Mr. Roshan Silva Chairman, SLFFA
(Speech from the 39th SLFFA AGM held on 25th September 2020)
Chief Guest, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, General Daya Rathnayake, Guest of Honour, Executive Chairman of Ceyline Group and President of CINEC Campus Captain Ajith Peiris, Director General of Merchant Shipping Mr. A W Senevirathne, Members of the Head Table, Distinguished Invitees, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am humbled to stand before you today after being re-elected as the Chairman of SLFFA for the years 2020/2021 and I thank all of you for the confidence placed in me to continue on this prestigious role for another year.
This is a monumental year for SLFFA as it steps towards its ruby anniversary. As an association, SLFFA has grown and matured in many ways – today it is held in high esteem by the regulators, industry specialists and the general public. As envisioned by the pioneers, SLFFA is the home of some of the most elite freight forwarders, including large conglomerates, global giants and a league of persevering local freight forwarders. Together, we, the 121 SLFFA members represent over 90% of the freight forwarding volumes of the country – by and large, this makes us a formidable force of the Sri Lankan economy.
The association has been active in supporting the growth of the industry and today as we step into the fortieth year, all of us can take pride in being a part of this well respected and recognised establishment.
As many of you may be aware, SLFFA commands the distinguished position of being the leading representative body of the industry and maintains the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. As the Board of Directors of SLFFA, we are determined to drive all the players in the industry towards these ideals and over the years our predecessors have worked closely with the regulators to ensure that these best practices are always followed.
At the threshold of the fortieth year, I wish to reiterate the importance of these standards and declare that we, as the current board will not hesitate to take action or even dismiss any member who is found to be in violation of these principles that form the basis of our beloved association.
General Daya Rathnayake, sir, it is an honour to have you in our presence today and on behalf of all the SLFFA members I take this opportunity to welcome you to the event. I would like to start off SLFFA’s highlights for the year by speaking about the progressive discussions had with the officials of SLPA under your guidance. I am sure all those in our profession will agree with me when I say, that some of the most pressing issues that we have faced are now being addressed under your leadership. Let me elaborate with an example or two - For many years, we as freight forwarders are compelled to pay MCC excess charges for local cargo stuffed outside the port. Charging a stuffing fee for MCC cargo within the SLPA premises is accepted but charging for the stuffing done by an out side CFS for which charges already been paid is something we believe to be re evaluated. Similarly, we face undue demurrage charges for abandoned or detained cargo , which have also caused issues to us. With your intervention to solve these matters is greately appreciated.