Company History

Logistics in Sri Lanka > Company History

Hayleys Advantis’s roots go back to 1878 and the formation of Chas P. Hayley & Co. in the Southern port of Galle. Hayleys Limited is the result of British industrialist, Charles Pickering Hayley’s vision and wisdom. Nonetheless Hayleys Advantis emerged much later – in 1958 – initially as the shipping division of Hayleys Limited. In the 1960’s, Chas P. Hayley & Co. (Lighters) took over the shipping agency business of the Hayleys Group.

The company initially functioned as a steamer agency for the Dutch shipping line – Holland Burma Bengal Line, the precursor to the Nedlloyd of today. Chas P. Hayley Limited continued to act as agents for Nedlloyd until the 1971 merger of Dutch shipping companies compelled a change of agents. It was the implementation of the local Licensing of Shipping Agents Act of 1972 that eventually resulted in the formation of Hayleys Advantis Agencies. This Act prohibited exporters from acting as shipping agents. Even at that time Hayleys Limited was one of the biggest exporters of Sri Lankan products. Thus on 27th of December 1972, Maritime Agencies Limited was born.

In the mid eighties Hayleys Advantis expanded its customer base significantly and began to look into providing a “total transportation solution”. The result was ventures in related areas such as freight-forwarding, bunkering, warehousing and sea air consolidation. In 1984 Maritime Travels was formed thus launching Maritime Agencies into the travel trade.The shipping industry was liberalized in the late eighties/early nineties and Hayleys regained full equity control of the company. Maritime Agencies was restructured in 1993 with Maritime Holdings Limited functioning as the parent company of a series of subsidiaries engaged in transportation related businesses. From that point the organisation as a whole came to be known as the Maritime Holdings Group.

In 1995, airline general sales agency was added when it acquired the passenger GSA for two major international airlines. In 1996, the Group made an investment in a container depot and freight station. The result was the addition of Logistics International to the Hayleys Advantis. Millennium Transportation Limited, which was incorporated in June 1998, holds the cargo GSAs for some well-known airlines. A more recent addition to the Group is South Asia Logistics Limited – a company that became part of a regional freight management network. This company started operations in 2000 and has now changed its name to HayTrans Limited after the involvement of Transworld Logistics of India as a partner was established.

Since 2002, the Group, recognising opportunities in assisting firms compete better in the marketplace by eliminating unnecessary costs in their supply chains, set up Logiwiz Limited to market and provide comprehensive logistics solutions using inter-alia its key asset, the newly constructed modern distribution center at Kelaniya (a short distance North of Colombo). This was concurrent with a move to ‘Bridge Gaps’ in the Group’s logistics offerings through heavy-equipment and other logistics services offered by ‘Logiventures’ (another new addition). 2003 marked the Group’s embarkation on the voyage of shipowning and shipmanagement with its first purchase, the MV Orient Stride, a 1,152TEU containership. Regional trade growth and a burgeoning shipping market ensure the long-term potential of this activity. The development of the Group’s own fleet continues with the 2nd purchase in 2004.

2005 saw the company embarking into Courier Services with a Strategic Alliance to represent FedEx – the largest Express Transportation Company in the world, in Sri Lanka. This further enhances the company’s focus towards providing integrated end-to-end logistics solutions to it’s customers. In 2006, Hayleys Advantis took several giant steps in consolidating its position one of which was the introduction of Moceti Lanka, its own NVOCC brand.

2007 saw Hayleys Advantis move towards consolidating an international presence. With Yes Asia opening a branch office in the Maldives and Logiwiz expanding in India, 2007 has been positive. In September, the evolution of Hayleys Advantis entered a new phase of global dimensions, with the launch of its new brand ‘Civaro’ which leverages on the group’s existing multi faceted operations to position itself as an integrated A-to-Z supply chain management (SCM) provider of global significance. Civaro’s inception marked a significant step towards becoming a leading integrated logistics service provider in the Asia-Pacific region.

In May 2008, the Group commissioned ‘Logilink’, a modern Container Freight Station (CFS) to offer Sri Lanka’s importers, exporters and logistic service providers a comprehensive range of value added logistics services for their cargoes. Logilink (Pvt) Limited’ comprises of 42,000 square feet of covered warehouse space with 10 container loading bays and a one acre yard. It is designed and equipped to comply with the USA’s rigorous C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) and the European TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) safety requirements for cargo.

Now, with 50 years of experience in the transportation trade, the Group has rapidly expanded its capabilities by adding experienced logistics professionals; acquiring and developing advanced logistics systems; and investing in high-quality people, equipment and facilities.