By George Lauriat, AJOT
The challenges in the project cargo marketplace are unique and provide a basis for industry wide camaraderie that stretches over many countries and regions. Because of the very special demands of project cargo, perhaps no sector in all of transportation logistics requires closer personal relationships to enable the business to work. This was evident at the WCA Projects Network (WCAPN) 4th annual conference in Barcelona, Spain held over June 16th-18th.
The conference was the first annual WCAPN annual held in Europe and attracted over a hundred delegates from more than thirty nations.
WCAPN, a part of the WCA Family of Logistics Networks, is a non-exclusive network for independent project-oriented forwarders and related service providers. The network has grown quickly with a strong presence in the Middle East, India, and China, and with a growing interest in Africa. Many of the delegates shared their wide-ranging business experiences in general presentations and in conversation. The member presentations showed the variation in the global reach of the network businesses.
In the case of the Rickmers Linie Gmbh, a Hamburg-based ocean carrier specializing in project work, Verna Braeuni, key accounts manager, gave a presentation comparing the 3D-cargo management system RICOSYS’s simulated move of a large deck stowed catamaran yacht to that of an actual move.
Jawad Kamel, CEO of Istanbul-based Advance International Transport Inc., spoke about his company’s numerous projects. These included the shipment of 460 pre-fabricated building modules for the USA embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan; the shipment of Mitsui power plant equipment for Bulgaria’s Maritza East II (ME-II) power plant from Japan and from within Europe to Bulgaria; and the shipment of the world’s largest methanol and urea plants from MHI to Al Jubail from 43 countries and 372 shippers, manufacturers and vendors to Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
Mohamed Am Osman, VP of Port of Sudan headquartered Darka for Trading and Services, gave a presentation on the particularly challenging delivery of a large mobile crane to the Bisha Gold Mine in Eritrea. The project was thrust on Darka after another company dropped out. It required routing the equipment through the Port of Sudan and then overland to Eritrea through a highly dangerous region often lacking basic infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
Karine Dantier of Paris-based Dynami Aviation gave a presentation on the ever changing, air charter market. Her company specializes in tailoring aircraft charters to a wide range of markets including oversized freight, humanitarian and relief aid, automotive just-in-time deliveries and almost everything in between. Dynami charters aircraft of almost every description from turbo props, Antonov 124s to helicopters.
Eha Lohmus, Deputy General Manager of CF&S, is based in Moscow for the Estonian maritime agency. The company specializes in moving goods through Russia and the CIS. Lohmus explained some of the difficulties her company encountered on both rail and (truck) convoys through Russia.
Andrew Wallace, Director of Durban, South Africa-based freight forwarder Paccon Logistics, explained that his company’s key competency is project management. The forwarder’s particular area of interest is cargo into Africa, and in particular, Zambia. Wallace said Zambia has in the last 3 years been core to his company’s cross-border project activities “simply because that is where the money (largely Chinese) is being spent and that Paccon has a very long-standing relationship with a well-established Chinese project forwarder, Sun Line International, on whose behalf we have arranged the move from liner out of Durban to door at destination.”
Paccon was also appointed as local agents for Kalmar Finland and Liebherr Container Cranes, Ireland to handle all landside logistics and charter vessel agencies, where applicable, for all cranes that have been supplied to Transnet Port Terminals for the last 4 years.