Transportation To / From The Maldives and Sri Lanka – FPS (Pvt) Ltd

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Mr. Gihan Nanayakkara
Chairman / Managing Director

When was FPS Sri Lanka established and who are the owners of the company currently? Are you also established with a branch in the Maldives? What does FPS stand for?

FPS, Famous Pacific Shipping Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a leader in the Freight Logistics Industry in Sri Lanka was incorporated and operational in 1999. FPS is a founding share holder and member of the FPS Group head quartered in Hong Kong. FPS’ network covers over two thousand Ports and destinations globally.

FPS is a member of SAS Holdings Group of companies specialized in:

  • Shipping
  • Maritime Security
  • Freight Logistics
  • Project Cargo Handling
  • Customs Brokerage
  • Warehousing and Inland Transportation.

SAS Holdings Group consist of 5 companies namely:

  • FPS Sri Lanka
  • Projects FPS ( Pvt) Ltd
  • Freightplan (Pvt) Ltd
  • Shipping Agency Services (Pvt) Ltd
  • Meridian Shipping Services Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

Yes, FPS has a branch office in the Maldives.

The Maldives is famous as a tourist destination, what about cargo? How is cargo in fact shipped into the Maldives? Is there a port available there? Is it done via transshipment? Give us some detailed information about how to get cargo to and from the island nation.

Maldives is a leading tourist resort cluster of Islands.

The development of tourism fostered the overall growth of the Maldivian Economy. It created direct and indirect employment and income generation opportunities in other related industries such as logistics, transportation and tourism related businesses.

Maldives is comprised of many groups of islands, known as atolls where the capitol Male (also the main Port) is situated 400 miles Southwest of Sri Lanka.

The main sea Port is in the Male Island, the capital city. The International Airport is on a separate island adjacent to the capital. Most of the cargo to Male is transshipped via the Port of Colombo. The subsequent transportation to the respective islands are effected on local boats mainly in break bulk form. In a limited scale SOC boxes are carried to the final point of delivery by barges.

Male is a heavily import dependent, with only fish as a main export product.

The Maldives offers a challenging opportunity to the logistics providers who dare to venture! We are one of those few.

How is the political relationship between Sri Lanka and the Maldives?

The government and people of Sri Lanka have continued to maintain excellent relationships in all areas where many Sri Lankan companies have established resorts and other businesses in the Maldives.

Sri Lanka and Maldives are also members of the SAARC group of nations with bi-lateral trade agreements between the two Countries.

The Maldives established formal ties with Sri Lanka on the very first day the Maldives gaining independence, 26 July 1965. Prior to which the Maldives had her first representative office in Colombo on 11 March 1906.

In Sri Lanka where your head office is located we understand that the government currently is developing a hub for shipping & logistics. Can you elaborate on that and give us details about the current situation in Sri Lanka and what ports are active.

At present in Sri Lanka we have 4 main ports which are actively operating.

  • Colombo
  • Galle
  • Hambantota
  • Trincomalee

As mentioned, the main Port in Colombo is the key hub to the Indian Subcontinent.

Colombo presently averages 5 million units per year. The new terminals that will be operational in the end 2018 will add a further 4 million units of handling capacity.

Galle is a traditional break bulk port, while Hambantota is the newest Port situated closest to the East/West shipping route, presently handling vehicle transshipment operations.

Trincomalee is the 3rd largest natural port in the world and is yet to reach its full potential as a break bulk hub of the region with her unlimited along side draft.

Can you give us some examples of cargo that you have handled into the Maldives, and/or into Sri Lanka recently?

Maldives Projects:

Project: Water project in Maldives in Hithadhoo Island. A British funded project.
Scope: Exclusive logistics provider for the projects. Packing loading, lashing, freight to Male, custom clearance in Male port & transport to Hithadhoo Island by Dhoni’s. We have moved equipments vehicles & pipes etc.
Volume: over 1250 mt containerized cargo & flat trucks.

Project: Miriandhoo Maldives resort (on going).
Scope: packing /storing lashing / forwarding & handling freight.
Volume: 875 mt containerized 20′ 40′ & flat trucks.

Project: Orivaru resort Maldives (on going).
Scope: packing /storing lashing / forwarding & handling freight
Volume: 2500 mt containerized 20′ 40′ & Flat trucks.

Project: Maldives Airport expansion project.
Scope: packing /storing lashing / forwarding & handling freight
Volume: 1250 mt containerized 20′ 40′ & flat trucks.

In addition, we provide weekly fixed day sailings to Male for LCL cargo. Our service includes clearing at Male port and delivery to respective final destinations.

We also provide multi-country consolidation (MCC) from Colombo to Male, Mumbai, Chennai, Tuticorin, Kolkata, Harachchi and Chittagong on a weekly basis.

Sri Lanka (current projects):

Shipment of 1500 LTL Transformers (Pvt) Ltd transformer containers to Ethiopia for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO).
Scope: Forwarding, export freight, customs clearance, transportation and offloading at 2 sites by telescopic forklift.
Cargo: Electric Transformers.

Wind Power Project in Puttalam.
Scope: Vessel chartering, loading operation at Chennai Port, local port handling, custom clearance, unloading operations, transportation and handling at site.
Cargo: Wind turbines and blades comprised of 41 pieces, with a total weight of 784 tones and volume of 5656 cbm.

Colombo Lotus Tower Project – The tallest tower in the South Asia region.
Scope: Supervision of offloading at Colombo Port, customs clearance and delivery to site.
Cargo: Heavy machinery, heavy vehicles, steel coils and rods.

Oluvil Port Project.
Scope: Total logistics from ship to the Eastern Coast by road.
Cargo: Heavy lift equipment and machinery.

Tell us a bit about yourself – when did you start your career in shipping?

I started my shipping career in the early 80’s with American President Lines and reached up to the position of Shipping Manager in Sri Lanka. During my tenure at APL, I was an executive committee member of the Ceylon Association of Ships Agents.

I ventured into my own business in the early 90’s. I was a founding member of the FPS Global group, served as an advisory board member, and subsequently held the Chairman position of the FPS group.

As of today, I work as the Group Chairman/Managing Director of SAS Holdings Group.

Gihan Nanayakkara
Chairman / Managing Director
SAS Holdings Group