Anil Vitarana commenced his long career in the shipping industry in 1973 after graduating from the University of Ceylon with a Bachelors Degree in Law. His first job was at the Central Freight Bureau of Sri Lanka. He spent 10 years with the Freight Bureau, heading the organization in the final three years as its General Manager. He did take a leave of absence, during four of these years, to obtain a Masters Degree in Law and a Ph.d in Maritime Law from the University of Southampton, UK where he was a Hartley Research Scholar.
In 1983, Vitarana was offered the opportunity to move from the regulatory arena to commercial liner shipping as General Manager of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation( CSC) - the National Shipping Line of Sri Lanka. He spent three years with CSC and this period is considered as the most productive period for the National Line, which operated a fleet of 25 vessels on multiple international trade routes.
In 1986 Vitarana moved to Kuwait to join United Arab Shipping Company ( UASC) - the National Shipping Line of six Arab Gulf countries. Vitarana was relocated by UASC to the USA in 1989 and was the President of UASC’s US organization from 1995 to 2015. UASC witnessed considerable growth in the US market during this period and Vitarana’s efforts were duly recognized by his peers in 2007 when he was awarded the prestigious Connie Award by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute. Dr. Vitarana retires from UASC at the end of August 2015 and intends to extend his 40 + year career in the industry in a consultancy capacity.