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19th June 2012

Progress review discussion on Asycuda World (AW) Implementation

The Asycuda World system will be completely successful only when the trade cooperates fully with the Customs by sending their import export documentation electronically, said Dr Tharaka Mahaulpotha, of Sri Lanka Customs IT Division on Tuesday.

"When documents are handed over in the form of 'hard copy', the process has to go through a long procedure defeating the objective of achieving the goal of minimum paperwork.

No matter how the documentation comes, as a government entity, the Customs cannot afford to let the export shipments to suffer," Dr Tharaka pointed out.

The Customs official was addressing a meeting between the trade and the Customs Department led by Dr Neville Gunawardena, Director General of Customs to help the Customs to get a feedback from the trade regarding the progress of Asycuda World (AW) implementation and its further developments.

The objective of the meeting was to facilitate trade more effectively and to create a better platform to address the issues and arrive at workable solutions.

Expressing his views on the implementation of Asycuda World, Customs Chief Dr. Neville Gunawardena said that it was the latest automation system being used. Asycuda World had a number of features the Asycuda Plus Plus system did not have. The main feature was that the CUSDECS of all communications could be done through the web which was not available with the previous systems, said Dr. Gunawardena.

"The other advantage is this is a system being used in more than 80 countries, especially small nations. However, today even the developed countries are looking at Asycuda as they feel that this would be a great advantage as global service providers. One country's export CUSDEC becomes the import CUSDEC of another country.

A day would come where CUSDEC will be prepared only once. That is the ultimate goal. But to do that we will have to develop our own system with the idea of interfacing these in the future between the countries," he said.

Dr. Gunawardena observed that the Customs was beginning to implement the Asycuda World and there were a few areas to be completed. It was started with motor vehicle imports and had moved on to exports. "I'm glad to note that the support we got from the trading community was very encouraging despite a few hiccups," he said. He noted that the present position was that Customs had completed the motor vehicle import area and the normal export area.

There was a small delay in BOI, otherwise the system would have been half way through, he said. "According to our schedules, the Long Room will be shifted to the new building by July 15. By then we would have completed the sea cargo area and then we will move on to the air cargo sector.

Our country, unlike Singapore, has various issues like telecommunication problems. So what I have emphasized on our staff is to ensure that once started let there be no room for people to say that it's a failure, said the Customs chief.

He stressed the importance of getting the cooperation of all involved in to go ahead with the common interest of reducing the paperwork to the maximum possible level. He also expressed confidence that by the end of the year, Sri Lanka Customs would have a very successful automation system for all importers and exporters.

Commenting on the new developments, Dinesh De Silva, Vice Chairman of the Shippers' Council observed that the authorities alone could not make it a success. "The trade also must cooperate. The Shippers' Council is taking every effort to facilitate that process, for, when the process becomes a success all stakeholders in the import export trade will be winners," he said. [email protected]

Progress review discussion on Asycuda World (AW) Implementation

MV Asian Legend Calls Hambantota

The mega car carrier MV Asian Legend belonging to Hyundai Glovis Co. Ltd, the local agent for which are Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd., called at Hambantota port to transship 998 units that were brought there at a previous consignment. The vessel also brought two remote controlled mega machinery units as a local consignment to be utilized at the Mattala Airport Construction Project.

Plans To Acquire Warehousing For General Cargo In Peliyagoda

Initiatives are underway to acquire warehousing facilities for general cargo in the Peliyagoda area to enhance the capacity for de-stuffing of LCL containers without delay, says D. W. Atapattu, Director Logistics, Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

"Peliyagoda cargo village is expected to be initially opened by the end of this year and gradual phased development is expected to eventually reduce the heavy traffic at the Colombo port," said the port official elaborating on the expansion work that is taking place at the Colombo Port.Atapattu was responding to the concerns raised by member Associations of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce visiting the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) recently. On the proper handling of cargo, Atapattu said that in the long run a separate domestic import yard and a cargo village with increased accessibility and mobility would be built in the Peliyagoda warehouse complex. However, Dangerous Cargo and Multi Country Consolidation (MCC) cargo operations would continue to be routed to the warehouses inside the Port premises, he added.

According to Mr. Atapattu, Colombo port receives approximately 2,000 Twenty feet Equivalent Units (TEUs) of Lesser than Container Load (LCL) cargo containers and 1400 TEUs MCC cargo containers a month for port operations. As a step to expedite the workings of the Colombo Port, the management plans to purchase additional equipment; two top lifters and nine fork lifters are an absolute necessity to expedite the day to day workings at the Port. The member Associations of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce had an opportunity to inspect facilities available at the SLPA warehouses, check documentation and observe the payments protocols at the Canal Yard Office. The visit was organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce as a part of its trade facilitation initiative.

Whilst the chamber members suggested improvements, the SLPA informed the participants of some of the common mistakes done by importers and exporters which could be minimized by creating awareness, and thereby make the services rendered by the SLPA more efficient. One of the main concerns that were raised was the lack of care and proper handling of the cargo. The Director Logistics highlighted some of the key factors that have to be kept in mind by both importers and exporters:

Certain cargo types should not be mixed. For example, a consignment of milk powder should not be shipped together with aromatic substances

Cargo that can potentially damage other cargo should be shipped separately

When shipping a same product consignment to a number of consignees, the goods must be clearly marked and separated making it easy to identify the goods separately

The cargo should clearly indicate the name of the consignee

Attention has to be paid to the manner in which a container is loaded and packed

Containers have to be stuffed in a manner that does not damage the goods transported

Proper stuffing of a container will reduce the time spend de-stuffing and thereby save much time that sometimes lead to port congestions due to de-stuffing badly stuffed containers. Another positive change that was introduced to the Colombo Port was the NAVIS system which has computerized the import procedure. In the near future the complete documentation process at the Port will be mechanized minimizing errors and also considerably expediting the import and export process.

The warehouses are also on 24 hour CCTV monitoring ensuring best care and ensuring safety of the goods that are in the warehouses.

Commenting on the visit, Dinesh De Silva, Vice Chairman of the Shippers' Council said, "the visit was certainly useful and gave the participants the operational aspects of SLPA in depth. The learning of the visit is really beneficial for all to understand the effects on importers/exporters due to bad consolidation of cargo at origin, bad stuffing and use of inferior packing materials which damages the valuable cargo and finally creating delivery delays at SLPA."

Document Registration In Three Minutes: CCC

The approximate time taken to register a document with the Commercial Documents Registration Division (CDRD) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) is only three minutes, says a spokesman for the Chamber.

Commenting on the services provided by the CDRD Division, the Chamber spokesmen said that whilst servicing the exporters by registering vital commercial documents such as Certificates of Origin, Commercial and Freight Invoices, Agency Agreements, Survey reports, Phytosanitary and Health Certificates, authentication of Saudi Visas, Certificates of Beneficiaries etc., the CDRD Division also offered all exporters, both members and non members alike, the opportunity of being valued beneficiaries of the fully secured online system launched in July 2007.

"In addition, the specialized facility of electronic issuance of certificates of origin (e-CO), offers exporters the ability to send the documents electronically via the internet to the Chamber. The registered certificate could be picked up by the exporter on the way to the bank. This is not only a time saving exercise as the document could be forwarded to the Chamber even after working hours, but also reduces cost, paperwork and eliminates delays to the users," he said.

The Commercial Documents Registration Division (CDRD) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the premier business chamber in Sri Lanka has been providing its services for more than 87 years.

Having been the pioneer Sri Lankan institution authorized by the Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1925 to issue Certificates of Origin (C/O), the CDRD Division of the CCC currently serves a clientele of over 600 established exporters. Amongst the services provided by the CCC to the business community at large, this division which functions as a facilitator to boost the Sri Lankan economy, plays a vital role in promoting Sri Lankan exports to the entire globe.

For speedy and efficient document registration, the Chamber invites all exporters to visit the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce CDRD division or call Ms. Pasantha Dissanayake, Manager in charge of the division on + 94 11 5588808 or 2421745-6.

Cargo Theft: Annual Loss Up To US$50b.

Cargo theft impacts nearly every industry, from paper products to televisions and experts estimate that cargo and equipment theft costs US$30 to $50 billion annually worldwide.

By its very nature, the transportation and air cargo industries place goods in a more vulnerable environment than when they are at a shipper's or receiver's facility.

Although there are some trends in what type of commodities are stolen, theft affects nearly every type of product from toilet paper to pharmaceuticals. Some of the traditional days and times of losses occur during the weekend, though holiday weekends also tend to result in a higher rate of theft due to facilities going "dark" for a longer period with limited personnel, according to Claims Journal.

The 13 most prominent states, accounting for 80 per cent of losses are California, Florida, Canada, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Arkansas, Illinois and New York.

The typical modus operandi of most cargo thefts occur when the truck and cargo are stopped in an unsecured location. A good rule is a "freight at rest is a freight at risk."

Typical areas for these types of theft include truck stops, unsecured drop yards and restaurant/shopping centre parking lots. Terminals and distribution centre yards are becoming a popular target as well, illustrating an increased need for security within these areas.

All stakeholders that bear the burden of cargo should be involved in the security process, since they all share in the monetary loss should a load go missing. Knowing that cargo theft is a real issue in the supply chain is the first step; combating the problem with security solutions, intelligence, law enforcement involvement and analytics is the next.

Lion City Wins 11 AFSCA Top Industry Awards

Singapore won 11 honours at Cargonews Asia's 26th Asian Freight and Supply Chain Awards in Shanghai with the Port of Singapore picking up the Best Seaport Asia as well as the Best Green Service Provider Seaport accolades.

The Lion City's other victories included PSA landing three awards: Best Global Container Terminal Operating Company, Best Container Terminal Asia (over 4 million TEU) and Best Container Terminal Europe for its PSA Antwerp operation in Belgium. Singapore Airlines Cargo was the Best Air Cargo Carrier Asia, APL was voted Best Shipping Line Transpacific, and SATS received the Best Air Cargo Terminal Asia award.

The contest for Best Express Operator is always a fierce contest between DHL and FedEx, but DHL maintained its grip on the trophy this year. The integrator also took home awards for Best Third-party Logistics provider (3PL) and Best Logistics Service Provider Air Freight. Also in the other categories, FedEx won Best All Cargo Airline, while GAC took the title of Best Logistics Provider Project Cargo.

In the hotly contested Green Service Provider awards, DB Schenker won Best Green Logistics Operator, Hamburg Sud took the Best Green Shipping Line title and Cathay Pacific won Best Green Airline. Danish carrier Maersk Line continued its dominance of the Best Global Shipping Line category while also winning the Best Shipping Line Asia Europe award. Emirates SkyCargo retained its Best Air Cargo Carrier Middle East title, Dubai International Airport held on to the Best Airport Middle East award, and the Port of Jebel Ali kept the trophy for Best Seaport Middle East. An interesting first time winner was China's Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport that was voted Best Emerging Airport Asia by the organiser's readers. The booming central Chinese city has seen air cargo volumes growing rapidly as airlines introduce freighter services to the hilltop airport.

Other notable winners were Los Angeles International Airport (Best Airport North America), London Heathrow Airport (Best Airport Europe), Port of Le Havre (Best Seaport Europe), Thermo King (Best Reefer Equipment Provider), and Yang Ming Line (Best Shipping Line Intra-Asia).

Asia-USWC Spot Rates Up 12.5pc

Spot rates from Asia to the US west coast soared 12.5 per cent last week to US$2,658 per FEU, while rates to the US east coast rose 8.6 per cent to $3,774 per FEU, according to the latest Shanghai Containerised Freight Index (SCFI).

Last week's increase represents roughly half of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement's proposed $600 per FEU peak season surcharge, slated to commence June 10. The news was not as good on the Europe and Mediterranean-bound trades as rates there continued to soften. Asia-Europe rates last week slid a further 1.9 per cent to $1,634 per TEU, while Asia-Mediterranean rates contracted 1.6 per cent to $1,783 per TEU. Across all trades covered by the index the SCFI rose two per cent to 1,414.72 points.

Boxship Carries Dead Whale On Its Bulb

The Maersk Norwich was found carrying a dead whale on its bulb when it entered the port of Rotterdam late Wednesday morning. The Maersk Norwich is moored at the APMT terminal at Rotterdam Maasvlakte and the whale was removed in the afternoon hours of Wednesday and transported to a site where a university institute removed part of the whale for research.

It is not known yet what type of whale it is and where the vessel has picked it up. The length is approx. 12 metres.

The containersip is 120 metres long and able to carry 2,600 TEU. It departed from Santa Marta in Colombia and it is chartered by Maersk Line deployed in the Caribbean/Central America service.

The Sunday Leader Article on 24 June 2012
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The Island Article on 19th June 2012
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