South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT), Sri Lanka’s first Public Private Partnership Container Terminal in the Port of Colombo, emerged the winner in the Continuous Improvement category and first runner up in the Sustainability category at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Sri Lanka Awards 2022, held on the 15th of June 2023. The Company was recognized for its commitments to improving business processes by integrating technology and digitization initiatives whilst investing significantly in new, state of the art hybrid technology to dramatically reduce its carbon emissions and footprint as part of its ongoing commitment to decarbonize business operations.
The social distancing directives at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic brought numerous challenges to the port sector. Consignees were unable to take delivery of their cargo due to countrywide lockdowns significantly increasing the dwell time of containers and delaying the distribution of essential items such as food across the country. Amidst this backdrop SAGT digitized an anachronistic and archaic, paper-based import container clearance process by initiating an electronic process. Iterative improvements to the initial process led to the development of an online payment facility followed by the introduction of the first self-printable electronic delivery advice (e-DA) facility allowing for greater operational efficiencies and convenience to customers with import containers at SAGT.
Sustainability is at the heart of SAGT’s business operations and is guided by its four pillared strategy. SAGT’s firm commitment to environmental stewardship is governed by a comprehensive energy and emissions policy focused on decarbonization. Under this policy, the Company has made significant efforts to curtail its carbon footprint in recent years.
Focusing on decarbonization efforts, hybrid conversion of 22 rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) led to a reduction of 1.2 million litres of diesel, which translated to a 31% reduction in the annual average carbon footprint of the overall RTG fleet from 9,108 MT to 6,300 MT since the inception of the project in 2019. The hybridization project completed in 2022 saw the integration of cutting-edge technology to create sustainable value addition for SAGT’s customers. SAGT also partnered with the Center for Sustainability, University of Sri Jayewardenepura to reforest 5 acres of the Yagirala Forest Reserve which is set to offset approximately 8% of the Company’s current carbon footprint in the long run.
Commenting on the award on behalf of SAGT, Romesh David, CEO of SAGT said, “We are honoured to have been recognized for our efforts in sustainability as well as our efforts towards continuous improvement. We will continue to innovate and re-invent traditional processes to offer our customers enhanced “ease of doing business” of a world class standard, whilst ensuring that we continue to reduce our impact on the environment we operate in, towards building a more sustainable, greener future for all.”