Ceylon Shipping Corporation commemorates Golden Jubilee today | Daily News

Ceylon Shipping Corporation commemorates Golden Jubilee today

To play major role in reviving SL maritime industry:

The jewel in Sri Lanka’s commercial shipping industry is her National Carrier, Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) which commemorates its 50th Anniversary on June 06, 2021.

Established in the year 1971 under the Shipping Act, the Ceylon Shipping Corporation , under the guidance of the First female Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Madam Srimavo Bandaranayake and led by Minister of Shipping and Tourism, P.B.G.Kalugalla, paved the way for Sri Lanka to enter the global shipping sphere – a milestone in the annals of the history of Sri Lanka.

The first vessel, Lanka Rani and the subsequent fleet ; Lanka Sagarika, Lanka Devi, Lanka Shanthi, Lanka Rathne and Lanka Keerthi were purchased with the support of the German Shipping magnate, Vnimar Gesselshaft GMBH of Hamburg. While the acquisition of Lanka Kalyani and Lanka Kanthi were made through the sponsorship by the government of China. Subsequently, the corporate merger of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation and the Lanka Tankers Ltd was instrumental in acquiring the oil tanker, ‘Tammanna’.

During the years 1970-77, spearheaded by the visionary, P.B.Karadawela, Chairman of CSC and Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping and Tourism, the Sri Lanka maritime industry made giant strides by rapidly gaining new frontiers such as the establishing of the Colombo Dockyard. Through the pioneering effort,which provided extensive services, Sri Lanka was attracting more ships to her port.

The ensuing years spurred the industry towards a growth trajectory as Sri Lanka formed ties with Singapores container line, Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) in increasing the container shipments to Europe. Container transportation to Europe grew exponentially from a once-a-month five ship operation to a bi-monthly operation on board Neptune Sapphire and Neptune Emerald with a competitive advantage as South Asia’s exclusive container operator. Gearing for the future, Colombo Port established the Aust-Iran Service offering specialized services for container vessels. As the Sole Agent, CSC took on the reigns for the service which also provided RO/ RO ramps and fork lifts and other state-of-the-art equipment, heralding a new era of technological usage in the country’s shipping portfolio.

During his tenure as Minister of Commerce and Industry, the late Minister Lalith Athulathmudali rendered an extensive albeit pivotal to the progress and sustainability of the industry as a whole. Despite persistent challenges, the corporation faced severe blow, yet the fifth Executive Presdient, H.E Mahinda Rajapaksha took bold steps in reviving the floundering corporation which did not own any ships to being the owners of its largest fleet during his rule.The aquisition of the vessels, Ceylon Breeze and Princess were utilized to transport charcoal for the Lakwijaya Electricity in Puttlam. The ships were also used for commercial purposes during the onset of the southeast monsoons.Apart from its dual functionalities, the ships which belonged to CSC functioned as a Maritime University, providing a yeomen service to the Sri Lanka Navy.

As a force to contend with, CSC has continued to flourish in competition with larger privately owned shipping lines, brandishing the Sri Lankan flag worldwide. Alluding to the broad vision of our President, Gotabhaya Rajapaksha into building Sri Lanka as a maritime hub is the vision and mission of CSC.

The future of the industry has been carved through the acquiring of the two ships by the then President, Mahinda Rajapaksha in addition to the extensive commitment and support by Minister Rohitha Abeykoon who was the erstwhile Minister of Port and Navy and the current Minister of Ports and the present Chairman of CSC, Attorney-at-Law, W. S. Weeraman.

“With new strategies in place to minimize the traffic congestion by creating water-based transport for the people to generating foreign exports and imports and more, the national carrier, CSC bears a great responsibility in fulfilling the role entrusted to it in reviving the maritime industry of the country,” Chairman Weeraman said.