Since taking over the management control of the international Fijian ports of Suva and Lautoka in July last year, Aitken Spence has increased ship crane productivity by 70 percent.Aitken Spence has also reduced berthing delays from between 12 to 18 hours to 0.50 hours on average while equipment downtime has been reduced by 60 percent.The substantial efficiency improvements were highlighted by Aitken Spence Maritime, Logistics and Cargo Chairman/CEO and Aitken Spence PLC Director Dr Parakrama Dissanayake, i n his address at the 39th Pacific Maritime Transport Alliance Conference held in the island country of Niue from October 28 – 31, 2014.
The conference t hemed ‘Our Pacific shores, the waves of possibilities’ was attended by 26 countries i n t he South Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.Marking the first-ever publicprivate partnership (PPP) by a Sri Lankan company, Aitken Spence entered into a PPP with Fiji Ports Corporation acquiring 51 percent 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 on 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 PPP 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 the 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.