From Left - Ikram Ghazali, Director - APL and CMA CGM for Sri Lanka and Maldives; Thomas Casutto - Chief Commercial Officer, APL; Nicolas Sartini, Chief Executive Officer – APL; Michel Azrak, Regional Commercial Director – APL; and Eranga Wijesinghe, Head of Commercial - APL for Sri Lanka and Maldives.
APL reaffirmed its commitment to contribute to Sri Lanka’s regional hub ambitions as the global ocean carrier inaugurated its new office premises in the business centre of Colombo.
APL, which celebrates 170 years of global shipping in 2018, said that Sri Lanka’s neighbouring economies such as Bangladesh and India that trans-ship significant cargo volumes via Colombo have continued to grow robustly, auguring well for Sri Lanka’s prospects as an Indian Ocean hub.
Colombo began container operations with APL when vessel SS President Tyler first berthed in Queen Elizabeth Quay (QEQ) in December 1973.Having served Sri Lanka for the last 45 years, APL expressed its commitment to keep sailing this voyage with Sri Lanka as she pursues Vision 2025; and builds her new port city to promote the country as a trading hub.
Sri Lanka’s Vision 2025 involves a trade policy revamp to enable an export-driven economy; and port infrastructure and services expansion to capture the growing trans-shipment trade across production networks in the East and markets in the West. As a global carrier, APL will support the course by facilitating market connectivity through reliable shipping services and solutions.
Customers at the new office
Today, APL offers six weekly mainline services including the Far East Express 6 (FX6), China India Express (CIX) and Pendulum Loop 1 (PE1) services among others. FX6 links Sri Lanka to the key European ports of Rotterdam, Felixstowe and Hamburg. CIX connects Colombo to Central China, South China, Singapore and the Indian ports of Nhava Sheva and Pipavav. Meanwhile, PE1 offers an extensive coverage across Southeast Asia before calling Colombo and then bound for the U.S. East Coast.
Going the extra mile for shippers, the carrier also pledges to elevate customer service experience through active engagements. In fact, APL was recently lauded as the 'Best Carrier for Customer Service in the Trans-Pacific Trade Lane' at the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers' 24th Award Ceremony in Sri Lanka. This award marks a vote of recognition for APL’s service excellence by customers and peers in the industry.
Sri Lanka sits strategically in the middle of the Indian Ocean and the Maritime Silk Road, making her a critical gateway for an efficient cargo flow within and beyond the Indian Subcontinent. Sri Lanka remains an important market for APL’s development in the Indian Subcontinent where APL has also started commercial operations in Maldives in March this year.