Interview with Globalia Munich

“Talking to our network partners and discussing a business deal over phone or emails are never enough. The Annual Meetings give us the much needed personal touch which is so important for building a constructive business relationship.”

Last week we interviewed Mr. Zehentbauer, Managing Director of Airfreight Express Global GMBH, Globalia member in Munich, Germany, who tells us about his company, his experiences in the industry and much more.

Q. Can you tell us a little about the history of Airfreight?
A. Our company was founded back in May 2007 by three shareholders. Our objective was to provide customized logistics services at a very reasonable pricing and for more than a decade, we have managed to do the same with utmost dedication.

Q. What distinguishes Airfreight from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. Airfreight Global is a medium sized company which comes with a solid global presence. One of the most distinguishing factors about our team is that we offer tailor-made services 24/7 which meet all the requirements of our customers and are available at a rock bottom price.

Q. What has been your greatest success so far?
A. Our greatest success has been to survive the stiff competition in all these years while working right from day one without any credit from any bank in the world!

Q. Which is the most difficult shipment your team had to deliver? How did you handle it?
A. In 2008, we handled a missile warhead which was transported from Germany via Amsterdam to Tehran. This had been one of the most remarkable as well as challenging shipments moved by our team.

Q. How did you hear about Globalia?
A. I received a mailer from Globalia and that is how I first heard about your network. When we saw that Globalia allows only one member per city, we immediately decided to join. The exclusivity of members is one of the major reasons which prompted us to join this network.

Q. What do you think are the benefits of attending our Annual Meetings?
A. Talking to our network partners and discussing a business deal over phone or emails are never enough. Meeting the network members face to face is one of the most important advantages of attending the Annual Meetings. The Annual Meetings give us the much needed personal touch which is so important for building a constructive business relationship.

Q. What are the main technological challenges facing freight forwarders at the moment? How important is technology for the industry?
A. E-commerce, e-AWB, 4PL, and specialized logistics software are now an integral component of the supply chain industry. The multinationals are making the best use of technology and in order to survive the competition we constantly need to innovate, improve and keep pace with the technological advancements. Otherwise, we will lose out at the end of the day.

Q. What are the advantages of operating from Germany? Are there any challenges facing your country at this moment?
A. The strong economic situation in Germany is one of our major advantages but, at the same time, maintaining this high level is also of one of our challenges. Additionally, dealing with Brexit and figuring out the economic consequences is going to be a rather challenging task.

Q. From your own experience, which are the keys to success in the freight forwarding industry?
A. One needs to be sensitive about the needs of the clients. A freight forwarder needs to feel the problems faced by the customers and come up with an ideal solution. This can be the basis of a long lasting relationship with your customers.

     ‘‘E-commerce, e-AWB, 4PL, and specialized logistics software  are now an integral component of the supply chain industry. The multinationals are making the best
use of technology and in order to
survive the competition we constantly need to innovate, improve and keep pace with the technological advancements.”
 
            

Q. Tell us a funny story or an anecdote about a curious shipment you have handled?
A. I can remember one funny story which was really annoying for our client. We were waiting at Munich for a big shipment which was supposed to be sent from London. Even after 3 attempts, the shipment was not loaded into the airplane and we didn’t know what to do next. However, we finally laid our hands on the shipment which was sent as a general cargo shipment within just 2 hours!

Q. Where do you see your company in 10 years?
A. We have come a long way in the last 10 years. In another 10 years, we want to see ourselves as one of the most competent logistics service providers in Germany. Globalia members with shipments to/from Munich, Germany, are invited to get in touch with their professional team. 

“Freight forwarding is a global business, which requires us to focus on strong partnership ties and collaborate as a solid team.” Interview with Globalia Madrid

This week we had an interview with Mr. Valeriano Garcia – CEO Globalia member in Madrid, who talks about his company and the challenges facing the freight forwarding industry.


Q. When and how did you get into the freight forwarding industry?
A. I started my career in the freight forwarding industry since June 1991.

Q. Can you tell us a little about ELS GROUP’ history?
A. ELS is a privately owned logistics company which was founded in Saudi Arabia in January 2012. Our company has very quickly evolved into a premier provider of freight forwarding, distribution and warehousing services. The core focus of our organization is to provide our clients with cost-effective and high-tech solutions for their complicated supply chain requirements.

Q. What distinguishes ELS GROUP from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. Our area of specialization is international transport and multi-modal transport and service. We have been offering complete traffic management services by identifying and evaluating the requirements of the shipper and designing customized shipping programs by making use of the most effective modes of transportation. We provide our clients with a range of logistical services, which include customs clearance, warehousing, distribution, technological services, specialized services for the automotive industry, tailor-made services and much more.
Our culture at ELS is marked by a robust “can do it” attitude- on which we count on for resolving challenging issues, carrying out our daily tasks and for coming up with creative solutions for our clients and partners.

Q. How is ELS GROUP dealing with their daily challenges?
A. Freight forwarding is a global business, which requires us to focus on strong partnership ties between independent freight forwarders and collaborate on more projects as a solid team. However, most freight forwarders fail to grasp the importance of cooperation and teamwork, which is precisely why they miss out on some of the most lucrative business opportunities.

Q. How could the freight forwarding industry improve?
A. Independent freight forwarders need to become part of a network and stay connected with each other, just like the multinational freight forwarders do.

Q. How is ELS GROUP dealing with their daily challenges?
A. Enhancing our IT system and working tirelessly to improve our work relations with the members helps us to get more projects and improve our company’s presence. We believe that teamwork with our partners in various parts of the world is something which can greatly boost our company’s profile.

Q. What attracted you most about Globalia Logistics Network?
A. Some of the factors that convinced us to join Globalia are the global coverage of the network, its reliability and of course the fact that only quality freight forwarders make it to this network.

Q. What would be the most significant shipment your team has handled?
A. Our most significant shipment so far has been the transportation of 4.5 metric tons of IMO mineral to China in a single shipment.

Q. What were the challenges with this shipment?
A. Liaising with the port authorities, road authorities, arranging for permits and licenses and negotiating with the carriers for obtaining equipment space within a very tight frame of time proved to be quite a challenge. Consolidated teamwork and our perfect relationship with the carriers, custom and port authorities are some of the factors which allowed us to execute this challenging project with considerable ease.

Q. Where do you see ELS GROUP in 10 years?
A. For the ELS team, the sky is the limit. In 10 years we will be as high as our efforts can drive us.

“The freight forwarding industry is expected to go through loads of major digitization changes in the coming years and we must be ready”. Interview with Globalia Shanghai

This week we interviewed Jason Yu, from Shanghai Multiplex Concept Intl Freight Forwarding Co. Ltd, Globalia member in Shanghai, who told us in detail about their company and how they are striving to keep ahead of the competition.

Q. Can you tell us a little about Shanghai Multiplex’ history?

A. Our company was established in 2006, and since then we have been providing all kinds of international logistics services including air, sea and road freight, custom clearance, import, export, warehousing, door to door deliveries and much more. No matter if the consignments are large project cargo requiring chartered/heavy lift transport or time-critical products where service failure can be critical, we are here to provide our clients with access to all the expertise they might need.

Q. Why did you decide to become a freight forwarder, and how did you get into the industry?

A. While in university, I did my majors in logistics management and after completing the course I worked at an airport terminal for 5 years. This was when I thought about starting my own logistics company which would offer prompt and creative logistics solutions for the clients and since then I have been working for Shanghai Multiplex.

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a freight forwarder?

A. Freight forwarding is one of those jobs which involve a lot of brainwork and coordination. The day to day challenges in the freight forwarding industry is something which always keeps me interested in my job. Some of the aspects about the job which I like to work on typically involve coordination and negotiation with shippers, shipping lines, truck companies and customs brokers for coming

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

A. A few things which distinguish us from our competitors are our long years of experience, flexible handling capability, prompt and effective solutions for the most complex shipping needs and the ability to always adapt our services according to our customer’s needs. 

Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? How are you dealing with them?

A. One of the major challenges faced by freight forwarders in Shanghai is fierce market competition. We are coping with this challenge by providing the best and most cost-effective services, and by responding promptly to our customer’s requirement. We strive to provide all our customers – large and small, with world-class levels of support, care and commitment. Our ‘customer first’ policy surely helps us to stay ahead in the competition.

Q. What most attracted you to Globalia Logistics Network?

A. The territorial exclusivity of Globalia members, the prospect of collaboration and the yearly meetings are some of the things which attracted us most to your network

Q. How did Globalia’s 1st Annual Meeting benefit Shanghai Multiplex?

A. The 1’st yearly meeting of Globalia agents went way better than we expected. It provided us an opportunity to know our partners more closely and gave us the confidence to collaborate with professional and reliable agents from all around the world.

Q. Where do you see your company in 10 years?

A. The freight forwarding industry is expected to go through loads of major changes in the coming years, most of which would involve automation and digitization. Electronic transactions are sure to develop step by step and a time will come when the shipper might book space, arrange trucks and go for custom clearance services online. Therefore, we as traditional logistics service provider must also be ready with digitized and value-added services which would be suitable for all kind of customer requirements.

Interview with Globalia Mumbai

This week we spoke to Globalia member in Mumbai, Mahesh Mehta, Director of Magnum Cargo, who tells us a little bit about their company and projects and how they established themselves as a pioneer in the freight forwarding industry.

Q. How did you get into the freight forwarding industry?
A.It was in 1987 that we started to work with one of the local freight forwarding companies and then subsequently after two years we started our own company in 1989.

Q. What distinguishes MAGNUM CARGO from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. One of our major distinguishing features is our operational excellence and our strong foothold in pharmaceutical products of all kinds. We understand that customer’s products are much more valuable than just a cargo for their buyers. A specialist in medical logistics, Magnum Cargo has a trained staff for handling cool chain pharmaceutical products with expertise in re-packing, re-icing, and data logger reading.

Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? A. Infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges faced by the Indian freight forwarder and logistics sector and has been a major deterrent to its growth. Due to the infrastructural bottlenecks, costs per transaction in Indian logistics sector are very much high compared to those in the developed markets.

Q. How is Magnum Cargo dealing with these challenges on a daily basis?
A. We aim to combat these regular challenges by means of advance planning, partnering with the right vendors, and regular communications with all the stakeholders for further improvement and development.

Q. How did you know Globalia Logistics Network? What attracted most about Globalia?
A. What drew us to Globalia is the fact that it is a network of high caliber freight forwarders with reliability and financially secured partners.

Q. What would be the most significant shipment your team has handled?
A. We were contacted by our client (representative of a religious community) when most of the big multinational global brands failed to meet their requirements and pulled backed one after the other. At first, the task seemed a simple case of handling 4.5 tons of airfreight shipment from AMD to ANR airport. It was an idol of God made up of marble and studded with gold and semi-precious stones. The idol was to be sent to Antwerp for the inauguration of a community temple in Antwerp.

Q. What would be the most difficult shipment your team has handled to date? How did you handle it?
A. The set of requirements of the customer (which are listed below) had been a major challenge and handling the shipment was a daunting task which put the confidence of many big players in the doldrums.
– Aircraft should not have any female on board ( passenger, crew, pilot & copilot)
– Non- Veg should not be served in aircraft
– Alcohol should not be served in aircraft
– Aircraft should not carry any animal live or frozen
– Idol should not get touched by hands to avoid negativity and impurity
– Cargo should reach the destination within a week’s time
Considering the requirements, we suggested a charter aircraft but it was nearly impossible to arrange for a charter aircraft within such a short notice and we had to think of other alternatives. We finally zeroed in on EY. They agreed to operate a charter aircraft but a small aircraft couldn’t be arranged. They could only arrange B-747F having a payload of 100 tons. Wow! 100 tons aircraft for 4.5 Tons normal cargo!

Q. Could you tell us any anecdote which happened while managing this shipment?
A. Even though the cargo was not odd sized after the final packing, it could not go through the screening machine and required a mandatory hand check. As already mentioned before one of the pre-requisites of the client was that the idol shouldn’t get touched by hands. Last minute praying and brainstorming by our team standing at the airport was really an experience in itself. Within 30-45 minutes our team arranged for 5 priests to enter the screening area after getting permission from the airport authority. The priests are the only ones who are allowed to touch the idol. So we made them remove the idol from the package and ensured that the security staff checks the complete package and idol without touching it. Once the security check was completed the priests started chanting and sprinkled holy water on the idol to remove all the negativity and impurities and the package was re-packed. The job was completed in a weeks’ time as per the deadline set by the customer!

Q. How do you see Magnum Cargo in 10 years?
A. We aspire to position our self with Global players in terms of volume, global presence and technology. We have already invested in USA and Mauritius by starting our own office and facilities and expansion plans are to start in other regions too.

“As long as there is trading, there will be a constant need for freight forwarders”. Interview with Globalia Tema/Accra

This week we spoke to Globalia member in Tema and Accra, Joseph Biney, CEO of BAJ Freight who tells us about the origins of the company and how they established themselves as a pioneer in the freight forwarding industry of Ghana.

Q. Can you tell us a little more of Baj Freight?
A. BAJ is the acronym for Bart, Ato and Joe. The name BAJ is simply a constant reminder of the hard work of our employees under the skillful management of Mr. Joseph K. Biney, Ato Quagrine and Fred Bart Simpson whose collaboration dates back to thirty-two years ago when they met as employees of Relebo Lines Limited.

Q. When did you decide to become a freight forwarder and how did you get into the industry?
A.I think as long as there is trading, there would be a constant need for freight forwarders. Hence, I thought of my profession as a calling to this need.

Q. What distinguishes BAJ FREIGHT from other freight forwarders in your city?
A. What distinguishes us from other forwarders is that BAJ is a pacesetter in the industry. We seek to get involved in a series of industry pilot programmes and developmental corporate social responsibilities such as the BAJ Freight junior Tennis League.

Q. What has been your greatest success so far?
A. BAJ is the first Local Company to be licensed by the Ghana Nuclear Regulatory Authority to safely transport radioactive cargo to and From Ghana and neighbouring countries for key clients such as Newmont, Schlumberger amongst others. Our company has won:
– 2014, 2015 and 2016.- Oil & Gas Logistics company of the year
– 2014.- First Western Regional Business and Financial Service Excellence Awards
– 2015 & 2016.- Best Freight Forwarding Company & Logistics Company of the year
– 2015.- Customs House Agents Awards(for the third highest revenue collected for Ghana Revenue Authority)
– 2017.- Haulage Company of the year

Q. How did you hear about Globalia? What most attracted you to us?
A. Globalia was recommended by some of my partners in the other freight network associations. BAJ rarely had partners in the areas your members were located hence I felt the need to be a part.

Q. What’s the biggest difficulty in dealing with suppliers/factories?
A. The problem had always been price undercutting, high rates, lack of proper industry information and time constraints.

Q. What are the main challenges facing freight forwarders in your country at the moment? How are you dealing with them?
A. Ghana has a high influx of freight forwarders who still practice the old ways of buying and selling freight. Added to this is the frequent price undercutting by other forwarders with less consideration on the cost implication. BAJ has invested in technologies which would allow our clients to track their cargo progress and status. We are currently emphasizing on having a personal interaction with clients to lay more emphasis on quality of service and not accept undercut prices

Q. What would be the most difficult shipment your team has handled to date? How did you handle it?
A.We handled an out of gauge 8.5m exhaust funnel for a thermal plant project where we had to pass under three high tension low hanging poles which connected Ghana, Togo and Cote d’Iovire within 15 minutes. Honestly, I thought this was going to be impossible but we requested the concerned authorities to disconnect the poles one after the other for the funnel to pass and then reconnect the power.

Q. Tell us a funny story about a curious shipment you have handled.
A. A client engaged BAJ for services relating to customs clearance of general goods. Having communicated the ETA of the Vessel to the client, there was an unfortunate incident which delayed the vessel arrival hence the ETA kept changing. After three communication of ETA change, I got to my office, to find our client with a pillow and mattress saying that he will not leave until we confirm that the vessel had arrived. Fortunately for me, that very day, I received an email from the shipping line saying that the vessel had berthed.

Q. How do you see BAJ Freight in 10 years?
A. Within 10 years we aim to be one of the top three logistics company in West Africa, using the most sophisticated technologies and implementing global standards in freight forwarding.