Since it was founded in 2018, Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka has seen positive development, while also facing major challenges again and again. The team looks to the future with confidence.
Located on the west coast, the port of Colombo is Sri Lanka’s biggest container port; it is considered one of the most important logistics hubs in the region. Almost 6.9 million TEUs were handled here in 2020. Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka has its headquarters in the direct vicinity of the port. Benefiting from this central location, the Militzer & Münch country unit has successfully established itself in Sri Lanka’s logistics market over the past years. Today, it is a member of the Sri Lanka Logistics & Freight Forwarders Association (SLFFA), the association of forwarders and logistics providers.
Good results despite difficult conditions
For the year 2022, the twelve-person team again records good results. This is not to be taken for granted: beside the Corona pandemic, most recently, the ongoing economic crisis and its political consequences also affected the activities of Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka. Fuel shortages, bottlenecks in the power supply, and skyrocketing transport costs burdened the country’s logistics sector; many factories were forced to close.
„Of course, we are glad we can look back on a good year in Sri Lanka despite such adverse circumstances,“ says Dilum Stembo, Managing Director of M&M Sri Lanka. „We are aware, however, that there are still challenging times ahead. We are constantly adapting to the changing circumstances so we can continue providing stable services to our customers.”
Focus on export business
In response to tighter import restrictions, Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka changed its strategy and focused on the export business. The main export goods include tea, rubber, and coconut, as well as products of the apparel industry. By concentrating on these exports, Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka was able to minimize the impact of the dollar crisis on its own activities, as exporters pay in US dollars, and shipping companies invoice in US dollars, too.
In order to reduce power consumption, electricity cuts of several hours a day can occur in Sri Lanka. To avoid a standstill of day-to-day operations during such long supply interruptions, the country unit invested in solar cells for its offices to reduce its dependence on the power grid.
These are challenging times for the country’s economy, but of course equally so for local people. „We are deeply committed to helping here,“ says Andreas Löwenstein, Regional Managing Director Asia / Far East at Militzer & Münch. „In view of the high inflation, we are accommodating our employees financially.“ Dilum Stembo confirms: „Not only the company as a whole but also the staff had to overcome many obstacles. We took efforts to support our staff – also emotionally. I am convinced that it has helped them at least to some degree“
Given the current situation, the course taken has proved successful for Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka, and the country unit has been able to maintain its stability. Says Andreas Löwenstein: „We plan to increase our activities to and from New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, as well as to and from the USA and Canada. We are confident we will cope well with future challenges.“