ECONOMYNEXT – APL, one of the world’s leading container shipping lines, said it opened a new office in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, with good prospects to become an Indian Ocean hub.
“Sri Lanka remains an important market for APL’s development in the Indian Subcontinent,” a statement said.
The global ocean carrier said its new office premises in the business centre of Colombo is a reaffirmation of its commitment to contribute to Sri Lanka’s regional hub ambitions.
APL said 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.
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, APL said.
“As a global carrier, APL will support the course by facilitating market connectivity through reliable shipping services and solutions.”
APL, now part of the CMA CGM worldwide shipping group, 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.
PE1 offers an extensive coverage across Southeast Asia before calling Colombo and then bound for the U.S. East Coast.
“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,” APL said.
“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.”