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Advantis: Steering Sri Lanka’s Logistics Industry Amidst Global Dynamics and Challenges

At the heart of our nation’s economic progress lies the pivotal role of logistics. Over generations, the Advantis Group has stood as an indispensable force in driving this advancement, forming the bedrock upon which Sri Lanka has forged a globally competitive logistics hub. Backed by Hayleys PLC, a prominent blue-chip multinational conglomerate, Advantis stands as a vanguard in the logistics sector. It offers comprehensive solutions in the Integrated Logistics, International Freight Management, Marine & Energy, Projects & Engineering and Travel & Aviation domains. As Sri Lanka’s most diversified transportation and logistics provider, Advantis has been a trailblazer for over six decades, propelling the industry forward and currently expanding its regional footprint across Asia. In the midst of this dynamic landscape, Ruwan Waidyaratne, the Managing Director of the Advantis Group, directs his attention toward the challenges and opportunities that define this ever-evolving industry.

  1. Can you provide an overview of the current state of the global supply chain and transportation & logistics industry?

The recent global financial crisis has left a lasting impact, particularly in the current year. Businesses across various sectors have encountered a multitude of challenges as a result. Following the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the transportation and logistics industry experienced a notable surge, catalysing growth for numerous enterprises. Nonetheless, at present, the global landscape has presented a set of formidable obstacles, most notably in the form of plummeting freight rates and a sharp drop in shipment volumes, leading to a complex and demanding environment for businesses to navigate.

  1. Resilience is crucial in an ever-changing world. How is Advantis enhancing its operations to better cope with unexpected disruptions?

In the face of an ever-changing global landscape, resilience has emerged as a critical attribute for us to navigate unexpected disruptions effectively. Advantis is actively bolstering its operations to enhance its resilience and adeptly respond to unforeseen challenges. The Company is undertaking a multi-faceted approach that involves leveraging advanced technologies, implementing agile strategies, and fostering robust partnerships.

By proactively identifying risks and trends, our team is empowered to swiftly adjust its operations and supply chain strategies. Moreover, the Company’s emphasis on agility entails developing flexible processes and contingency plans that enable rapid adaptation to changing circumstances. Collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders, including suppliers, customers, and regulatory bodies, are also central to Advantis’ approach. These alliances facilitate the exchange of information, enable coordinated responses, and create a collective network of support during periods of difficulty.

  1. Technological advancements such as automation, AI, and blockchain are being explored for supply chain optimisation. Could you elaborate on how these technologies are being utilised and their potential impact on the industry?

In the context of supply chain optimisation, the exploration of technological advancements like automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain is reshaping industry strategies. These innovations are being strategically harnessed to address existing challenges and tap into new opportunities. Automation is being employed to streamline various operational aspects, integrating robotics and smart systems to enhance warehousing efficiency, optimise order fulfillment, and manage inventory with minimal human intervention. AI, on the other hand, is revolutionising decision-making processes. By analysing vast amounts of data, it facilitates accurate demand forecasting, route optimisation, and real-time risk assessment.

This empowers supply chain managers to make informed choices that not only minimise costs but also ensure swift and responsive operations. The integration of blockchain technology is enhancing transparency and traceability across the supply chain. As the capabilities of these technologies continue to evolve, the industry is presented with the prospect of embracing innovative business models, such as just-in-time manufacturing and sustainable practices, further enhancing its competitive edge.


  1. Developing a skilled workforce is essential. Can you share your approach to talent development, employee engagement, and creating a culture of continuous improvement within your teams?

At Advantis, we place a strong emphasis on fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement. Our commitment is exemplified through platforms like Advantis Ideastorm – our innovation platform designed to empower our employees to conceive novel ideas that optimise services or generate new revenue streams for the Company. Additionally, Advantis Campus, our dedicated in-house corporate campus, serves as a dynamic hub where employees can explore diverse disciplines and verticals within our business, expanding their knowledge and skills.

Engagement is at the core of our approach, and we regularly organise a range of activities such as outbound training sessions and workshops. A noteworthy addition to our engagement initiatives is the launch of the Advantis DNA, our unique culture canvas introduced last year. This innovative framework is geared towards ensuring that our employees not only excel in their roles but also derive genuine enjoyment from their work. Furthermore, we have recently introduced the Advantis Help Line, a dedicated resource aimed at providing essential mental health support to our valued employees. This initiative underscores our unwavering commitment to the well-being and holistic development of our workforce. With these initiatives combined, we are constantly propelling our workforce towards a fulfilling work experience that seamlessly integrates learning, collaboration, and personal satisfaction.


  1. The future is dynamic and uncertain. How do you foresee the global supply chain and transportation & logistics industry evolving over the next decade, and what factors will drive these changes?

Looking ahead, the trajectory of the global supply chain and transportation & logistics industry seems poised for a dynamic and transformative journey over the next decade. The interplay of various factors is anticipated to shape this evolution, ushering in a new era of efficiency, adaptability, and sustainability. Technological advancements are poised to be a major driving force as well.

Geopolitical dynamics and trade policies will continue to wield significant influence, potentially leading to shifts in sourcing strategies and altering global trade routes. Resilience will remain a priority, prompting businesses to diversify suppliers, adopt agile strategies, and fortify risk management protocols in response to potential disruptions. Navigating this landscape will require a strategic blend of adaptability, innovation, and collaboration to seize opportunities and effectively address the challenges that arise in this ever-evolving landscape.