Cash Cycle

Sept 04, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lankan companies have invested millions of dollars to develop modern warehousing for tea sold at the Colombo auction, the world’s biggest, slashing lead times to hours or even minutes, an industry official said. They provide real time cataloguing and computerised systems that enable quick transfer of goods from producer to buyer, said Anil Cooke, Senior Vice President, of brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities.

“Today there’s a concentration of warehousing from many small units to single large ones. This has cut collection times to minutes or a few hours.”

Brokers have invested more than 10 million dollars in setting up warehouses and today some 60 percent of all tea sold at the Colombo auctions are held in warehouses, Cooke told an international tea convention held in Colombo last week.

“Brokers have converted time into money and efficiency.”

He described the broker as a critical middleman, but one who is taken for granted, in the transfer of value from producer to buyer.

“The broker is the ‘barnacle on the back side of commerce’,” one who makes the world of
tea go round, he said.

Colombo therefore has the highest efficiency rating of any of the 11major auction centres.

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