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 Maersk Line signs MoU with SLPA/JCT

SLPA Managing Director, Capt. Nihal Kappetipola, SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Country Manager and General Manager-Commercial Maersk Lanka (Pvt) Limited Amal Rodrigo, Ports Development Minister Dilan Perera and Assistant General Manager Port Operation Mahesh Kurukulasuriya with other officials at the signing of the MoU.

Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipping line entered into a MOU with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Jaya Container Terminals (JCT) last week in Colombo.

Under this MOU, Danish carrier, Maersk Line's FM-3 service will be calling at SLPA/JCT from September 1, on a weekly basis expecting more than 400 moves per vessel.

SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B.Wickrama said "The efficiency and the increased productivity demonstrated by the JCT staff at all levels who worked with dedication and understanding to improve service levels even in this global economic downturn, has been clearly evidenced by the Maersk Line's decision to patronize JCT.

In terms of machinery and other resources, the SLPA is well equipped to handle the world's largest existing and planned container vessels and deliver unsurpassed standards of service and productivity to our customers," he said.

Maersk Lanka (Pvt) Limited Country Manager and General Manager-Commercial Amal Rodrigo said "This is a great opportunity for Maersk Line. After three years we again join the SLPA/JCT because at present we realize that the efficiency and productivity of JCT has increased and expanded so we can gain new experiences working with SLPA and JCT under this environment," he said.

SLPA Managing Director, Capt. Nihal Kappetipola said, "We are building a robust foundation for an everlasting business relationship with our clientele with SLPA and the investment we are making in information communication technology will mean better service for our valued customers, greater efficiency in the yard and increased productivity.

The return of the Maersk Line to JCT follows the attraction of APL at the beginning of 2009 and I appreciate the decision of the carrier to regard JCT as important in securing comprehensive port coverage in the region. I believe this will increase the value proposition of the Maersk Line's service offering in South Asia," he said.

Ports Development Minister Dilan Perera said, "This is a historic moment because Maersk Line again joined JCT. SLPA is now in a huge campaign to attract new shipping lines and this MoU is one of the successful steps of that campaign.

The Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapaksa always encourages us to sign agreements and join different parities such as Maersk Line."

The return of the Maersk Line to the SLPA/JCT is a clear endorsement by the liner community, of the current development landscape in SLPA, undertaken by the present regime under the directives of Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapaksa.

The Colombo Port Expansion Project, the biggest ever infrastructure development project undertaken by SLPA, will facilitate the increasing demand for the container traffic in the region, and the Hambantota Port currently taking shape, capitalizing on the local advantage of its closeness to the main East West shipping route, has largely contributed towards customer attraction.

The maiden call of the FM-3 service that provides weekly calls on SLPA/JCT every Tuesday will be on September 1 and the service follows a port rotation of Jawaharlal Nehru - Port Qasim - Colombo - Singapore - Hong Kong - Kwangyang - Busan - Hakata.

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