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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

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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.

Aitken Spence Launch Brand Fiji Ports

11 Feb

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Aitken Spence-run Ports Terminal Limited which operates Fiji’s two main ports has been rebranded as Fiji Ports recently at an event attended by senior government and Aitken Spence officials.
Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who attended the launch commended the efforts by Aitken Spence PLC in honouring the partnership with the Fiji Government by improving services and operations at the two major ports in the country.
Aitken Spence entered into a public-private partnership with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Ports Terminal Limited in 2013 to oversee the repair and operation of the ports of Suva and Lautoka.
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC J M S Brito and Chairman & CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake attended the launch.
“It has been a wonderful partnership, it has been a wonderful collaboration which has the levy that had been charged on containers coming into Fiji being lifted now which not only has financial benefits for exporters but also for importers”, said the Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
“It also came as Government’s faith in Aitken Spence PLC, through the Public-Private-Partnership continues to be vindicated. Enormous achievements have been made by this management company”, he added.
Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, J M S Brito said, “We are pleased to show significant positive results to the Government of Fiji since our investment in the ports of Suva and Lautoka. We are exploring investment opportunities in hotels, power generation, printing and other sectors where we have decades-long experience and expertise”.
Aitken Spence Maritime & Logistics Chairman & CEO and Director of Aitken Spence PLC Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake speaking at the launch reiterated company’s commitment to stakeholders present at the event.
“When you have the right product, we can launch a marketing campaign to boost volumes thereby attracting new shipping lines. And when you have more shipping lines, you will have more capacity and when you have more capacity, the freight rates are bound to go low. This would boost exports and imports and generate more employment and enable Fiji to become the hub of the South Pacific”, said Dr. Dissanayake.
“In Sri Lanka, we say port is the heart of the nation. And when you have an efficient port blessed with the right location like Fiji’s, you would establish not only a maritime hub but also aviation and a logistics hub”, he added.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

Aitken Spence Enhances Efficiency at Fiji Ports

13 Nov

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Since taking over management control of the International Fijian ports of Suva and Lautoka in July last year Aitken Spence has increased ship crane productivity by 70 per cent.

Aitken Spence has also reduced berthing delays from between 12 to 18 hrs to 0.50 hrs on average while equipment downtime has been reduced by 60 per cent.

The substantial efficiency improvements were highlighted by Chairman/CEO of Aitken Spence Maritime, Logistics & Cargo and Director of Aitken Spence PLC, Dr Parakrama Dissanayake, in his address at the 39th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference held in the island country of Niue from 28th – 31st October 2014. The conference themed “Our Pacific shores, the waves of possibilities’ was attended by 26 countries in the South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.

Marking the first ever public-private partnership by a Sri Lankan company, Aitken Spence entered into a public-private partnership with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 per cent of the shares in Ports Terminal Limited in 2013 to oversee the repair and operation of the ports of Suva and Lautoka.

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing,garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.

“We are confident the private-public partnership would result in the establishment of Fiji as the gateway to the Pacific” said Dr. Dissanayake.

“We will bring in the global best practices in human resources and the processes in the system and also in the sphere of having the right machinery to having the right level of productivity,” he added.

The Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference emphasized the importance of safety and security of all ships navigating the vast Pacific Ocean for maritime transportation and trade within the region.

The conference provided an opportunity for port members from the Pacific Island countries and territories to share ideas, enhance understanding and promote co-operative approaches to the achievement of conference.

The conference noted that in order to improve safety and security, ports and infrastructure providers need to embrace a business outlook,with operation and service strategies that adhere to legislation and encourage improved performance.

Aitken Spence facilitates MS Europa call on three ports in Sri Lanka

9 Apr

The luxury cruise ship MS Europa, owned by German operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, called at the Ports of Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo recently with a total of 355 passengers and 280 crew on board. Aitken Spence Maritime is the local agent for Hapag-Lloyd, considered one of the largest container shipping lines in the world.

MS Europa, has been awarded the rating of 5-stars-plus for the fourteenth time in a row by the Berlitz Cruise Guide, is said to be designed as an “all outside concept”. Adorned with a 204 passenger suites, the cruise is considered as one of the most spacious cruise ships on the market and is intended for the luxury cruise segment of the German speaking market. Every year the MS Europa 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 Trincomalee, Galle and Colombo and have included the Port of Hambantota in their schedule for 2015/16. We intend in selecting Sri Lanka Ports for our start and end voyages, where the passengers will embark and disembark in Sri Lanka” said Lalith Witanachchi, General Manager of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka.
Hapag-Lloyd’s local agents Aitken Spence Maritime pioneers in the industry and are the first in Sri Lanka to undertake port efficiency enhancement management overseas with its entry into the African continent and then 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. With the Group’s involvement in the leisure industry, the company is able to offer comprehensive synergised services to cruise operators.

On MS Europa’s voyage to Sri Lanka, the cruise ship called at the Port of Trincomalee and Galle prior to her calling at the Port of Colombo on the 7th of April 2014. To commemorate her inaugural call a ceremony was held onboard at the Trincomalee port where the staff Captain Alexander Sokacic of MS Europa was handed a plaque by the officials of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka – Mr. Lalith Witanachchi and Mr. Chathura Nissanka. From Sri Lanka Ports Authority Mr. K. Nanathilake – Residence Manager Trincomalee Port also attended the ceremony to mark this commemorative occasion. [Ends]

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(L-R) Ms Syblle Hardegen -MS Europa, Chathura Nissanka – Hapag Lloyd Lanka, Lalith Witanachchi – Hapag Lloyd Lanka, Capt. Alexander Sokacic – Staff Capt. MS Europa), K. Nanathilake – Residence Manager Sri Lanka Ports Authority Trincomalee

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CINEC To Develop The Maritime School Of Fiji National University (FNU)

28 Nov

CINEC Maritime Campus which is the largest maritime training institute in South Asia signed an agreement on 17th November 2013 with the Government of Fiji and the Fiji National University, to manage the Maritime School of the Fiji National University (FNU) in Suva.
Minister of Public Enterprises and Attorney General, Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Fiji. Capt. Ajith Pieris President of CINEC Maritime Campus and Vice Chancellor Prof. Ganesh Chand of the Fiji National University were the other signatories. Mr. J M S Brito Deputy Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC and Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake Chairman, Aitken Spence Maritime and Jt. Managing Director CINEC were in attendance.
This is a further expansion of CINEC Maritime Campus which recently took over the management of the Seychelles Maritime School.
The management of the Maritime School of the FNU by CINEC, will fulfill a long standing need of the Government of Fiji to produce well-trained Seafarers from the Island nation. The Maritime School has courses up to Watch Keepers and with CINEC’s involvement, the School will be able to provide courses to the category of Officers and Engineer Class 1.
This is yet another landmark achievement in keeping with the objectives of the Government of Fiji to generate real growth in the Fijian economy by generating new employment opportunities.

Standing from L to R: Mr. J M S Brito - Deputy Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC;  Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum - Minister of Public Enterprises and Attorney General, Fiji; Capt. Ajith Pieris President of CINEC Maritime Campus and Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake Chairman, Aitken Spence Maritime and Jt. Managing Director CINEC.

Standing from L to R: Mr. J M S Brito – Deputy Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC; Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum – Minister of Public Enterprises and Attorney General, Fiji; Capt. Ajith Pieris President of CINEC Maritime Campus and Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake Chairman, Aitken Spence Maritime and Jt. Managing Director CINEC.

Standing from L to R: Mr. R G Pandithakorralage - Director/Chief Human Resources Officer, Aitken Spence Group Ltd; Mrs. N W de A Gunaratne - Managing Director, Aitken Spence Insurance (Pvt) Ltd /Aitken Spence Insurance Barkers (Pvt) Ltd and Chief Legal Officer, Aitken Spnece Group Ltd;  Mr. J M S Brito - Deputy Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC;  Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum - Minister of Public Enterprises and Attorney General, Fiji; Capt. Ajith Pieris President of CINEC Maritime Campus; Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake Chairman, Aitken Spence Maritime and Jt. Managing Director CINEC; Capt. Dr. Nalaka Jayakoddy - Vice President of CINEC Maritime Campus and Capt. Peshala Medagama - General Manager - Business Development, CINEC Maritime Campus.

Standing from L to R: Mr. R G Pandithakorralage – Director/Chief Human Resources Officer, Aitken Spence Group Ltd; Mrs. N W de A Gunaratne – Managing Director, Aitken Spence Insurance (Pvt) Ltd /Aitken Spence Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd and Chief Legal Officer, Aitken Spence Group Ltd;  Mr. J M S Brito – Deputy Chairman, Aitken Spence PLC;  Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum – Minister of Public Enterprises and Attorney General, Fiji; Capt. Ajith Pieris President of CINEC Maritime Campus; Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake Chairman, Aitken Spence Maritime and Jt. Managing Director CINEC; Capt. Dr. Nalaka Jayakoddy – Vice President of CINEC Maritime Campus and Capt. Peshala Medagama – General Manager – Business Development, CINEC Maritime Campus.