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Lighthouse - March, 2016.

Chairman’s Message


T S Kaladharan

Taking time to look at the current world situation, it is apparent that positive signs of economic stability are being challenged by various social and political concerns. Big economies are exhibiting sluggish trends whereas certain regions, showing promising potential, are under threat from unpredictable forces such as terrorism. This overall situation prompts responsible proactive companies to assess how they may maintain and promote confidence. CSS is, quite rightly, well placed in the middle ground of these challenges. Our core principles of customer awareness, service and innovation stand us in good stead. It means that our leadership team possess the much valued emotional intelligence required to instil confidence in others. This quality, in particular, is of paramount importance. Its application, being able to understand and appreciate what causes concerns in others, enables CSS to combine our experience in a way which encourages faith in the future. This ability is not achieved by chance. It is the product of having a long time commitment to the services and logistics industry. We are able to lead and push positive trends forward to the advantage of those who do business with us. This is not only of benefit to CSS but also to everyone else.

The first weeks of 2016 have quickly highlighted the course CSS needs to take in order to make inroads into new market places, whilst at the same time being able to continue providing on-going support, service and resolutions for our valued customers. CSS, as a customer – client proactive company, is able to anticipate when changes are needed in order to respond to market demands. Accordingly I look forward with confidence to CSS, along with the mutual support of our friends, being able to help each other achieve our respective visions for the future.


Outstanding Contribution Honoured


Consolidated Shipping Services Group Receives IMC Excellence award


U B Prince receiving award from Sohan Roy


Consolidated Shipping Services Group (CSS) received the Excellence award for their outstanding contribution towards the Maritime Industry. The award was constituted by the International Maritime Club (IMC). On behalf of T S Kaladharan, Chairman of CSS Group, U B Prince, the COO of their BPO operations received the award.


The IMC Excellence Award ceremony the prodigious efforts and contributions of Malayali Maritime entrepreneurs, technocrats and academicians for generating maximum employment, professionals and business opportunities in various segments of the maritime sector. The nominations for the awards were received from various sectors of the maritime industry and were reviewed by the IMC panel of judges. The awards were purely based on individual merits and their personal contribution for furthering the developments in the maritime industry.

International Maritime Club (IMC) inaugurated its Cochin chapter and hosted IMC Excellence Awards 2015 at Casino Hotel, Cochin on 27th December 2015.

The ceremony was held during the silver jubilee reunion of Department of Ship Technology, CUSAT’s 11th Batch.  IMC – Cochin Chapter was inaugurated by      Mr. Sohan Roy, IMC Global President,    Dr. P.G. Sunil Kumar, Capt .T. J. Mathew and Mr. K. K. Devanandan.

International Maritime Club (IMC) is a non-profit organization which works for the conscious and continuous development of the vast maritime industry. It is a platform where professionals from various sectors of the maritime industry come together under one roof to exchange knowledge and ideas on the maritime trade and industry. Currently, IMC is associated with more than 200 maritime organizations across the globe. More details on club can be found on its website
www.internationalmaritimeclub.com 


C.H. Robinson Visits CSS in Dubai


CSS Group recently had the pleasure of hosting an executive delegation from C.H. Robinson, USA from the 18th to 21st January. The visiting team comprised of, Mr. Andrew Clarke, Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Mike Short President, Global Forwarding, Mr. Tom Sweet, Vice President Overseas Development- Global Forwarding, Mr. T J Srinivasan, Managing Director- India

Along with the subjects of mutual interests, Business development, projects and initiatives in the Pipeline were also discussed during the meetings. The current market scenario, while acknowledged to be below par, was discussed and a mutual agreement to work collectively to improve both companies presence in the Middle East Market place.

“It was our pleasure to host the C.H. Robinson Senior Management delegates in our Dubai office facilities and further develop our customer-focused business initiatives and personal relationships.  Since working with C.H. Robinson, we have seen our relationship grow from strength to strength”, mentioned T S Kaladharan, Chairman CSS Group, while talking about the delegate visit. The visit to CSS Group Jebel Ali offices included a fully guided tour of their Bonded CFS, and a firsthand view of the construction of the CSS Group’s new State of the Art Corporate office and the Warehouse extension project. This development, mentioned earlier, is in line with the growth aspirations which CSS Group has in the region. This while ensuring that they maintain their edge in the market place while representing a globally renowned company such as C.H. Robinson.

The two day programme included visits to key business partners like the Dubai Ports, Emirates Airlines, and the key customers of CSS and C.H. Robinson in Dubai.

“Our relationship with C.H. Robinson has been growing steadily over the last few years. An association with an organization with the size/scale that C.H. Robinson is today has proved effective here in the region. We now have a Global platform to pitch with our key customers” commented Ajay Krishnan, Senior General Manager, Freight forwarding operations, CSS Group.

C. H. Robinson is a global provider of multimodal transportation services and logistics solutions, operating through a network of branch offices in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and the Middle East. They are a non-asset based transportation provider, who works with approximately 63,000 transportation companies worldwide. They also provide a wide range of value added logistics services, such as supply chain analysis, freight consolidation, core carrier program management, and information reporting.

CSS Group while remaining as the most trusted partner for freight forwarding and logistics among the global fraternity has shown steady growth in their professional approach and dedicated services offered in the field of Ocean Freight, Air Freight, Local & International Land Transportation, Projects Management, Supply Chain Management and Personal Effects Management. Being a prominent name in the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, CSS Group has to its credit an enviable list of Global Network Partners. CSS has a dedicated and highly skilled team of over 1000 professionals around the globe offering integrated freight forwarding & logistic solutions to varied clientele.


Extra Care For Your Cargo


CSS Homeward Bound uses Vacuum Packing for special care of cargo


Vacuum packing has been extensively used by CSS Homeward Bound as per customer’s request. It’s a specialized service only few companies are providing in the industry. Homeward Bound specializes in all kinds of vacuum packing from helicopters / yachts to small machines.

Vacuum packing is a method of packaging that removes air from the package prior to sealing. This method involves (manually or automatically) placing items in a plastic film package, removing air from inside, and sealing the package. Shrink film is sometimes used to have a tight fit to the contents. The intent of vacuum packing is usually to remove oxygen from the container with flexible package forms. It will reduce the volume of the contents and package.

Any type of cargo can be vacuum packed and it depends on the customer who wants to safeguard their cargo from moisture. Vacuum packing stops rusting and aging of the cargo also the cargo stays new for a longer time. “Much cost variance is not there for vacuum packing from normal packing and our customers who are willing to pay a small extra money can make doubly sure that their cargo is more secured”, commented Syed Zeeshan, General Manager, CSS Homeward Bound. “We have given special and extensive training for our staff for specialised cargo packing requirements as most of our customers demand such new trends, “added Zeeshan.

Vacuum packing reduces atmospheric oxygen, limiting the growth of aerobic bacteria or fungi, and preventing the evaporation of volatile components. Special equipments are being used for vacuum packing at CSS Homeward Bound warehouse. 

Vacuum Packing Procedures

Cargo will be wrapped in Aluminium barrier foil and all joints will be sealed with heat seale , air to be completely sucked out from the Package and VCI emitters and desiccants placed inside. (In case of sharp edges in the cargo cushioning material will be placed)

Material  Specifications:

Metal Barrier foil :

Flexible, heat sealable,  water vapour & corrosion  resistant  barrier foil

Tri-laminate of Polyester, Aluminium   & Polyethylene.

Total thickness – 115 Micron (Tolerance +/- 5 %)


Maritime and More


Interview with Sohan Roy, Founder Chairman & CEO of Aries Group of Companies




A Ship Designer by profession, Sohan Roy started his career as a Marine Engineer, to become the first Naval Architect in India to join Merchant Navy. Along with a Guinness Book entry, today he has global reputation as the Director of the Oscar selected movie DAM999 and the Creative Head & Project Designer of many award winning films & documentaries. He is also the President of the International Maritime Club (IMC) and founder of the first global maritime TV channel, Marine BizTV.

Sohan Roy speaks about his concepts and vision to, G. Unnikrishnan, Head of Marketing and Corporate communications, CSS Group, in an exclusive interview.

IMC has been working as an umbrella organisation for the maritime world for quite some time. Is there any specific reason behind the Cochin chapter inauguration now?
IMC has been active since 2007 in UAE. One of its objectives is to have Marine Cities across the world in all maritime hubs were Mariners can stay, work and learn together in an exclusive housing colony along with having a branch of IMC in that hub. Since the concept of IMC got evolved from Cochin, we decided to have the first marine city at Cochin. Also to make the process more effective we need to have a branch of IMC there for its smooth execution. Since thousands of mariners are staying in and around  Cochin it has a huge potential to support Maritime Industry through Marine City and IMC. Cochin is just a beginning . We are planning to have 10 branches of IMC to be initiated this year itself.

As a guiding figure for the IMC, could you give us your larger vision on the future of this great union of Maritime associations?
The ten objectives of IMC are the Integration of the Maritime organizations for better interaction, quality based accreditation of Maritime institutes, Knowledge sharing through Events, Identify & honour the achievers and talents, Promote charity activities, Effective Utilization of Govt. funds, Establish Marine Cities, To attract investments to the Maritime industry to create more job opportunities, Amicable settlement of Maritime Dispute and the initiatives for Maritime Sustainability. Even though having the huge potential while controlling two third of the world, Maritime Industry is one of the most disintegrated community without having the vision of “those who rule the sea can conquer the world”. The very dream of IMC is to make it happen through an efficient unified maritime community.

Consolidated Shipping Group is an NVOCC, what advantages do an NVOCC have in associating with IMC?
As long as 90% of trade happens through sea, NVOCC will have its major role in the Maritime Industry. Organizations like IMC can take up initiative to guide and put pressure on developing countries like India to open up more and more ports without any delay to boost the cargo movements. Once a container transport system is in place development of that country is automatic as it boosts both import and export. Ports like Vizhinjam would have realized long back if IMC had taken initiative.

Can you explain more about the Maritime city project
The very need of Marine cities is to create marine communities were mariners can walk to their office from home and can work till their last breathe while moulding the next generation in a better way. Future ship management companies shall be based in these communities so that the same vessel can be looked after by the same team for its better maintenance.  As sailors feel more comfortable to see their families being stayed along with co-sailor’s families they shall extend their sailing life which is what really required for the industry these days not to lose experienced hands. Along with ship management, other areas like design firms, academies, survey firms etc. also can be a part of these marine cities.

According to your perspective, what are the impacts of the current socio political situation around the world on the shipping industry?

Crust and trough are part of shipping however; right now shipping is passing through its worst phase. Oil crisis, piracy, Civil wars, massive production of Chinese shipyards and the drastic reduction in the cargo movements to US & China may make it further worse.  But the expected economic boom in countries like India gives a lot of hope for a recovery.

Marine BizTV is the only channel dedicated to Maritime industry. What inspired you to begin such a venture?? Are you satisfied with the outcome??

I had to do a project as part of my Diploma course from Hollywood Film Institute and the idea of starting an exclusive TV channel for Maritime Industry got evolved from that clubbing with my Maritime experience as a Marine Engineer & Naval Architect.  Accordingly Marine Biz TV was launched in 2007 coinciding with the beginning of current shipping recession. As per our initial plans, it was to be commercialized within 3 years. As the Industry could not get out of the recession, it was not possible to get the right promoters for an infotainment channel like this. Presently it’s a CSR initiative of Aries Group to support IMC and free downloading facility is made available to all even on mobile platforms. More than 7000 hours of technical contents are available in the library. Marine BizTV has become the official media for more than 500 maritime events. Even though Marine BizTV hasn’t reached its real heights as planned, I’m satisfied with what it has gained during the worst phase of the Industry.

Sohan Roy is a versatile personality, but you are more known as a film director to the common man. Do you like that??

My passion was always into Films and destiny made me a Naval Architect. After my Engineering Degree I tried to join Film Industry. Due to the pressure from my parents I had to quit my dreams and join back my real profession. Aries was launched in 1998 and within few years I could make our design division as the best in Middle East. The day when one of my designs got into Guinness Book of World records, I decided to chase my dreams on movies again. Several Programmes & Documentaries were made for Marine BizTV to begin with that journey. Portraying the story of few mariners for the branding of Maritime Industry, DAM 999 was announced in 2008 and the movie got release in 2011 by Warner Bros with 5 Oscar short listing. So far the movie has been got into more than 100 film festivals and won several International Awards. It’s a fact that I’m more known as a Film maker than a Ship Designer due to the glittering glamour of the Film Industry. Being a passion I spend 50% of my time for the movie industry even though Shipping is still my bread and butter.

What were the challenges you faced during the epic movie shoot of DAM999

DAM999 was not just another movie for the Indian Film Industry. It was the first movie ever made from the largest film making country in the real Hollywood Format. It was the first 2D  to 3D converted 4K scanned movie . Also it was the first perfectly designed synch Sound Movie. It was for the first time a Super Tanker was used for a Movie shoot and it became the largest floating object ever shown in any movie. The movie got released in 5 languages at a time even though it faced some bans. Even Indian parliament was stopped for 2 days due to the heavy protest to ban the movie due to its controversial subject. However we could launch the concept of Marine City through it.

Being a follower of your updates in the Social media, personally I felt that you love to travel a lot. What sort of perfection do you achieve during these vast travels??

Even though it requires a lot of travel to meet my official commitments I love to travel a lot. All my creative works are happening in the flight as I’m absolutely free from all disturbances. Also these travels give me a lot of experience to learn about the world and people, which is really required for any film maker. I attend several Film Festival across the world where I use to invite my maritime clients too which gives double satisfaction and better networking.

Your website mentions about the pioneering concepts, which are truly amazing. Have you ever thought about bringing in a governmental, state or central level participation for any of these projects?

Presently I’m working on a US$10billion Project called Indywood to revamp the entire Indian Film Industry within 5 years to make it on top of the world in quality and revenue too. There are 100 specific targets for this Project and more than 80% target sample analysis have been successfully done. The concept was launched in last Nov and the next edition will be at Ramoji Film City from 2016 Sept 24-27. It will be done with the Support of state government and Central Govt. Several policy amendments are needed to full fill the remaining targets of Project Indywood. We expect the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister to grace the occasion along with many IMC members who could be the future investors in Project Indywood as part of their branding. Kindly consider this as the invitation to attend this film carnival.


Qatar Hits Out at India Over Traffic Rights


Qatar Airways CEO has hit out an Indian government proposal to sell the country’s air traffic rights.

In October last year, the civil aviation ministry released its draft civil aviation policy which contained a proposal to have an open skies policy with countries in South Asian neighbours and countries beyond 5,000 kms.

The policy also proposed to auction additional traffic rights beyond the existing rights to airlines from countries within 5,000 kms. The bidding would be introduced if domestic airlines have not fully utilised their quota, with those rights granted on a three-year basis, with fund raised going towards the regional connectivity fund.

Speaking at Singapore Airshow, HE Akbar Al Baker said he was disappointed at India’s decision to auction the air traffic rights, known as bilaterals, which he said was against foreign carriers operating freely in the country’s air space, according to a report in Economic Times.

Al Baker insisted that the air traffic rights should remain in the control of a country, and not be sold to an entity that India may not have a strategic interest in.

He said foreign airlines that operate freely in Indian airspace help boost trade and tourism, as well as generate jobs for locals. Qatar Airways currently operates from 13 Indian cities.

International Air Transport Association has also expressed concerns that the move may lead to higher fares.


Oman Reconsidering its Involvement in GCC Rail Network


Oman is reportedly reconsidering its efforts towards the planned GCC rail network.

The country may instead focus on constructing its domestic rail network, owing to uncertainty over when the regional project will proceed, transport minister Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al-Futaisi said.

Worth $15.4bn, the GCC Rail project will span 2,117km across the region. However, technical and bureaucratic delays have reportedly delayed the development’s completion date past its original target of 2017.

Furthermore, low oil prices are contributing to a slowdown in government funding towards large-scale projects, including the GCC Rail. Last month, Etihad Rail suspended the tendering process for Stage 2 of the UAE’s railway network. The state-backed firm, which is behind the construction of a new UAE railway network, is reviewing options for the timing and delivery of the project’s second phase, according to a company statement.

Stage 2 of Etihad Rail involves the construction of a network in Abu Dhabi, connecting the Emirate’s borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman – as well as connecting other areas within the UAE. Futaisi said the suspension of Etihad Rail’s plans made it difficult for Oman to award a deal for its own track, despite being ahead of its GCC counterparts in designing its part of the overall network.

The minister said the rail network’s future might be discussed when GCC transport ministers hold their next meeting, most likely in October.


CMA CGM Says APL Purchase will Make it Largest Carrier IN U.S. Trades


With 30 percent volume growth in cargoes to and from the United States during 2015 and its acquisition of the container operations of APL, the French ocean carrier expects to jump ahead of industry leaders MSC and Maersk Line in the U.S. trade lanes.

CMA CGM reported strong growth in the U.S. trades in 2015, increasing volumes by 30 percent to 2.3 million TEUs and boosting the company to being the third instead of fifth largest container carrier in the U.S. market, said Marc Bourdon, the president of CMA CGM (America) LLC.    Rodolphe Saadé, vice chairman of the company said the Marseilles, France-headquartered company hopes to complete its acquisition of Singapore-based APL this summer, at which point he said CMA CGM will jump ahead of MSC and Maersk to become the largest carrier moving containerized freight in and out of the U.S.


Pharma Giants and Cold Chain Logistics Experts to Meet in Dubai


Leading pharma companies and cold chain distribution experts to meet in Dubai at Middle East Pharma Cold Chain 2016 to address the key issues surrounding the healthcare cold chain distribution in MENA

According to IMARC Group, the healthcare cold chain logistic services market is expected to hit nearly US$13.4 billion by 2020 and emerging markets such as the Middle East and North Africa are gearing up for rapid expansion and growth in the industry.

Temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals such as vaccines, hormones and insulin rely on the integrity of the cold chain in order to render these products effective and safe for the patient and end-users. While great strides have been made in terms of infrastructure, technology and governance; with each advancement come unique challenges making the pharmaceutical cold chain landscape perennially evolving. The importance of cold chain in healthcare is such that both public and private sectors are collaborating to ensure that all aspects of the cold chain are kept intact and maintain integrity while striving for innovation. In the Middle East, government regulatory authorities have stepped up with new policies and requirements for pharma shipping, distribution and storage. Pharmaceutical companies have invested heavily in research and development, while distribution and logistics companies, along with airlines are continuing to build expansive infrastructure to support the integrity of the entire cold chain.

With this in mind, it is with great excitement that Maarefah announces the 2016 Middle East Pharma Cold Chain Congress. The region’s foremost event covering temperature-controlled pharmaceutical supply chains and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals returns to Dubai on March 28 – 31 for unparalleled days of networking, learning, discussions and solutions and will gather more than 100 stakeholders for an unrivalled program designed to address the industry’s most critical issues and challenges in MENA.

To register or for more information, visit www.pharmacoldchainme.com


Adani Hazira Port Connected By Rail to Central India


Adani Hazira Port Private Limited part of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ), India’s largest port developer is now connected to ICD Pithampur – Ratlam in Central India through rail.

CONCOR has begun running rakes from ICD Pithampur – Ratlam to Adani Hazira Port on a regular basis and the Port has received 8 Laden Export rakes from these ICD’s already.  This development will evidently benefit customers in Central India while using the Adani Hazira Port. Major Shipping Lines like Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM, UASC, Balaji Shipping, Goodrich are using this rail services to connect their export boxes to Hazira. National Steel, Lanxess India, Shakti Pumps, Krasoma Laboratory are some of the customers who are loading their export shipments regularly on this service and are delighted by this development.

APSEZ is the country’s largest port company with footprint across the Indian seashore. It has proven expertise in building, operating and maintaining world class port infrastructure. Apart from Hazira, APSEZ also operates ports in Mundra, Tuna-Tekra (Kandla) and Dahej, in Gujarat, Dhamra in Odisha and operates specialized coal handling facilities in Mormugao in Goa, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. It is currently setting up a container terminal at Ennore in Tamil Nadu and has recently laid the foundation stone for the development of India’s First Transhipment Port at Vizhinjam, Kerala.


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