Interview with Robert Schott, the President of AirSchott – PART 2

“We have team members who have worked with us for over 20 and even over 30 years and I often hear them say that they enjoy working at AIRSCHOTT. That’s the company’s greatest success and it’s been a team effort.”

This is a continuation of our last week’s interview with Robert Schott, the President of Airschott, INC, a Coop member in Washington DC, USA. In today’s interview, Mr. Schott sheds light on the problems facing the industry, the importance of having a disaster plan and once again tells us another highly engaging story involving the movement of a solar-powered, high-altitude UAV.

Robert Schott, AirSchott - The Cooperative
     Robert Schott, AirSchott

Q. What has been the greatest success of your team so far? How did you handle it?
A. In my opinion, our greatest success has been in providing a healthy, productive, cooperative environment for our staff. We have team members who have worked with us for over 20 and even over 30 years. I often hear them say that they enjoy working at AIRSCHOTT. That’s the company’s greatest success and it’s been a team effort.

Q. Can you tell us a curious shipment your team has handled?
A. The ZEPHYR is a solar-powered, high-altitude UAV that was developed and built in Great Britain and brought to the USA multiple times for testing. AIRSCHOTT / SEASCHOTT had the honour (and challenge) to enter it into the US, transport it to test sites in remote desert areas and then re-export it back to England, attending to all the customs and transport formalities in each direction.

The aircraft, in its various iterations, had wingspans of 40’ – 70’ and travelled in a bespoke case (wings disassembled) that was shoved down the nose of 747F aircraft or fit onto a 40’ ISO flat rack. It would arrive by air freight and we shipped it back by ocean. We did this about a half dozen times from around 2005 – 2013, meeting a freighter at ORD or LAX and shipping back out of Houston after desert trials.

I don’t recall which year’s shipment it was but one year we had the aircraft on a flat rack and the ground handling equipment stuffed into a 20’ box, booked on an HLAG vessel from HOU. Shortly before scheduled sailing, Houston was locked down due to an incoming hurricane. The sailing was postponed, and we found a warehouse that would store the aircraft inside and the ground gear on the leeward side of the building, protected from the high winds and tidal surge.

The storm passed, all was safe, and we loaded the UAV and gear on the first available departure. All good, right? The container and aircraft arrived in England and I received a frantic phone call and e-mails about the recipient’s staff entering the container holding the ground handling equipment and being chased out by a huge, hairy spider.

Now, I spent much of my youth in my native Florida where huge, hairy spiders are a common fact of life – as a child, I watched my grandmother chase one out of her kitchen with a broom. So, when asked why we hadn’t provided insect control procedures prior to departure, I responded that the big hairy spider was our insect control procedure as its job was to capture and eat insects!

My sense of humour unfortunately was not appreciated in England.

Q. That was funny! Changing the topic a little bit: What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders regarding the pandemic at the moment and how is AIRSCHOTT dealing with these challenges?
A. Obviously, keeping staff and clients safe was, for some, the biggest challenge. However, about 18 years ago, AIRSCHOTT developed a “work-from-home” model both for convenience and as a part of our “disaster plan”. COVID-19 brought the disaster that we had prepared for since 9/11 and the transition was pretty easy for us. Now, the challenge is freight capacity and dealing with carrier shortages and this challenge extends to all transport modes.Q. What is the outlook for your country’s shipping market? Which sectors in the freight forwarding industry are growing, and which not?
A. We see the market growing and capacity improvements in all modes as the pandemic is being brought under control. Outdated and deteriorated infrastructure is a serious problem domestically and we’re hopeful that the government will soon address this issue aggressively.
 

“We had the honour (and challenge) to enter a solar-powered, high-altitude UAV into the US, transport it to test sites in remote desert areas and then re-export it back to England, attending to all the Customs and transport formalities in each direction.

Q. In your opinion, what does the freight forwarding industry lack? How would you think it should improve?
A. Industry-wide professionalism and integrity need to improve

Q. From your own experience, which are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?
A. Communication and attention to detail are key. Innovation leads to success in this and most industries. The most important thing is to listen to the clients’ needs and find the best ways to fulfill those needs.

Interview with Durar Logistics, a Coop member in Damman, Saudi Arabia

An insider’s guide to ISO tank logistics

“Risk assessment prior to execution is compulsory when transporting inflammable or toxic liquids through populated areas, since people are exposed to undue risk in the event of an untoward incident.”

freight forwarder
The Cooperative Damman – Tank international logistics

Durar logistics LLC is in the ISO tank business since they started their operations in 2016, as they are now considered as a veritable expert in the field of petrochemical logistics.

It can’t be denied that the tank business is one of those logistics sectors that will keep its growth rate intact in the future. According to QY Research, the value of the global ISO Tank Container market was $790 m in 2018 and they expect it to reach $1580 m by the end of 2025.

Durar logistics LLC, a Coop member in Damman, Saudi Arabia, is in the ISO tank business since they started their operations in 2016. As a veritable expert in the field of petrochemical logistics, today they are going to immerse us in the world of tank containers.

Tanks containers were invented to serve the bulky transportation of chemical liquid and these tanks are specially designed to meet various chemical classifications. ISO tanks enable inter-modal logistics between various modes of transportation including sea vessels, trucks, and rails. These tanks comply with the International Organization for Standardization and are meant to transport bulk fluids that can be hazardous or non-hazardous”, explains Mahmood Samman, the Project Director of Durar Logistics.

ISO tanks are often made of stainless steel and have a life of at least two years carrying corrosive chemicals. Regarding its advantages, Mr. Mahmoud is clear on the fact that, “They are a safe and reliable mode of transport for moving bulk liquids around the world. They also offer greater flexibility in planning and helps in cost reduction”.

The most challenging part in tank shipping is the safety of dangerous goods and the regulations of handling
procedure. Every commodity is required to follow the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Technical Data
Sheet (TDS).

“Even though Tank Containers are very safe, Mr. Mammoud talks about the procedures that are required before transporting liquid chemicals in tank containers. “Risk assessment prior to execution is compulsory when transporting some inflammable or toxic liquids through populated areas since people are exposed to undue risk in the event of an untoward incident. For this reason, risk assessment is of primary importance”.

“This is precisely why I believe that the most challenging part in ISO tank shipping is the safety of dangerous goods and the regulations of handling procedure. Every commodity is required to follow the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and Technical Data Sheet (TDS) so as to understand the nature and ensure regulatory compliance. That is why we do emphasize the technical part of the commodity along with the classification of MSDS to define the exposure of hazardous substances and abide by the liners regulations at both the origin and destination countries. Our freight booking is placed on the basis of product classification and regulations.”

Due to all the challenges and risks that are involved in this industry, “IATA Certification is required when moving this kind of shipments. Moreover, Dangerous Goods Regulation (DGR) will guide on how to transport dangerous goods safely and efficiently, while providing insight on several technical aspects such as the materials applications, classification, packing instruction, packaging specification, documentation, handling of radioactive materials, best practices for environment safety etc. In order to improve workforce qualification a constant training in HSSE program is recommended.” says Mr. Samman.

In the last five years, Durar Logistics has handled several delicate shipments. Mr. Samman narrates one such story about a complicated shipment, “Over the years we have encountered several problematic shipments. Once during the transit of one ISO tank, we encountered a leaking tank condition and we had to work in conjunction with the liner and the local agent to escalate the case and enforce the recovery procedure. The tank was held at the port for further recovery and survey procedure by the third party approved surveyor, and it was closely handled with the assistance of other parties to discharge the materials safely and replace the ISO tank and allow further movement to the consignee port.”

Regarding the competition, as the Middle East region continues to see significant growth in the use of tank containers, “it goes without saying that the competition among forwarders here is stiff. Dammam, the capital of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is a city known for oil & chemical liquid supply locally and over the world, and freight companies specializing in this field are competing to prove their worth to sustain long-term projects. The most important characteristic of the service provider in this sector is the commitment to the corporate standards that is a pre-requisite for obtaining important contracts. Consequently, what sets us apart from the competition is that we have been carrying out businesses with governmental entities and private chemical manufacturers regularly via our group’s umbrella organization in Dammam. Since the last few years, we are focusing more on the core of chemical engineering and their expertise and know-how in this field keep them ahead of their competitors.”

The digitalization will be the key in the chemicals sector, the value chains are being reconfigured as sustainability, economic and geopolitical trends; new technologies and changing consumer demands are on the freight forwarders’ agendas.

However, in 2020, like in every business sector, the pandemic has also impacted the ISO shipping sector. “COVID-19 has directly affected production and the demand and disrupted the supply chain market. Its economic impact on firms and financial markets greatly impacted the normal functioning of the chemical and tank industry.”

As for the future, Mr. Samman is clear about this: “The digitization is going to be the key in the chemicals sector. The value chains are being reconfigured as sustainability, economic and geopolitical trends, new technologies, and changing consumer demands are challenging the bottom line of the companies and their future profitability.The Coronavirus has added even more complexity to our business. I believe the chemical logistics companies will need to redefine their value chains and business models to adapt to the circular economy, while capturing the opportunities from digital technology, and upskilling their workforce”.

“FreightViewer is different than other online marketplaces. We are proud to work with The COOP in this project”

After stablishing the partnership with Shipco, FreightViewer Department interviewed Morten Bach- Global Chief Commercial Officer at Shipco Transport- to analyse the current situation and the upcoming digital changes in logistics.

leading digital transformation
The COOP FreightViewer integrates Shipco LCL rates to enable users to generate instant quotes

leading digital transformation
The COOP FreightViewer integrates Shipco LCL rates to enable users to generate instant quotes

Speed in quoting is essential in a market where the difference between one quote or the other has become minimum. This means that, in some cases, who quotes the faster will have the shipment. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to develop tools such as FreightViewer, states Mr. Morten Bach. He also adds that technology has disrupted in logistics and everything is happening amazingly fast, changing the landscape of logistics.

Mr. Bach also adds that the speed of the market is one of the other big changes in logistics, this is forcing traditional freight forwarders to change their way of thinking. They need to find the strategy to send shipments from A to B as fast as possible, achieve faster information sharing or better order management. And this can be done using different gateways than the traditional.

Under his point of view, it’s important to become global, reaching key partners and the right technology. Being part of a network, which offers a tool such as FreightViewer, means that small-medium companies will be able to become global, being much more competitive and, with the help of technology, being able to handle much more tasks along the process, optimizing their resources. Mr. Morten says: “With the pandemic the digitization process has been accelerated and those companies who didn’t have a great technology strategy have got caught by the new world-wide situation, not being able to serve their clients in the same way or the way they should”

Mr. Morten Bach pointed out the importance of visibility in logistics in order to take control over all shipments. According to his words “it’s essential to provide several options for a shipment to the client, if you don’t give various options to them, they will go somewhere else. Clients need what they need and if you don’t offer it, they will try another option”

To finalize, Mr. Morten states that, currently, there are two different sectors in logistics. Those that refuse to use digital services and those that only use digital resources. This means that we need to develop two different customer strategies, providing service to both groups, but never forgetting that digital trends will be extremely helpful in both strategies.

You are able to find Shipco rates directly through your FreightViewer profile accessing into your member area and personalize these adding your own profit margin. Please contacta amartin@thecooperativelogisticsnetwork.com to obtain further information.

COOP agent in Bremen, Hamburg and Frankfurt names FreightViewer as the game-changer tool for members

After testing our Transport Management Software, Mika, from Kopf & Luebben GMBH, states that FreighViewer is a great opportunity to take the next step towards digitization.

logistics companies and suppliers

Mika Seebeck, in charge of the airfreight and EDI in Kopf & Luebben GMBH, is now working with FreightViewer and comments that software will be the next important step for K&L to optimize the daily business process

Mr. Mika states: “FreightViewer will become a really useful and important tool for K+L. Our customers no longer need to wait for our quotations, they just enter the shipment details and immediately obtain the cost for their shipment. Additionally, it will save a lot of time for us, since we do not need to calculate and offer rates manually to our agents and customers. And as you know, time is money

Our agent also comments that: “All Members can use it for free and save much time with this tool. The software can use the rates from other COOP members as well and if a customer of K+L needs the delivery charges in another country the system will check if a COOP member has uploaded valid import rates and uses these rates for the quotation […]It can help all COOP Members in their daily business process and it is a feature which nearly all our competitors are unable to provide”

FreightViewer Department will be happy to assist you if you may need any assistance with the use of the software or if you would like to know more about the system by scheduling a personalized demo. Please contact amartin@thecooperativelogisticsnetwork.com

COOP agent in Ahmedabad and Mumbai encourages all members to use FreightViewer in order reduce time to quote and easily share rates between agents

Our member, Mr. Ajay Shukla, from Translog Express PVT LTD, has given very interesting suggestions to improve FreightViewer and make it even more useful

After the launch of The COOP’s exclusive software, FreightViewer Department has been receiving plenty of applications from our members to test the software and suggest its improvements. Ajay Shukla, Executive Director of Translog Express PVT LTD, has been collaborating with FreightViewer Department and is now willing to start to work with FreightViewer.

Ajay Shukla states: “FreightViewer is a very good tool and I think it will save a lot of time in quoting rates between agents, as once shared with each other the rates are available online,It also helps forwarders who do not have elaborate and expensive software to easily keep track of their quotes and approvals from their customers […] it will be extremely useful as trusted agents can share the rates and quote to their customer instantaneously” 

Our member, Ajay, has also suggested to have several detailed quotes in one page and a more simple solution for air rates. All these comments have been quite useful for FreightViewer Department and have helped us to improve the tool. Following our member’s statements, we are sure FreightViewer will enable all members of The COOP to reduce time to quote and save costs as it isa free tool for members.

FreightViewer Department will be happy to assist you if you may need any assistance with the use of the software or would like to know more about the system by scheduling a personalized demo, by contacting amartin@thecooperativelogisticsnetwork.com. We will be happy to assist you.

The Cooperative takes a major step towards the digitization of the freight forwarding sector by creating FreightViewer

Madrid, Spain October 2019: After two years of hard work and substantial private investments, The Coop with agents in 286 cities and 124 countries is all set to start working with its member-exclusive Transport Management Software, FreightViewer. This software will provide the members of The Cooperative the technological capability to compare competitive online freight rates, share shipping documents, and quote instantly in real-time all in one neatly organized platform.

Freight forwarding sector is aware about the need of digitization in the industry. The best example to show this fact, is the great investment of technological companies such as Flexport, Freightos or other pioneer freight forwarding multinationals, e.g. Twill and KN Freightnet, have done during the last few years. But even, after all these investments and efforts, a considerable percentage of freight forwarders continue to miss out on the digitalization race in the freight industry.

Even though it is not an easy task to become digitalize within this industry, highly demanding and inpatient customers, multinationals and globalization, are some of the factors which are forcing an important transformation in logistics sector. Inside this environment, The Coop has developed FreightViewer, revolutionizing the old ways of working. As a member-exclusive and free Transport Management Software, FreightViewer allows members of the network to automatize the uploading of their contract rates (Air, FCL, LCL and Cargo Insurance) through the online platform and share them with agents or customers instantly. Moreover, FreightViewer on the dashboard allows customers and agents to manage bookings for any carrier online, collaborate and share the shipping documents, and offer real-time status updates for shipments.

best freight forwarding network

As stated by Antonio Torres, the CEO and President of The Coop, “The new tool is going to help freight forwarders within our network cope with the problem of ever-changing freight rates due to complex tariffs, various time zones and unresponsive overseas agents, which eventually leads to a delay in quoting a door-to-door service.”

FreightViewer will ensure that all members will become truly digital freight forwarders. Mr. Torres further added that “Digitization of the freight forwarding sector is starting but very slowly. For example, only three of the top twenty global freight forwarders can provide an instant quote online. We feel very proud to be part of the digitization process in our industry. The Coop is the first international freight forwarding network to launch instant quoting ability for its members. We have come up with FreightViewer after the launch of the operating system by the industry leader Flexport, who has received one billion $ investment, has eleven offices in four countries and is currently receiving all the attention world-wide from media related to the industry as it is growing incredibly. We haven’t a received a billion-dollar investment, but we have developed a state-of-art software and we have a huge worldwide infrastructure formed by our members. This makes us one of the biggest players running in the digital race of the logistics sector. Our main aim is to contribute towards actualizing the process of digitization in this sector and thereby create value for the shippers.”

FreightViewer will definitely alter the way independent freight forwarders conduct their businesses. It will not just reduce the quotation processing time from a number of days to a couple of seconds, but also help to enhance the productivity, client engagement, and profitability of the member companies.

Interview with Devadas K.M., Fortune Logistics

international logistics service provider“Our company was founded back in 2000 and our founding members came with over 40 years of experience in the industry. We are capable of handling any kind and size of shipments by sea or air with 100% infrastructure and tailor-made customer services. ”

This week we are publishing an interview with Devadas K.M. the Founder and Director of Fortune Logistics, a Coop member in Chennai, India. In this interview, he talks about his company, its achievements and how they are preparing themselves for the future.

Q. Can you tell us a little about Fortune Logistics’ history?
A. Our company was founded back in 2000 and our founding members come with over 40 years of experience in the industry. We are capable of handling any kind and size of shipments by sea or air with 100% infrastructure and tailor-made customer services.

Q. What distinguishes Fortune from other freight forwarders in your city?

A. What makes us different is our instant response and transparent and client-centric transactions.

Q. Which was your experience before running Fortune Logistics?

A. Before establishing FORTUNE LOGISTICS in the year 2000, I acquired experience in handling breakbulk cargo ships, bulk cargo ships, tankers, etc. acting as a chartering agent or as an owner agent for container lines like CONTSHIP, UASC, CMA, MISC, OEL, DONGNAMA etc., and represented as agents for Leading Multinational Freight Forwarders like AEI, KUHNE & NAGEL, JAS, CLASQUIN CDG, FRACHT AG. Afterwards, I founded Fortune Logistics and now I am also running an e-commerce business and I own a 15 hectares organic farm.


“Prompt communication, swift service, transparent dealing and a friendly and client-centric attitude are surely the keys to boosting the efficiency of any freight forwarding company”

 

Q. Apart from being the Director of Fortune Logistics, did you develop other roles in the logistics sector?

A. I am also a shareholder of the new International Airport called Kannur International Airports Limited (KIAL) which is the 4th best and largest international airports in India. I have also invested in land and infrastructure to develop this new airport. Moreover, I’ve been a HAM (Amateur Radio Operator) in the past 29 years with friends in more than 140 countries. I’ve traveled to over 63 countries for this shipping business and also for meeting my Amateur Radio friends. 

Q. What is your opinion about Corporate Social Responsibility?

A. I actively cooperate with organizations that deal with Disaster Communication (tsunami, cyclone, earthquake, etc) which has contributed to save many lives. I have even earned many certificates because of this. Additionally, I am a past president of the Rotary Club and I’ve made donations of over $ 10,000 for polio eradication drive.

Q. Which is the most difficult shipment your team has had to deliver?

A. It is true that size doesn’t matter since our most difficult shipment was a PCB of 500 grams from London to Mangalore. We had to carry out the task within 3 days since the shipment was very critical without which an IT company would have been totally frozen. Though small, transporting this shipment was an achievement. Nevertheless, the largest shipment handled by us was a 600 TEU shipment within 30 days.

Q. Which do you think are the keys to increase the freight forwarding services efficiency?

A. Prompt communication, swift service, transparent dealing, and a friendly and client-centric attitude are surely the keys to boost the efficiency of any freight forwarding company.

Q. How do you see the future of the freight forwarding industry?

A. The advances in technology will allow us to augment our work volume with less manpower and better profit margins.

Q. Tell us an anecdote about your company.

A. Nearly 35 years back I gave a lift to a Greek guy walking inside the harbor under the scorching sun. He was a captain of a ship and his ship’s agent refused to drop him since he had an urgent meeting. Although I had a vessel waiting for berth allotment, I offered a lift to the captain who thanked me and asked for my business card. After 6-7 months I received a Telex message from this captain stating that his company wants to appoint me as their agent and we handled 7 continuous shipments with break-bulk cargo from which my company earned nearly $300,000. A simple support to a foreigner resulted in a superb business opportunity!

Interview: Saqib Mehmood, The Vision Shipping

“Good customer service with prompt reply and the ability to quote rates quickly and accurately are some of the factors which can lead to a Freight Forwarder’s success”

This week we interviewed Saqib Mehmood, Director of The Vision Shipping LLC- a Coop member in Dubai UAE. Among other things, Saqib talks about the benefits of attending our Annual Meeting and sheds some light on how to be successful in the freight forwarding industry.

Q. Can you tell us a little about The Vision Shipping’s history? 

A. I founded TVSL group- a company providing various shipping and logistics services in 2009. With a proven background in the freight forwarding industry, we have served customers from all parts of the world. Over the years, we have become our client’s most reliable option and we carry the same image even today. TVSL is undoubtedly, one of the most renowned companies in the city and we’re making it big with each day passing.

Q. What distinguishes The Vision Shipping from other freight forwarders in your city?

A. Our services are more focused on the domestic and international transportation of both domestic and commercial goods. The service is mandatory for the companies, which are engaged in transporting a wide range of products to overseas market. We are committed to achieving high levels of customer satisfaction by ensuring quality, cost effective services and timely freight forwarding and logistical solutions. Apart from Air and Sea, we also use LTL, FTL, and Intermodal (rail) to move freight. What sets us apart is our ability to deliver the best service on time.

 Q. Which is the most difficult shipment your team has had to deliver?

A. Although we keep handling a lot of complex shipments on a regular basis, moving the Rig Moment from the Gulf of Mexico to India had indeed been a challenging task.

Q. How did you hear about The Cooperative Logistics Network? What attracted you most to The Coop?

A. We were curious about your network when we heard about it from an acquaintance in the industry. I immediately followed up and all the answers to my scrutinizing questions were answered satisfactorily. It was then that we joined as a founding member and here we are still. Full transparency, clear cut information, friendly members, professionally organized Annual Meeting and follow up, and an uncomplicated Payment Protection Programme are some of the factors which attracted us most to your network.

Q. What are the main technological challenges facing freight forwarders at the moment? How important is technology for the industry? 

A. With every passing year, the role of technology in the freight forwarding world is steadily increasing. Technology is now enabling things like predictive analytics, real-time visibility, and enhanced customer service. Freight forwarders of our times need to be updated with all the latest technologies in the industry otherwise they would run the risk of falling behind their competitors. Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? A. The transparency and the ruthless competition of carriers and logistic providers, increasing traffic, and related congestion, strikes and hijacking are some of the most common issues faced by freight forwarders in UAE. Moreover, we need to keep pace with the rapidly changing laws and directives and inform our customers about them before our competitors do. I realize these issues are not exclusive to our country.

Q. From your own experience, what are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?

A. The first step has to be introspection. One needs to analyze where they currently stand in the market, their strengths and weakness. Once the problems are identified, the freight forwarding companies need to focus more on their strengths and work on their weakness and convert that into their strength. Moreover, one needs to identify their client’s exact needs, to make a tailor-made service. Freight forwarders should always keep in mind that low rates are not always the deciding factor to gain a business. If a freight forwarder can provide top-notch services while offering a decent rate, then there is no looking back for that company. Good customer service with prompt reply & the ability to quote rates quickly and accurately are some of the factors which can lead to a company’s success. Lastly, a freight forwarding company have to have a proper marketing team with a good marketing strategy in place to promote their organization at the global level.

Interview with Steinacher Logistics

“The main challenge facing the freight forwarders industry is the transparency” Eduard Van Put, the Managing Director of Steinacher Logistics, a COOP member in Antwerp. 


Steinacher Logistics is an AEO certified company which started its operations back in 1972. One of the most competent international forwarding agents of our time, Steinacher Logistics deals in all sorts of multimodal transport focussing on maritime transportation. Since 1992 they are acting as a financial representative in EU and September 2007 onwards they have been a member of the worldwide logistics network.

This month we catch up with Eduard Van Put, the Managing Director of Steinacher Logistics, a COOP member in Antwerp.

Q. When and how did you get into the freight forwarding industry?

A.I started as a young lad in the industry, 45 years ago in 1972. After a few years, I caught the logistics bug. The numerous worldwide contacts, destinations and origins I came to know taught me that the world is more than the street I lived on. Becoming immersed in the world of logistics, I came to understand the long and complex journey a product travels on, from mold to sold – from manufacture to being gift wrapped.


Q. Can you tell us a little of the history of STEINACHER LOGISTICS? 

A.The company was originally founded in 1884, however In 1979 it was taken over by an Antwerp family well known in the city’s port. In 2007 the company was relaunched as STEINACHER LOGISTICS to develop the logistics side of the company.

Q. What distinguishes STEINACHER LOGISTICS from other freight forwarders in your city?

A. We know all the cliché lines, but to quote our slogan, “a team that makes the difference”. Agents really do appreciate our special service. The team’s professionalism and efficiency is served with a friendly flavor, concern for customers needs and a positive attitude. It’s a team that I am very proud to be part of but, of course, I cannot reveal the secret formula of makes it all work!

Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment?

A. Transparency. An advantage on one hand, but also a disadvantage when misused. The ruthless competition of carriers and logistic providers, increasing traffic and related congestion, strikes and hijacking of not only the man on the street but also the economy, to obtain rights whilst forgetting duties. Rapidly changing laws and directives that urges us to keep pace with, and to inform, our customers before our competitors do. I realize these issues are not exclusive to our country.

Q. How is the freight forwarders industry dealing with these challenges?

A. Our professional association advises us in advance of any changes, new regulations, and challenges in near future.


Q. How is STEINACHER LOGISTICS dealing with these challenges daily?

A. Keeping our customers well-informed. Forging partnerships with carriers, and even competitors. Creating opportunities and offering intelligent solutions. Not merely acting as a supplier but as an accountable partner.

Q. How did you hear about The Cooperative Logistics Network?


A. At the end of 2014 I learnt from Thomas Manigk, CEO of Kopf & Lübben, that his company was joining The COOP. Knowing Thomas’ standards, I became curious. As the answers to my scrutinizing questions were answered satisfactorily, we then joined as a founding member, and here we are still, in 2017.

Q. What attracted you most about The Cooperative Logistics Network?


A. Clear cut information, no nonsense approach, user-friendly website, professionally organized Annual Meeting and follow up, crystal clear conditions, and an uncomplicated Payment Protection Programme


Q. What would be the most significant shipment your team has handled?

A.Over the last 38 years, we’ve handled O.O.G. and heavyweight machinery and projects, such as 60 M.T. of chocolate by air to Australia at short notice for Christmas, 124 T.E.U.’s to the United Arab Emirates just before New Year, as well as an airfreight shipment of an engine, a so-called A.O.G. However, one of the most challenging activities is the logistics we coordinate is for antiques and fine arts customers and exhibitions worldwide, which requires extra special care.

Q. What were the challenges with this shipment and how did your team overcome them?

A. The big challenge is usually meeting deadlines without delay. Complicated custom formalities, inspections, licenses on both sides of the ocean, delays of vessel or flights, and so on can be tricky. On one occasion, a big airfreight shipment booked ahead of time was held back by a carrier to give priority to a shipment of horses, as it generated a higher income. It goes without saying that our logistic partner needed to run faster than the horses to make it work! and in the end they did.

Q. Where do you see STEINACHER LOGISTICS N.V. in 10 years?

A. Branding and continuously upgrading our qualified service in a volatile and challenging world that is constantly evolving, and sharing a toast with all the stakeholders, of a cocktail made up of our core values.

We invite members with shipments from/to Antwerp to get in touch with the team.

Eduard Van Put
evp@stlog.be
www.stlog.be

Interview with Shine Logistics

“We anticipate all of the small and large challenges that we could come up against in our industry and have a plan for each eventuality”
COOP Seoul – SHINE LOGISTICS has successfully evolved from humble beginnings to a now having a renowned local and worldwide reputation. Their key for success is Speed, Simplicity and the personal touch. This week, President Chan-Bin Im, told us a bit more about their story and their present challenges.

Q. When and how did you get into the freight forwarding industry?
A. I actually started out at a trading company in Korea before making the career change into freight forwarding in 1999.

Q. Can you tell us a little of the history of Shine Logistics?
A. My co-worker and I decided to establish SHINE in 2004, wanting to create something that was different from other competitors, by listening to customers to shape our business plan. We believe honestly is the best policy, and have an excellent relationship with our clients to this day.

Q. What distinguishes Shine Logistics from other freight forwarders in your city? 
A. We personalise every aspect of the service for our client. We understand that freight forwarding isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ business. This is a big difference from most freight forwarding companies who standardize their services. Our approach has proven popular so far, with many return customers.

Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in Korea now?
A. Last year, Hanjin’s Shipping collapsed suddenly. Things like that are a shock, but they happen. Many of the big shipping lines are starting to merge with each as a result, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing for us. So for now, if this means forming closer ties with similar companies, then that is something we will be prepared to do.

Q. How is the freight forwarding industry tackling these challenges?
A. Preparation! You have to expected the unexpected. An important part of this is having a close relationship with shipping partners.

Q. How is Shine Logistics dealing with these challenges daily?
A. We have a strong team. Even staff who are not on the front line of the logistics side of things learn all the in’s and out’s of the business so they can deal with all challenges, and provide quality customer service.

Q. What are the challenges of shipping steel and how do your team overcome them?

A. Most shipping lines don’t like taking steel because it weighs so much. As I said, this where a strong relationship with shipping lines make the difference, and we have built a solid group of partners over time.

Q. What would be the most significant shipment your team has handled?

A.Our main commodity is steel goods like a STS coils, round bar, plate, tube and all other forms of steel. We ship a lot both domestically and abroad.
Q. Where do you see Shine Logistics in 10 years?
A. My dream is for Shine to become one of the biggest freight forwarding companies in Korea and the world. We believe this possible as long as we continue to pursue excellent and confidential customer service, which has held us in great stead until now.