SLFFA disturbed by new DMS standards

The freight forwarding industry andshippers in Sri Lanka have expressedserious concerns about the attemptsby the Director of Merchant Shipping,(DMS) to regulate the industry usinglow standards and hastily drafted legislation. Freight forwarders in Sri Lanka,whose representative body, the SriLanka Freight Forwarders Association(SLFFA) completed 25 years ofexistence this year, have played aninfluential role in making Sri Lankaa […]


The freight forwarding industry andshippers in Sri Lanka have expressedserious concerns about the attemptsby the Director of Merchant Shipping,(DMS) to regulate the industry usinglow standards and hastily drafted legislation.

Freight forwarders in Sri Lanka,whose representative body, the SriLanka Freight Forwarders Association(SLFFA) completed 25 years ofexistence this year, have played aninfluential role in making Sri Lankaa leading logistics and freight hub inSouth Asia.

Unlike shipping agents, which remita major share of their earnings abroad,much of the foreign exchange earnedby international freight forwardersremains within the country. Hencetheir contribution to the country’sGDP growth over the years has beennoteworthy.

Freight forwarding being an internationalbusiness dealing withinternational logistics firms as well aslarge multinational companies who arebuyers and sellers engaged in internationaltrade, the industry in Sri Lankahas traditionally been benchmarkingitself with the established internationalfreight forwarding industries abroad.

In setting such standards SLFFA, hasbeen playing a pivotal role as the mainbody among the freight forwarders inSri Lanka. The standards that SLFFAhas set for its members are on parwith that of leading freight forwarderassociations in the world.

With these standards in place, SLFFAqueried whether there would be a needfor any more regulating of this industry.The trade body noted that this wasmainly due to the fact that there aremore non-SLFFA member forwardersand fly-by-night operators in Sri Lanka,who are operating without adhering toany standards and charging arbitraryamounts for their services, usuallyfrom gullible consignees who bringimport cargo.