Mr. Hasthika Dela
First of all, Hasthika tell us about yourself. Are you a native Fijian, if not, which country are you originally from? How many years have you work in shipping and how did you end up as a CEO of Fiji Ports Terminal Limited?
I am not a native Fijian. I am actually from Sri Lanka and have been in the shipping trade for the past 21 years. I have worked in the areas of agency business, depot management and ports and terminals. I am currently seconded to Fiji, representing one of the largest conglomerates in Sri Lanka, Aitken Spence PLC which is the largest stakeholder of Fiji Ports Terminal Limited. At Aitken Spence PLC I hold the position of Assistant Vice President. My industry knowledge and the experience gained over the years were instrumental towards my engagement as the Chief Executive Officer of Fiji Ports Terminal Limited since 2014.
Tell us about Fiji Ports Terminal. What are the main ports of Fiji? Do you have regular liner services coming in? How about breakbulk vessels, do they call Fiji regularly? How about RoRo ships? What kind of crane capacity / lifting capacity is available in Fiji.
Fiji Ports Terminal Limited manages the two international Ports in Fiji, which are the Ports of Suva and Lautoka. Port of Suva is the main and largest port in Fiji. Port of Suva and Lautoka are blessed with regular liner services, break-bulk, bulk and PCC vessel calls. Both of these ports are equipped with shore cranes which have the capacity to lift up to 100 metric tons.
Fiji is located in the Pacific and is well known as a beautiful island. Tell us a bit about the industry and trade of the island besides tourism, what kind of commodities are imported/exported to/from the island?
Fiji no doubt is an exceptionally beautiful island nation, which attracts tourism from all around the world. Apart from tourism Fiji manufactures and exports garments, Fiji water, fish, cement, sugar, processed food and many other finished products. Fiji also imports many food products, raw materials and other essential items from overseas.
Is Fiji used as a transshipment hub for other islands in the Pacific or is cargo into Fiji mainly for the local market?
Fiji is being used as a transshipment hub by many of the shipping lines. This is one area the management is highly focused on for further developments.
Please elaborate on the ownership of Fiji Ports Terminal Limited?
Fiji Ports Terminal Limited entered into Private Public Partnership in 2013 where 51% stake was acquired by Aitken Spence PLC, Sri Lanka, and the balance 49% remains with Fiji Ports Cooperation Limited (Landlord). Fiji Ports Terminal Limited is managed by a board of directors.
Can you tell us a bit about larger equipment or projects that you have handled in/out of Fiji via your terminals?
The two ports are capable of handling heavy and larger project cargoes and we have handled such equipment up to 80 tons in weight and cylinders up to 33 meters in length.
If a shipowner would like to make regular calls or even a one-off call to Fiji who should be contacted to get a quote for port call costs?
Fiji Ports Terminal Limited is happy to assist any customer who intends to call at our ports. However, to obtain a comprehensive DA we suggest that they contact a reputable agent in Fiji. If the ship-owner/customer is not familiar with Fiji, we are more than happy to make necessary recommendations to suit their needs.
Are any freight forwarders established on the island?
Yes there are a few reliable freight forwarders available in Fiji who can provide all freight forwarding and customs clearance services.
Many of our readers like to take holidays (don’t we all), with your great location in the Pacific, what can you recommend about Fiji. I know from my very first honeymoon in 1986 when I stayed at the Sheraton Denarau Beach Resort that the island and the islands outside are wonderful, but tell us about your personal recommendations for visiting Fiji.
Fiji is a beautiful country and a tourist paradise. More than the hotels, the natural beauty of Fiji attracts the foreigners to the country. There are wonderful hotels located in the main and outer islands of Fiji. You can witness many global brands such as Sheraton, Hilton, Continental, Marriott and many more. It is extremely difficult for me to recommend any particular places in Fiji for visiting as the entire island nature is so breathtaking.