Sri Lanka is currently undergoing some turbulent times. In line with our vision of a connected world, in which our customers trade successfully and make better decisions in every port, everywhere, we would like to provide you some details of the current situation in Sri Lanka and its implications to the ports and shipping sector of the country.
What’s happening in Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka, a country relying heavily on the tourism industry went through a sustained period of low foreign exchange earnings during the COVID – 19 pandemic, which exacerbated the countries trade deficit and put extreme pressure on its foreign reserves leading to debt restructuring discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The country saw shortages in Fuel, Electricity and Gas in the first quarter of the year. However as of date the situation has improved with bilateral credit lines being set up with friendly nations and positive developments from the discussions with the IMF. While there are still power cuts (Up to 3 hours per day) and shortages in fuel in certain areas of the country, strategic sectors such as the ports and shipping sector has received continuous supplies and support throughout this tumultuous period. There have been no disruptions in services at any of the ports in the country and the primary container port of Colombo continues to operate at full capacity.
Since March 2022 there has been large scale demonstrations against the government throughout the country. The protests have been peaceful apart from some isolated incidents in the outskirts of the country. Colombo the economic capitol of the nation has seen several demonstrations in certain locations, which have been completely peaceful. There have been no disruptions on ports and shipping sector activities which includes husbandry and marine services offered in Sri Lanka.
Is Sri Lanka safe for marine activities?
Yes. As detailed above there has been no negative situations or disruptions in the Sri Lankan ports and shipping sector. As the sector has been prioritized by the relevant stake holders and the public at large, port related activities are expected to continue without disruptions. There have been no cases of the safety of the vessels, its crew or service providers being affected in any part of the country. While special focus has been given to the ports and shipping industry to ensure normal service delivery, similar support has been given to the hospitality industry enabling crew to comfortably stay and travel within the country.
How can Inchcape assist you in Sri Lanka?
Inchcape is represented in Sri Lanka via a joint venture between Inchcape Shipping Services and the John Keells Group, the country’s leading conglomerate with an extensive presence in its ports and shipping sector. Inchcape in Sri Lanka has access to exceptional resources and local expertise to ensure smooth delivery of services.
We have given special attention to ensure crew changes are carried out with maximum safety and security of the crew members in mind. Some key points of consideration are as follows…
- Our staff are fully trained and well versed in local regulations and customs to ensure smooth service delivery
- We use hotels and transportation providers that are fully vetted by the Inchcape procurement team
- We use strategically located hotels in close proximity to airports and ports to ensure quick connections and fast turnaround
- All activities are monitored and backed up according to prevailing conditions to ensure no disruptions
- Much of the COVID-19 prevention restrictions have now been lifted in the country due to its successful vaccination program and therefore entry requirements for foreign seafarers has been relaxed. This means that the crew change process is now much more efficient and cost effective. For more information please do reach out to us at YOURISS.SRILANKA@ISS-MMS.COM and we would be pleased to assist.
In conclusion there is no negative impact on maritime services in the country and Inchcape is fully geared toward delivering smooth services at all ports and territorial waters of Sri Lanka.