(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) marketing team traveled to Japan during the last week of August, to increase awareness and aggressively market the services offered by Hambantota International Port (HIP), in particular RORO which is currently the main activity of the port.
The HIPG team was quick to take the first opportunity that arose after the travel restrictions were lifted, to meet with the Sri Lanka Automobile Association in Japan (SLAAJ) and the Exporters Association of Used Motor Vehicles of Japan (JUMVEA) to promote HIP as an ideal transshipment hub. The leading exporter of used vehicles provided the team with opportunities to meet officials from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other senior officials. The HIP team met with Yokohama Port Chairman Shinsuke Itoh and port officials with whom they had fruitful discussions to collaborate with HIPG for RORO operations and related matters.
“RORO business has grown rapidly over the past few years thanks to the highly efficient services provided by the port and HIPG actively engaging with and working with shipping companies to move RORO cargo for transhipment through the However, we believe more needs to be done to position Sri Lanka, primarily due to our location, quality of service and cost effectiveness of using HIP as a transshipment point.We were very pleased to to see the reception we received from shipping companies and exporters in Japan which has been very positive. We did a thorough study before making the visit to identify the parties we should meet and discuss to achieve results”, explains Bindu Ranasinghe, Deputy General Manager, Commercial and Marketing, HIPG.
The team met with five shipping companies, including the three major shipping companies engaged in RORO activities, and discussed current business conditions, HIP’s potential for RORO operations and future plans for the port.
They also had discussions with used car exporters who expressed interest in transshipment via HIP. In light of the current challenges faced by RORO operators, the HIP team was able to convey the advantages and benefits of transshipment through the port.
Tissa Wickramasinghe, Chief Operating Officer of HIPG, said, “The main focus of the tour was to expand our business opportunities and the used car exporter segment is one of them. We observed the large number of vehicles exported from Japan to Africa and the Middle East and wanted HIP to look for opportunities in this area. The port has the advantage of having a large area of parking areas, which is not available in many other countries. This was a key attraction point for exporters and we are now exploring other opportunities to realize value added services at the port. Also, another new area of business that was discussed in detail was the availability of bunker services for ships passing through Hambantota. HIP will pursue this new business opportunity with our strategic partner Sinopec Fuel Oil Lanka, and bring more USD revenue to the country.”
“Our goal is to increase the port’s transhipment volumes, taking advantage of its strategic location, high productivity and quality of service offered,” the COO added.
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