and training.

Fourteen shipping lines vied for the awards and Hapag-Lloyd Lanka walked away with one of the most lucrative awards. On behalf of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, Russell Diaz, Assistant General Manager – Hapag-Lloyd Lanka received the award from Chief Guest – Hon. Karu Jayasuria, Speaker of Parliament. The ceremony was graced by many dignitaries including Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Ports and Shipping alongside Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, Minister of Public Enterprises and Development.

Aitken Spence Facilitates Cruise Ship Call on All Four Ports in Sri Lanka

30 Jan

csm_EUROPA2_f1-EUROPA_2_Aussenmotiv_81efd60944

For the first time in Sri Lanka a cruise ship has made calls on the four main ports of Sri Lanka. The Luxury Cruise Ship Ms Europa 2 owned by German Operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten called on the 29th, 30th and 31st January 2016 to the Ports of Galle, Colombo, Hambantota respectively and have arrived at the Port of Trincomalee on the 1st of February 2016.

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka which is a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC is the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd, a top five global container operator. During her stay in Colombo on the 30th January 2016 at the request of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the local agent Hapag-Lloyd Lanka carried out a full passenger turnaround in Colombo on 30th January 2016 which included, embarking and disembarking a total of 740 passengers.

Ms Europa 2 is a newly designed luxury cruise ship, which is considered as one of the most spacious cruise ships on the market. Every year the Ms Europa 2 sets sail on its journey around the World to visit Ports that are unreachable by other ships due to its size.

Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten has decided to have more frequent callers to Colombo, Galle, Trincomalee and Hambantota and are scheduled to call all four Ports in Sri Lanka in 2017/18. A full passenger turnaround is once again scheduled to take place in 2017 and as well as in 2018.

On April 7th 2015 Ms Europa, the sister ship of Ms Europa 2, called the Ports of Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo.