Chairman’s Message

Have you ever wondered how companies calculate the value of their employees? It is a question I have often pondered upon. Interestingly, I soon realised that, in the business world, there are numerous theories which are supposed to help work this out. Does this sound odd? Well it did to me, because I believe we must place importance on employee intangibles whenever one tries to value the worth of his staff. However I never forget that such an assessment is a two-way exercise. It is equally crucial to accept that my employees are free to assess and express what they think of our Company. Attitude, passion, creativity and knowledge are all qualities which give an indication of intangible staff values which apply equally throughout our Company.

As Chairman I consider it important to promote an environment where we provide opportunities for all my staff to feel valued and part of a caring community. Gone are those days where productivity was calculated only in terms of numbers. Working, without passion, is what machines do. As real people, it’s our emotional and intellectual qualities which make a fundamental difference. It is these traits which enables our Company to achieve distinction above others. We all need a workplace where we enjoy attaining our dreams. Enlightened by these thoughts my managers understand why “pushing the boundaries”, within their domain, enables all of us to feel valued because our passions and skills are all brought into play. This results in actions which stimulate our sense of adventure, whilst building on the tried and trusted. Discovering and learning new ways that work, and those which don’t, keep us on our toes. Such invigoration makes for a meaningful and exhilarating workplace where we use our intangible attributes to stimulate innovation and growth. It is this ethos which interactively unites us all; where the real value of employees and our Company, is truly determined.

New Address For CSS Abu Dhabi


Having been in operation for over 11 years, CSS Abu Dhabi has recently acquired new premises within Abu Dhabi to cater to its customers, clients and partners.

The new offices are located centrally in the heart of Abu Dhabi, making it easily accessible for customers and clients alike. The new premise is conveniently located close to the airport and seaport.

Well equipped with advanced capabilities in maintaining an efficient transport system and connections with global markets, gives the CSS Abu Dhabi a strong base to provide its customers with hassle-free and effective logistic solutions. In addition CSS Abu Dhabi offers its clients a vast array of services which include : NVOCC Management, Ocean Freight Management, Air Freight Management / Air Charter Services, Projects Management,  Multimodal Operations (Sea/Air, Sea/Land Management) CFS Management, and Relocation Management to name a few.

“The new premise in Abu Dhabi provides better access for customers and clients alike, as our customer base continues to grow it became necessary to be located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, and strategically located close to the airport and seaport. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners, agents and customers that have been a large contributing factor to the success of CSS Abu Dhabi, and we look forward to your continuous support,” said Arjun Bose, Director, CSS Abu Dhabi.

As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has seen extensive growth in all sectors over the past few years, with infrastructure on the rise Abu Dhabi has been in the investor limelight for the past few years. CSS Abu Dhabi has been able to capitalize on the success of the emirate because of its presence in the nation’s capital for over 11 years. While being an attractive hub for investors, it is its strategic location at the heart of the Middle East, with South Asia and Africa close by and well developed links to the Far East and Europe that makes it a growing logistics hub, across a variety of industries.

Over the past 40 years, Abu Dhabi has developed its port infrastructure, its road network, and more recently its airports to ensure it is well-connected to trading partners in the region and beyond.  With the development of an extensive road and rail network now started, Abu Dhabi has indeed become the trading hub of the Middle East having sailed strong through the difficult waters of the economic recession that almost left its neighboring emirate, Dubai, crippled. Abu Dhabi is currently ranked one of the world’s most significant hydrocarbon suppliers and ranked among the top five exporters of crude oil, a fact which has largely contributed to the success of this division.

With the backing of CSS Group’s global network base in the Middle East and Sub continent, CSS Abu Dhabi is able to provide its customers and client’s services across a number of industries with the CSS Group’s promise of effective and efficient solutions backed by years of expertise. Moreover, CSS Abu Dhabi’s strength lies in well qualified and experienced professionals, dedicated to customer service and satisfaction. With the level of expertise available CSS Abu Dhabi is quite confident of extending value added services in the field of Logistics. CSS intends to cater to a vast and varied clientele in Abu Dhabi with its highly competitive man power and state- of the art facilities. Combining expertise, experience and CSS’ Groups reputation, CSS Abu Dhabi will indisputably cater quality service to its clients in a way that will lead to increasing its competitiveness over other logistic providers.

New Address

Consolidated Shipping Services L.L.C. Abu Dhabi
ADCP Building C54
6th Floor, Door # : 603 & 604, Behind Trans AD
P.O. Box 32454, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tel: +971 2 643 1717, Fax: +971 2 643 1919

For further information please visit:

Token Of Appreciation


CSS was recently recognized with a performance award by Safmarine, at their annual dinner held at the Shangri La Hotel in Dubai, UAE.  In attendance to receive this award for CSS was Ajay Krishnan, Senior General Manager, Ocean Freight, Raufa Shaikh, Pricing Manager, Chandrakala, Asst. Manager NVOCC Operations and Arjun Bose, Director, CSS Abu Dhabi.

“Our strategy to focus our volumes with core carriers from Quarter 3 of 2012 has shown positive results. This recognition by Safmarine is a testament to the success of our program,” added Ajay Krishnan, Senior General Manager, Ocean Freight, CSS.

The recognition of this award was for the growth and consistent performance for the fiscal year 2012 and this was a first for CSS with Safmarine. With this award, CSS joins an elite tier within Safmarine in the United Arab Emirates.

“Safmarine is by far the friendliest carrier around, operationally and from a process point of view and we look forward to growing our business with them further in the years ahead,” commented Chandrakala, Asst. Manager NVOCC Operations, CSS.


Safmarine is an international shipping business offering container and break-bulk shipping services worldwide. Formed in 1946 by South African industrialists and American ship owners, Safmarine is now widely known as a north/south trade and African specialist. The line is represented in more than 130 countries throughout the world, with more than 1200 sailors selling their services.

For further information, please logo onto: &

CSS Onam

CSS Group Wishes you a wonderful Onam

Onam is the largest festival in the Indian state of Kerala. It falls during the first month of the Malayalam calendar which is Chingam (August–September) and marks the homecoming of the legendary King Maveli. The festival lasts for ten days and is linked to many elements of Kerala’s culture and tradition.

Intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunch, snake boat races, Puli Kali, and the Kaikottikkali dance all play a part in the festival. It can be undoubtedly said that these elements constitute the diversity, richness and colorfulness that no other festival can claim in the world.

The most important things about Onam are the onakkodi, the new clothes worn on this day and onam sadya, a feast which is quite elaborate. This is usually a feast served on banana leaves and serves rice along with an array of 18 to 32 dishes. Traditional pickles and papadam are also served. Dessert is usually ‘payasam’, a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and other traditional Indian savories.

Projects @ A Glance


The Projects, Oil & Energy division of CSS Group recently moved 1200 CBM of air cooler units and accessories from a supplier’s yard in Malaysia to the port of Alexandria which is on the West Verge of the Nile Delta between the Mediterranean Sea and Mariut Lake in Alexandria, Egypt.

The entire job was undertaken smoothly and effectively in a very short period, with close coordination with both the agents and supplier. The task ahead of the team at CSS Projects, Oil & Energy was not easy as they had received the job at a very short notice from the clients, but the team took up the challenge and proved once again their dedication and commitment to the customers’ needs.

“Considering the notice period we received to deliver this job, it took the team a lot of dedication and hard work to ensure the delivery was timely and according to the clients expectations,” added Raj George, Senior Vice President, Projects, Oil & Energy, CSS Group.

Building On A Strong Foundation


FPS Group announces that their annual AGM will be held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo Hotel in Sri Lanka, between October 21st-24th, 2013. The FPS Group AGM sets the stage for members around the globe to take part in discussions and network with their fellow freight forwarders from across the globe. The AGM allows for members to have the opportunity to discuss and develop the networks direction and development and also gain a deep insight into the group’s future developments.  It will consist of one-to-one meetings, group meetings, networking sessions, gala dinners and social gatherings for all of its members.

Gihan Nanayakkara, FPS Chairman, Advisory Board gives a hint of the delights that await all those who attend this year’s AGM with the theme of “Building on a Strong Foundation,” which his company is hosting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, “My country, Sri Lanka, is often described as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, and for good reason. I count myself extremely lucky to live and work in such a beautiful place, with its history dating back to the birth of time. I and my team look forward very much to the honour of hosting this year’s AGM. We are proud of our beautiful country, and very much hope to share it with you.”

CSS Group will be represented during the FPS AGM 2013 with active participation from its network offices, in attendance will be: Dean Landers, General Manager CSS Kuwait, Narayan R T, General Manager CSS Bahrain, Jairam KR, Director CSS India, Rahat Talreja, Vice President CSS India and Siby C. Kurian, Senior General Manager, Sales & Marketing CSS Dubai.

In The Silicon Valley Of India


To be in Bangalore, the garden city and the IT capital of India, is a matter of pride for any multi-national company. The city has changed immensely over the last two decades making it adaptable to accommodate companies from a cross-section of industries. As a matter of fact, Bangalore is growing and so is the business.

CSS started their Bangalore operations 8 years ago as one man office and had eventually grown to become a team of professionals. Thanks to the enthusiasm shown by the team and the confidence shown by the management. Today CSS in Bangalore is involved in outward and inward movements of LCL  Shipments to Jebel Ali , Genoa, Hamburg, Felixstowe, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Valencia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Klang, Istanbul & from Jebel Ali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Busan, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Tilbury.

Also CSS Bangalore has a strong presence in FCL, Air, Contract Logistics  reaching out to the nook and corner of the city and suburbs. The business has seen a remarkable growth that now CSS operates weekly bonded truck movements to Nhavasheva & Chennai carrying LCL shipments. Another unique feature of CSS Bangalore is Door to Door handling of personal effects in and out of Bangalore and Mysore where a commendable number of expat families are thriving for various reasons.

The huge industrial and manufacturing segments present in this area provides enough opportunities for any logistics company with a reputation to keep aside appreciable profit, end of every financial year. The industries include IT, automobile, construction equipment manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, garments, granites & marble, gherkin, forgings & precision and castings. Bangalore shelters companies in sectors like electronics, biotechnology, and food processing also which gives leverage to sizable amount of logistics activity.

CSS is proud to have a handful of reputed clients from the major industrial segments. Bangalore has a population of 5.54 million spread over 530 There are nearly 1000 IT companies including 150 plus multinationals. These companies are employing over a hundred thousand professionals who float in and out with professional and personal logistics requirements on a daily basis. Bangalore expects a volume hike, if a few strategic issues are met with diligence. One such is the regular rail connectivity to Tuticorin, Cochin & Nhavasheva ports.

The presence of CSS in Chennai, Tuticorin, and Tirupur & Coimbatore gives an edge to CSS Bangalore operations thereby giving them an unparalleled reputation in the whole of South India. The strong CSS presence in Mumbai adds momentum to the whole network of operations in the South & Central India. With an appreciable growth rate of 21%, Bangalore contributes 33% of IT exports from the country. The district is ranked as one of the top five technology clusters in the world as per economic reports. Bangalore has been classified as the Innovation Cluster by Word Economic Forum. Many of the major central offices like the national aerospace laboratories are present in Bangalore which increases its international importance. Renowned educational institutions like IIS, IIM, IIIT, National Law School, NIMHANS & NID has got their campuses in Bangalore.

CSS with its enthusiastic and ambitious team has plans to chalk out innovative advancements to areas and industries which still remain untapped in this mighty industrial city. Under the leadership of Sandeep Anthur, Branch Manager, CSS looks forward to achieve even more in the years to come and establish itself as the most preferred logistics partner for every industry present here.

For enquiries contact:;

Hearty Welcome!!


CSS Group, recently hosted Matt Ostrowski, Director Business Development and Tom Sweet, Vice President Overseas Development – Global Forwarding  of C.H. Robinson at its offices in the United Arab Emirates.

As part of the visit, the guests from C.H. Robinson were treated to a tour of  CSS Group offices and its facilities in Dubai, Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi, UAE.  They also met with management of CSS Group and given a keen understanding of the vast array of services that CSS Group provides in the region. Overseas attendees from the CSS Group Network present at the meetings and presentations were, Narayan R T, General Manager, CSS Bahrain, Dean Landers, General Manager, CSS Kuwait, Ben Jones, CSS Saudi, Oliver Hahn, IFS Doha and senior members of CSS Group, UAE.

“We were glad to host the team from C.H. Robinson and provide an in-depth understanding of the services CSS Group provides to the client and also showcase its extensive footprint of offices in the Middle East. We look forward to sharing our expertise and further developing trade routes with C.H Robinson,” added TS Kaladharan, Chairman, CSS Group.

As part of the visit the guests from C. H. Robinson were also treated to an exclusive tour of D.P World in Dubai, by CSS VP Business Development, Ken Dinnadge and Amith Horra, Marketing Manager, where they were able to experience firsthand one of the largest port operations in the world.  “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire DP World team for an excellent meeting and tour of the ports facilities.  The gracious hospitality, arrangements, time and overall information provided is definitely a true testament of the success of DP World. We look forward to continually build upon and further strengthen our business relationships together with DP World amongst the shipping and logistics fraternity,” added Ken Dinnadge, VP Business Development, CSS.


Founded in 1905, C.H. Robinson is a global provider of multimodal logistics services, fresh produce sourcing, and information services to 42,000 customers through a network of more than 275 offices and over 11,000 employees around the world. The company also provides access to over 56,000 transportation providers worldwide.

For further information please log onto: &

Booming With Developments


Petronet LNG Ltd, the country’s largest importer of liquid gas, has received its maiden cargo at its recently constructed Kochi import terminal in Kerala on August 2013.  The vessel, “Wilenergy,” carrying around 1 lakh cubic metres of LNG in its liquid form (liquefied natural gas or LNG) arrived from RasGas in Qatar.

With this, the Rs 4,200-crore terminal would be ready for operations.

The Kochi terminal, however, will operate at just 8 per cent of its capacity in the first year of operation as pipelines taking gas to customers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are not ready, they said, adding that the company plans to import 2 cargoes or shiploads of LNG at the terminal this year.

In year-2, the terminal is expected to operate at 75 percent capacity when the pipeline connecting Kochi to Mangalore and Bangalore are built. Also, state-owned GAIL is planning to connect this pipeline to Chennai.

Kochi terminal is currently being connected to two main customers — Bharat Petroleum’s Kochi refinery and the Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Limited (FACT), which are in the process of converting their facilities to run on natural gas.

At least 70 per cent of the total capacity, or 3.5 million tons a year, is required for the terminal to function at minimum optimum efficiency.

Convenient And More Accessible


As stated in our mission statement CSS Group will “always strive to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction,” in testament to that statement we have relocated the Delivery Order Counter from its previous location at the Corporate Head Office to a more accessible location, adjacent to Port Rashid in the Dubai Customs Building from September 2013.

The reason for the move was to be more centrally located to our customers and securing a location next to Port Rashid was very fortunate for CSS Group, as it still remains the symbol of growth within the UAE shipping fraternity. The relocation will help our customers to process their customs documentation at a single point. Once customers collect their delivery orders from the CSS counter they may move directly into customs processing which is located in the same building, saving time and money.

CSS Group would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our dedicated customers and the Customs and Port Authorities who have always supported the Group in all our endeavours.

The new CSS Delivery Order Counter is located at:                            For further information please contact:
Dubai Customs                                                                                              Santhosh Kumar:
Al Fardah Building                                                                           
-Port Rashid                                                                                                  Suresh Babu:
Office Number: 19                                                                               
Bur Dubai                                                                                                    Tel:  +9714 324 8884 ext: 217 & 218
PO Box 27802                                                                                                Fax: +9714 324 9994
UAE                                                                                                                 Website:



CSS Delivery Order Counter Office Timings:
Sunday to Thursday: 8am-1pm & 2pm-5pm
Saturday: 8am-12pm

Making Of Container Terminal 2 At Jebel Ali Port

Jebel Ali Port has seen a steady growth in volumes since its inception. As a key contributor to Dubai’s economic growth and diversification the port witnessed a surge in volumes over the past decade which has resulted in a continual requirement of capacity expansions. It was during this period that the Journey to develop Container Terminal 2 commenced.

The expansion was announced in Aug’2005 by Dubai Ports Authority.

The first phase included development of 1.2km of quay length, 4 berths with 17m depth alongside and 2 million TEU capacity. Container Terminal 2 commenced operations during 2007 bringing capacity of Jebel Ali Port to 11 million TEU and the unique ability to handle the largest vessels in the world at the time. Container Terminal 2 received its first ship – ‘Dubai Discovery’ in the first week of August 2007.

It was during 2007 that Jebel Ali port handled more than 10 million TEU in a single year for the first time. This required the phase 2 development of Container Terminal 2 to be expedited. The project involved developing 1.3km of additional quay, 3 berths and 3 million TEU handling capacity bringing total handling capacity at Jebel Ali to 14 million TEU during 2009. It was also during this period that container handling operations were suspended in Mina Rashid and transferred to Jebel Ali Port.

The development of Container Terminal 2 was a response to our customer’s requirement to increase capacity and efficiencies for the shipping lines to be able to bring in mega vessels into Jebel Ali. The works also involved deepening the channel up to 17 meters Container Terminal 2 is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and machinery, including 29 mega Quay Cranes capable of lifting two 40 foot containers or four 20 foot containers in one move from ship to quay or quay to ship. The tandem lift cranes have a capacity of 80 tonnes and when commissioned had the widest outreach in the industry, i.e, they were the largest in the world. The terminal is also equipped with 60 rail mounted gantries (RMGs) rather than the conventional rubber-tyred gantries (RTGs). Jebel Ali Port was the first within the wider region to have this unique capability all increasing handling efficiencies and turnaround time of vessels.

Infrastructure and equipment were complemented by terminal management systems. DP World implemented Advanced Navis Sparks 3.6 operational system in the terminal. This was complemented by terminal gate automation systems, the first port in the region to bring in gate automation resulting in quicker truck turn times and access to market for the importers & exporters. In addition the terminal was equipped with the most sophisticated security system to enhance the security capabilities within the port facilities. Subsequently, Rostima – Labour management system was integrated to the Terminal Berthing and Gate automation systems. This enabled to best deploy labour depending on a number of variables such as vessel arrivals to gate appointments. The system was interfaced with the HR department’s time attendance readers and assigns manpower to points of work through mobile text message notification – matching man to machine on real time information. The first integrated control room for container operations was set up within the terminal – providing comprehensive operational interface for planning, monitoring and control.

Innovation is enshrined in our values and the development of Container Terminal 2 was a testimony to our passion to innovate, implement new technologies and provide an unparalled customer experience.

During 2011, DP World committed to expanding Container Terminal 2 by 400m adding an additional berth and bringing total quay length to 3km. Additional yard will increase handling capacity at Container Terminal 2 to 6 million TEU/annum. The Terminal has the unique ability to handle 6 mega vessels simultaneously. The additional capacity was launched by DP World earlier in 2013.

Expanding Jebel Ali Port’s capacity in line with market demand is part of our commitment to nurture trade and cater to meet the emerging needs of the shipping lines and traders.

Did you knowContainer Terminal 2 was designed to segregate the yard and operations traffic from the vessel traffic with a quay side perimeter fence ensuring safety and maximum efficiency.

New Freighter Hub In Middle East


On request of customers, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo have started operating 14 weekly freighter flights to and from Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) from August 1st, 2013. Built for the future, the airport once completed, will have the capacity and state-of-the-art facilities to handle 12 million tons of cargo annually.

With this development, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo will be the first and biggest scheduled cargo carrier in DWC. They are already using DWC as a transfer station for some of the Far East freighter routes and it will now become the main hub in the Middle-East, connecting flights between Europe, Asia, Africa, and India along with their freighter stations Muscat, Doha, Bahrain, Dammam and Kuwait in the Middle East. With this move Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo can offer its worldwide customers more main deck frequencies and a wider coverage.

Next to this, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo want to position their fleet closer to Abu Dhabi (AUH), the hub of Etihad (EY) so they can further develop their co-operation by offering seamless connections in the EY network.

DWC as the main future cargo airport of the United Arab Emirates will become the base for all important forwarding agents. In order to organize smooth transfers between Sharjah (SHJ), where currently many forwarding agents are based, and DWC, Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo will offer seamless trucking solutions.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) will remain the airport for all of the current passenger flights and the handling agent at both airports is ‘Dnata’, to ensure smooth transfers between DXB and DWC.

An ERP Solution For Your Shipping Business? Think Again, Hard!

The global financial crisis of 2008 was quite a while ago but the economic slowdown that followed is far from gone. Being one among the worst hit, the shipping industry still sails through troubled waters.

With profits plummeting, most shipping companies are reluctant to invest in innovation, or anything new, for that matter. There are a few others who think out of the box and see this as an opportunity to equip themselves to meet the fierce competition and offer “more for less”. This is where Information Technology acts as a strategic business enabler and adds value to the business.


So what do you look for when you invest in an ERP software during such hard times? An earlier trend was to choose standard ERP systems and integrate them with internal systems. The downside of this strategy is that the software might not be very relevant to your business requirements. The operational needs of a freight forwarder can never be complementary to those of a container leasing agent. With a standard ERP, you might end up getting something insufficient for your cause or buying more technology than you need.

The most critical factor in successfully selecting an ERP system is identifying what you need to efficiently run your business. After doing an initial ball park analysis for product fit, it is important to review your needs thoroughly and relate them to the ERP solution you have opted for. Ensure that the software comprises of all the modules you need and it is well designed to offer all what you are looking for. Also, the product should be intended for your type of organization.


Keep yourself updated on the latest technologies implemented in the shipping arena while choosing an ERP solution. For instance, the RFID technology is widely used now, owing to its ability to speed up the inventory management. While most shipping companies are still in a pre-cloud stage, some have moved on to use Cloud based solutions, thereby enabling business improvement. Crisis might be a good opportunity to move to a new architecture where solutions are Cloud-based. This will help to integrate new Social Media channels and make use of Analytic tools in the post PC era ruled by mobile devices.


When you are evaluating a solution cost, consider all the aspects including the software, implementation services, ongoing maintenance and the cost of upgrades. All these elements play an equal role to help achieve a quick ROI. In an age of aggressive marketing & attractive discounts, you may be forced to believe that you are getting a good bargain at the time, but high cost of implementation, expensive annual maintenance and pricey customizations will take its toll on your return on investment, perhaps eliminating it totally.


Before you choose an ERP system, see if it offers enough capacity for the growth of your business. Analyze your business thoroughly and forecast your position in the near future, say 5 years or 10. Buy a software that can meet your changing needs in these 5 or 10 years, and not one that is good for the 1st year alone. Very often, companies do not plan ahead. As a result, they are forced to plan an upgrade or overhaul immediately after they are done with the installation of a new ERP system. This can be a very expensive mistake and should be avoided at any cost.

Many ERP vendors today understand that, to exist in today’s competitive market, they need to work hand in hand with their clients to ensure that the implementation of their software is a smooth and fruitful affair for their clients. “Educate and sell” is the new business mantra and this is what we follow with our Shipping ERP solution – FINS. We have utilized our extensive experience in the shipping sector to understand and address the IT requirements of various Logistics services. Over the past 6 years, we have utilized cutting edge technologies and relentlessly studied the shipping sector to fine tune and enhance our ERP suite. And the result – we have enabled our customers to transform the way they do their business. With an increase of 30% in operational efficiency, our clients are a happy lot. We continue to embrace the latest technology trends and push our limits to serve the shipping sector better.

New MD For F.S. Mackenzie

UK member F.S. Mackenzie has promoted Lloyd Smith to the post of Managing Director. Lloyd was previously a director of F.S. Mackenzie, and has been with the company since 2005.

He replaces company Founder and Chairman Alfred Stienen, who is now taking responsibility for the entire group, with a particular emphasis on further international network growth.

F.S. Mackenzie is CSS Group’s exclusive partner in the UK, for NVOCC activities.

CSS Group would like to take this opportunity to wish Lloyd Smith and Alfred Stienen all of the success in their future endeavours.

‘PIN’ The Hacker Down

What do the following conventions all have in common?

16thBlack Hat-Las Vegas, Hacker Halted-Reykayvik/Kuala Lumpur,2ndTHC 2013-Delhi and Def Con-Boston USA? You have probably guessed that they are all concerned with Internet hacking, on-line surveillance and the security of personal information. However there are others who hold an opposing view saying that some attending are actually trying to keep up to date on how to steal data. Governments watch what happens at these conferences whilst those attending, no doubt, watch the governments.

But where do such activities leave you and me?

Well the bottom line is that we should all take responsibility for keeping our information safe. Sir Francis Bacon, an English statesman and philosopher, is attributed in 1597 with the expression “ipsa scientia potestas est” (“knowledge itself is power”). In modern day parlance this has been expanded to mean, “information is knowledge and knowledge is power”. New technology and the Internet mean that information, your information, is everywhere. It was back in the sixties that the use of computers and your personal identification number, “PIN”, were first mooted with banks wanting to facilitate the automated teller machine – “ATM”.

Interestingly the inventor of the PIN didn’t make any significant money from his idea. It was only earlier this year that James Goodfellow, the Scot who invented the PIN in 1965, was internationally honoured at an awards ceremony at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA.Now 75 years old, he only received £10 ($15.50) for his invention because he had signed over patent rights to a company which shortly afterwards laid him off due to “redundancy”. Your PIN still remains a prime target for unscrupulous hackers. In the battle to keep your PIN secure, gadgets which clone your number are one thing but another consideration is the predictability of people!

A recent survey shows that many of us still choose obvious numbers for our PIN. An analysis of over 3 million four digit PIN numbers showed that nearly 28% can be guessed using just 20 combinations.  The least used combination was also identified, along with the cautionary note that hackers could read it as well. Consequently this least used number is now unlikely to remain so – 8068. Popular are single number combinations which include 5555, 7777 and 9999 and the James Bond number 0007. The most common numbers are: 1234, 1111, 0000 and 1212.

What about the future? Well just as these “hackers” conventions are worldwide international events, for exchanging ideas, equally so are the reports of new ways of obtaining information. Have you ever looked at “Google Maps – Street View” for your own area? I was surprised to see a picture of my home with a red car parked in my drive. As I have never, in the past ten years, owned at red carit took me ages to work out to whom it belonged. Anyone worldwide may view yours and mine home. So much for my telling others I live in a mansion with landscaped gardens!

The latest news is that it is now possible to access the microphones in Android phones and record conversations. Furthermore it is also conceivable to access your laptop and PCs in a similar way. Expert “hackers” are being courted by governments trying to turn “poachers into gamekeepers”. Spyware is also being developed to monitor your Internet usage. Governments are not the only ones wanting to keep tabs on you. The truth is that businesses, advertisers, scammers and hackers are all hoping to get information from you which will help make them money. Tablets, Smartphones, Smart TVs, Smart Meters, Cable Boxes and Gaming Consoles all provide potential for stealing information about you.

Were you aware that if you inadvertently install a “TouchLogger” app onto your tablet it could provide scammers with enough information to create chaos for you?

When it comes to “Smart” technology last year German researchers, by hacking into a “so-called” secure electricity company’s Wi-Fi network, were able to access customers’ private information. As for Smart TVs, you expect to watch TV but some smart TVs are vulnerable to hackers who can spy on you whilst you are watching your TV.

With all this in mind it is perhaps not that surprising to read that one intelligence service is reverting to using old fashioned type-writers to record highly confidential reports. Firstly type-writers cannot be hacked and secondly each has an individual type face which easily identifies them.  Which brings us back to my earlier question: “Where do such activities leave you and me?” Well if you recognise any of the numbers in this article,as one of yours, you had better change it! Because in order to keep our information safe we must remember never to do the obvious and always keep our wits about us so we may “PIN” the hacker down.

Lucky Winner

As part of our continuous commitment to the freight forwarding fraternity, CSS initiated a thank you scheme over 5 years ago, whereby one lucky name out of the scores of business cards that are dropped into the raffle bowls placed at the D/O counter at the CSS Corporate Office and CSLC-1 in Jebel Ali will be rewarded with a gift.

The winner picked selected and rewarded for the months of June-July 2013 was Sahadevan from UTi who walked away with gift vouchers worth AED 200 from Carrefour, presented by Fida Asghar, Team Manager, NVOCC, CSS Dubai.

Sad Demise

Aravindan P, aged 62, passed away on Friday, August 23, 2013.

A well wisher and a long time associate of CSS Group, Aravindan P, passed away in a fatal road accident in Haripad, Kerala.  A photographer by profession, Aravindan used his skills for covering many CSS events in and out of India.

CSS Group coveys their deepest condolences to his sorrowing family and loved ones, and prays for his soul.