SLPA/CASA rapport leads to improved co-operation
by Brian Tissera

A team from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority led by Additional Managing Director, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola visited the newly refurbished auditorium of the Ceylon Association of Ships Agents (CASA) to continue with the close cooperation and rapport built up in recent times. This joint cooperation has helped improve the level of cooperation even further, said Captain Ajith Peiris Chairman, The Ceylon Association of Ships’ Agents.

CASA is pleased at the improved close co-operation and rapport which it has built up in recent times with the Senior Management of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

The team led by Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Additional Managing Director of the SLPA accompanied by Capt. Ravi Jayawickrama, Harbour Master, together with other Senior Managers of the Jaya Container Terminal – Messrs. D W Atapattu (Chief Manager-Container Operations), K D Jayaneris (Chief Manager-Conventional Cargo), Upul Jayatissa (Operations Manager- Marketing) and S A Dassanayake (Operations Manager-Operations),

Jayantha Perera (Dpty. Chief Manager-Container Operations) and Nimal Jayatissa (Operations Manager-BQ), for the first time ever visited the new auditorium of the newly refurbished CASA Secretariat to discuss ways and means of enhancing Port-related services through co-operation between CASA Members and SLPA’s Operational Staff.

The meeting was chaired by Capt. Ajith Peiris, Chairman of CASA. Associated with him were the outgoing and incoming Secretary General of CASA Kusal Warusavitharana and Dhammika Walgampaya respectively. Also associated were over 25 directors and senior managers of leading shipping agencies that represent the many prestigious and reputed shipping lines that call at the Port of Colombo providing extensive worldwide services to our import and export trades.

The meeting was fruitful in that there was consensus among all on a way forward to improve the services to all stakeholders of the Port of Colombo for the overall betterment of the Sri Lanka economy. Those present welcomed more frequent such dialogue between the SLPA team and the shipping agency community.

What figured prominently at the meeting were the recent influx of increased volumes at a time of bad weather which resulted in some berthing delays and yard congestion. The issues were favourably addressed.

Issues relating to berthing and sailing programmes and the difficulties encountered from the agents’ point of view were highlighted. Solutions were suggested by agency representatives for the consideration of Port Management. There were emphasis of enhancing on present gantry crane productivity with a view to achieving faster turnaround of vessels. Agency representatives volunteered to be included jointly with SLPA staff to work as a team towards achieving these objectives for mutual benefit. On the subject of Inter Terminal Trucking, Capt. Keppetipola advised that a "Help Desk" has been set up manned by senior officers of the SLPA headed by S A Dassanayake (Tel: 2325926 / Mobile 077 770 4868) assisted by two Superintendants D M Dissanayake (Tel: 071 6810 880) and Mr. Anil Pushpakumara (Tel: 071 6810 880).

Capt. Keppetipola further mentioned that there are daily meetings between senior operations staff and the work- force of the SLPA with a view to harnessing their co-operation and greater understanding through which the Port could enhance productivity and customer relation.

In order to take this initiative forward it has been agreed with SLPA and CASA that similar meetings will be held monthly to ensure continuity of follow-up actions, said Captain Peiris.


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