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Lighthouse - January, 2014.

Chairman’s Message

New Year is always an opportune time to assess what we have contributed and gained in the past year. Equally it provides a delightful occasion for me to wish you all a ‘Happy New Year’. Throughout 2013 we have received tremendous support from the cargo fraternity. Accordingly it is with great enthusiasm and optimism that I look forward to 2014. Dubai being awarded ‘Expo 2020’ will obviously add more colour to our seasonal celebrations. Undoubtedly it will open up a wide range of opportunities in the field of infrastructure and economic development for the entire United Arab Emirates.

Our recently concluded ‘Sales Strategy Meet’ adopted the theme ‘Limitless’. This title has proved to be literally true because ‘Expo 2020’ presents us with an ocean of favorable possibilities. Some will question, “Who will gain?” Well I am convinced it will be those who develop a well-defined and specific road map so as to be able to utilize and direct their best attributes. You may be sure that remarkable projects will be initiated in every business sector, but the benefit will go to those who have a resolute purpose and a determined spirit prepared to go that extra mile. We, as committed professionals, need to keep this vision forefront in our minds. However; we must acknowledge that ‘Limitless’ has a two way meaning. When we see opportunities as ‘Limitless’, our effort to achieve it also, needless to say, has to be ‘Limitless’. Keeping in line with the ‘Limitless’ opportunities forecasted through Expo 2020, this edition of Lighthouse provides you with lot of informative inputs from experts from the Logistics & Shipping Company.

I hope you will enjoy reading your favourite Lighthouse and I wish you a wonderful year ahead.

CSS Sales Strategy Meet 2013-14

CSS Group recently concluded its annual Sales Strategy Meet 2013/14 at Devas Farmhouse in the picturesque setting of the state of Kerala, India also known as God’s own country. The two day meeting was attended by CSS Senior Management, head of departments from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent along with overseas guests from November 15-16th, 2013. The meet discussed the annual budget and accomplishments of each team followed by a sales forecast, strategies and goals for 2014.

The Sales Strategy meet was attended by Oliver Hahn from IFS Doha, Ben Jones of WMS-CSS Saudi, Riyaz Jordan from CaroTrans, Pankaj Khatua of Safmarine and Jan Bak Christiansen, by special invitation.

The theme adopted for this strategy meet was “LIMITLESS” which was chosen as it represented the unprecedented growth so far achieved by CSS Group and stands for the vision of the CSS Group management for the organization going forward.  Strategy Meet plays a vital role in evaluating team performances and highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the team. This provides a focus on the latest developments in areas ranging from sales strategy fundamentals to emerging IT technologies to prevailing competition.

Strategy Meet for CSS Group is more than just presentations made by managers, analyzing previous year’s figures and forecasting budgets. It also includes dissecting operational processes to review the excellence level attained and team building activities. Although strategy takes account of the future, it takes place in the present. It is about choices in the present that have results in the future.

The CSS Strategy Meet was organized by the Marketing & Corporate Communications department of CSS Group along with Rainmaker in the field of events & entertainments, an Event management company based in Cochin, Kerala.  Rainmaker is a wholesome, complete events solution factory with a team of young, creative, enthusiastic and dynamic professionals with a vast experience in the field of events & entertainments.

CSS Strategy Meet is a well designed meeting structure that fosters opportunities for participation so people can be heard, questions can be asked and answered, discussions can take place, decisions are arrived at, and the most important items are attended to. It helps to collectively put together information from various sources to measure the impact and direction of strategies laid down and shape new tactics based on imminent factors as per the current scenario and future analysis.

A special thanks to the entire team at Devas Farmhouse and Rainmakers for all of their assistance and hospitality and to Niji and his vibrant team of 12 to 12 Barbeque for the mouthwatering food prepared during the 2 day period.

Another Success for CSS Projects, Oil & Energy

The CSS Projects, Oil & Energy division recently completed a delivery of loose cables, which was over 16 km’s in length. The task at hand was to find a solution that would enable the client to transport and install the cable under the sea, in a smooth and effective manner.

The 22KV subsea composite cable, had a volume of 450 freight tonnes, and was picked up from Tonsberg, Norway and delivered in Abu Dhabi for a government project in the Umm Al Dalkh field. “The success of this movement was in a solution oriented approach, from the inception of the idea to final execution the team involved played an extremely crucial role to ensure the needs of the client were met,” added Ahmad Fuad, Sr. Business Development Manager, CSS Projects, Oil & Energy and Mr. Fred Konings, M.D. from Europe Cargo.

CSS Projects, Oil & Energy also sourced the steel drum and the required equipment’s that allowed for the cable to be delivered as a cable drum, to assist in final installation.

CSS Attends FPS AGM – Colombo


Over 101 delegates, including 2 new members and 5 candidates, attended the 4 day event held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The programme included the Annual General Meeting, workshops on IT, network development and marketing, and two days of intensive one to one meetings between members.

At the gala dinner, 28 founder members who had attended every past Annual Conference were publicly recognized with awards. Commenting on the event, Chairman Gihan Nanayakkara said: “This was one of the best annual conferences in our history, demonstrating the strong commitment of our members to support FPS and take it forward. We discussed new products, shared ideas and went away with many new initiatives to work on. I am delighted to be continuing in my role, and look forward to helping steer FPS Group through an exciting period over the next two years. We have achieved a great deal in the past 15 years, but much greater potential still lies ahead of us.”

During the AGM, conference host and outgoing Chairman of the FPS Group Advisory Board, Gihan Nanayakkara, was re-elected for a further two year term. Sam Aparo of Famous Pacific Shipping in Melbourne was appointed to the Board, replacing Michele Dougal (Brisbane, Australia), and Iskandar Zulkarnain of FPS Indonesia replaced his colleague Hendratmoko Walujo. Kettivit Sittisoontornwong (Thailand) was also re-elected.

“The FPS AGM is a platform for its members around the world to participate in networking sessions with other freight forwarders from across the globe whilst discussing new trends and opportunities amongst the freight forwarding fraternity,” added Siby C. Kurian, Senior General Manager, Sales & Marketing  – CSS Dubai.

CSS Group was well represented during the FPS AGM 2013 with active participation from its network offices; in attendance was Dean Landers, General Manager CSS Kuwait, Narayan R T, General Manager – CSS Bahrain, Jairam KR, Director – CSS India, Rahat Talreja, Vice President – CSS India, Rajesh Arora, Vice President, North India – CSS India, Eugene A. Raj, Branch Manager – CSS Chennai, Tariq M. Chaudhry and Siby C. Kurian, Senior General Manager, Sales & Marketing  – CSS Dubai.

CSS Homeward Bound on the Move in Canada

CSS Homeward Bound recently attended the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) Annual Conference, International Association of Movers (IAM) 51st Annual meeting and the Asian Relocation Association (ARA) Gala Dinner in Vancouver, Canada.
CSS Homeward Bound is a member of each association whereby its accreditation is shown in the personal effects/relocations industry.
Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) Annual Conference was held on October 4th-6th, 2013 at the River Rock Casino Hotel and Convention Centre in Richmond, British Columbia. It was the first time in almost 20 years that the conference was held outside of the Toronto area. It was the first interactive conference ever held and the first time the conference was held in partnership with another Association, the International Association of Movers. The conference consisted of the Annual General Meeting, Trade Shows, Award Dinners and Annual Committee Conference. The conference was highlighted by four panel discussions with participants from Canada’s van lines, insurance companies, CAM’s marketing committee and international moving associations.
“As there is strong expatriate community residing in the United Arab Emirates catering to the ever demanding needs of the customers is vital within our industry.  As the bi-lateral relations between Canada and the UAE have steadily strengthened over the years having a presence at CAM was truly beneficial for CSS Homeward Bound as this was an opportunity for the members of the Canadian Association of Movers based in Canada to see their international colleagues and for networking and growing business relationships mutually.  The hospitality and guidance extended to us by Mr. John Levi, President CAM and his entire team was exceptional. It was a well organized and executed annual conference,” added Suku Sudhakaran, General Manager, CSS Homeward Bound.
International Association of Movers (IAM) 51st Annual Meeting was held from October 7-10, 2013 in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  As this was the first time the (International Association of Movers) IAM held an Annual Meeting outside of the United States in over 20 years, the theme “IAM- A Network Expanding” underscores the Association’s efforts to expand its offerings to members and its outreach to and inclusion of other organizations and associations in the global moving and relocation arena. The chosen theme also recognized those member companies who continually meet the changes and challenges in the industry by expanding their businesses both geographically and in the services lines they offer through the reciprocal relationships they initiate with IAM colleagues at the Annual Meeting.
“CSS Homeward Bound would like to extend our special thanks to Mr. Terry Head, the President of IAM for taking the time to guide us and introducing us to key personnel at the conference and making us feeling welcome.  The IAM Networking event was a chance to meet new members, greet old friends, and schedule meetings while continuing to build upon the brand awareness for CSS Homeward Bound and the services it offers on a global platform, said, Suku Sudhakaran, General Manager, CSS Homeward Bound.
The Asian Relocation Association, held in Vancouver, as part of its annual meeting extended an invitation to all ARA members attending the IAM to join them at their exhibition booth during the trade show. CSS Homeward Bound has been an ARA member since the association’s inauguration in 2008/2009 and was able to utilize the booth during the IAM exhibition to conduct meetings and networking gatherings.  “Mr. Sudeep Shah and his team were extremely welcoming and helpful in introducing CSS Homeward Bound to other members especially during the ARA Gala Dinner; which was a networking session where we were able to put a face to the names that we had been communicating and doing business with for some time now. A special thanks to Mr. Sudeep and the entire ARA members for their valuable time and cooperation extended to CSS Homeward Bound. On the whole it was a good decision on part of the CSS Homeward Bound to participate in the conference and not only did it help establish new partnerships but also rekindle old partnerships,” added Suku Sudhakaran, General Manager, CSS Homeward Bound.

Uncompromised Commitment – DP World

The Group CEO of DP World, Mohammed Sharaf speaks to Lighthouse about the activities and the ambitious growth plans of the company in this exclusive interview

Being present in 6 locations in India, please give us an insight on the future expansion plans of DP World operations in India?

India is an important and vital part of our global portfolio and we are committed to supporting India’s growth into the future. DP World operates five marine terminals at Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi (Vallarpadam), Vishakapatnam and Mundra, with the greenfield  Kulpi port in West Bengal in the pipeline that will be developed in line with market demand.

In June 2013 we signed a new 17-year concession to build and operate a brownfield container terminal adjacent to the Nava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT) that DP World currently operates in Mumbai. The new 330 metre berth with 27 hectares of yard will add 800,000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent container units) of container capacity and help ease congestion at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. DP World will invest around US$200 million to build the terminal. We are investing for the long term and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders in India into the future.

What plans you have in mind for the future of the flagship terminal, Jebel Ali?

As you rightly put it, Jebel Ali is our flagship facility and what happens here often sets the standard for container ports not just across DP World’s global portfolio but also for the industry. In 2013 we added 1 million TEU in new capacity by extending Container Terminal 2 by 400 metres. An additional 4 million TEU will be added in 2014 when the ultra-modern mega Container Terminal 3 opens for business, taking the port’s total capacity to 19 million TEU. When completed Jebel Ali will be the only port in the region capable of simultaneously receiving and handling 10 of the next generation Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS) with a capacity of 18000 TEU each. Jebel Ali serves as a successful model that we replicate across our global portfolio, including DP World London Gateway, Embraport in Brazil and Callao in Peru.

Could you please tell us about your prospects in Africa as you are already present in this region?

Africa has great potential for growth and efficient infrastructure is essential for stimulating that growth, with ports the gateways to world trade. We have over 5,000 employees in Africa and each country in which we operate has its own unique set of circumstances that enable us to connect with infrastructure and the hinterland as well as neighbouring countries inland. Africa as an emerging market is one of our key focus areas and we are actively looking at different opportunities in various parts of the continent.  We don’t comment on specific opportunities we may be exploring.

What are the plans in place for Vallarpadam (Kochi, Kerala) to help boost the business within the port and the region?

Vallarpadam represents our vision of an India that competes with other global economies by directly linking the vast domestic market to the busiest international trade lane connecting Asia to Europe. The relaxation of the cabotage regulation in 2012 by the Government of India was a forward-looking move and will help DP World to contribute strongly to the local economy. The terminal at Vallarpadam was conceptualised by the Government of India for this very purpose.

Will Ecuador be the 6th location for DP world in Latin America and how do you look at it as a strategic move for DP World?

We constantly explore opportunities around the world and invest in markets where we see potential to contribute to growth and where our customers want us to be. We don’t comment on any particular opportunities unless there is something to announce. We believe Latin America has enormous potential and our goal is to support the main regional hubs that are so critical for the continent’s rapidly growing economies.

DP World’s investments across Latin America are in container terminals in Muelle Sur in Callao, Peru,  Embraport near Porto de Santos in Brazil and Terminales Rio de la Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina – where we also operate a state of the art cruise terminal – as well as in Suriname’s primary multi-purpose port in Paramaribo.

Could you please tell us about the upcoming future projects of DP World?

DP World has a portfolio of more than 65 marine terminals across six continents, including new developments underway in India, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. With our committed pipeline of developments and expansions, we expect capacity to rise to more than 100 million TEU by 2020, in line with market demand.

You have won so many awards and recognitions over the past years. How inspiring are those?

DP World operates its business with the aim of consistently delivering world class service to our customers and return on investment to shareholders. The awards are a bonus for the hard work and commitment of our employees, and would not be possible without the support we receive from our loyal customers like you, Consolidated Shipping Services (CSS). In taking this customer-centric approach, DP World is building on the established relationships and superior level of service demonstrated at our Jebel Ali facility, which has been voted “Best Seaport in the Middle East” for 19 consecutive years. There can be no greater inspiration.

What initiatives are there from the HR point of view to keep your 28,000 plus staff strength spirited?

Our people are at the heart of our business and that is why we are committed to building an inclusive, diverse and safe working environment. We work hard to ensure that responsibility is embedded in our everyday lives and to leave a lasting legacy in the communities in which we operate. DP World has a dedicated, experienced and professional team of 28,000 people serving its customers around the world, and the company constantly invests in people to provide quality services today and tomorrow, when and where customers need them.

As the Group CEO, how do you see the continuing success of DP World in its maritime terminal management business?

I believe the focus ought to be on world class customer service and being where our customers want us to be. Alongside that is continuous development as a marine terminal operator and growth as an innovative business, providing returns for our shareholders and developing our people. Success will follow. Our core strength is the spread of our network, our focus on emerging markets, container handling, re-engineering terminal operations whenever it is needed  and tailoring our investments to apply the three Cs – cargo, capabilities and capital wherever we operate. We deliver world-class terminal capacity and a world-class approach to container operations.

It will be interesting for us to know about the TURN8 programme.

TURN8 is a seed accelerator programme that encourages innovative and commercially-viable  ideas. It is an initiative launched by DP World in partnership with Innovation 360.  Our search for ideas through roadshows across the world involved an online campaign (see www.turn8.co) and visits to selected countries with active start-up cultures, including the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Ukraine, Belarus, Singapore, Malaysia and the USA. A second wave of roadshows has also just begun.

TURN8 has uncovered some exciting new proposals, 10 of which are now short-listed for our support. The final projects range from consumer sentiment trackers and counterfeit goods detectors to a digital math tutor for children and an app to record dreams. The programme selects start-up teams with marketable ideas and supports them with funding, mentoring and training in exchange for a stake in any resulting business. It is the only one in the region that drives innovative and commercially-viable ideas from across the world from cradle to maturity. Our aim is to promote a start-up and innovation culture in the wider community by encouraging and supporting a mix of international and local ideas.

Since Dubai, UAE has been selected to host the Expo 2020, is Jebel Ali port ready to cater the expected additional volume or do you have any particular plans in place for the Expo alone?

Our entire team was behind the bid and we are excited and thrilled to have been successful.  Our attention turns now to making sure we have the infrastructure in place to support the building and running of the event, and we will be working very closely with our customers to do that.  We already have tried and tested capabilities, and we will now take this to a new level.  We look forward to working with Dubai and the UAE to host the world. This event will not only create opportunities for the UAE, it will also create new opportunities for the countries of the region and the people of the world.

What are the KPI’S that DP World stresses on in your worldwide operations as a maritime terminal management organisation?

There are four principle areas of focus that are consistent right across our organisation:  customer service – going the extra mile for our customers; safety, with each and every person in the organisation taking responsibility to ensure they and their colleagues go home safely every day; developing our people to make the most of their talent and giving them opportunities to use their potential to the fullest; and encouraging an innovation culture where we are always open to new ideas and new ways of operating.  These add up to sustainability and providing value to our stakeholders over the long term.

The Road Ahead – Expo 2020 – By Jan Bak

After enjoying 23 years as a resident in Dubai the vision and determination of this city and country keeps, impressing me. Celebrating the victory at the impressive Atlantis Hotel at Palm Jumeirah with hundreds of other singing and dancing residents made me wonder, how one could take advantage of the opportunities ahead.

It also made me remember my 10 years at Dubai Ports Authority, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Tejari.com, which showed me the ability; a strong team has, in making dreams a reality. We had strong leadership and worked strategically and tactically across the divisions in winning new businesses, and always to the betterment of Dubai. There was a pride and self-belief that I have never come across since, and I feel proud having been part of these incredible growth years.

Now it is time to embark on another journey, capitalizing on EXPO 2020 and like Norman Vincent Peale once stated – “If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go and how to get there” – Then never, never, never & never give up and as with anything else it is about planning your work, and work your plan.

EXPO 2020 is starting in October 2020 running for 6 months, so is it a bit early to plan your attack? No it isn’t and certainly not when you are in the logistics, transportation, removal and industrial packaging game.

First it is getting involved with the construction industry at all levels and segments building relationships, and later it turns over into the fun of warehousing and distribution, ambient, cool and cold storage you name it. You want to win your share of the imports from all over the world, from raw materials to know how and expertise, moving people and arts for the exhibition, as countries show cases their pride and joy. Denmark moved the “Little Virgin” statue from Copenhagen to Shanghai for the 6 months of EXPO 2010, which is like the UK moving the “Crown Jewels” across to Dubai for EXPO 2020, this is an example how seriously countries value this opportunity. You want to position yourself as a company and individual to take advantage of this movement of people and goods that may turn into export opportunities later. It kind of also makes you think about the EXPO 2020 city and community, where a need for a fleet of small flexible cool and cold stores trucks would be evident, moving the tonnes of foodstuffs and waste materials in and out of the EXPO city from logistics centers, again it is not something you plan or finance over night.

Point is, nothing comes to you, you need to go and win it, create relationships locally and internationally within the segment and niches you see yourself playing a role. It is about showing one’s competences, willingness and ability to invest in resources whether hardware, software, people, structures etc., sell, sell, sell and creating the strategic relationships that maximize the opportunity to win the big tenders that no doubt will come to light, or focus on the specific niche elements and do them better than any competition. There are tonnes of opportunities and who will win them is about determination, persistency, consistency and a winning formula, planned well in advance. Everyone speaks about it but only few are really able to execute it over the long-term.

Happy Hunting from an old loyal resident.

(The author is a professional change management specialist, motivational trainer and an environmentalist based in Dubai.  Feedback can be sent at communications@cssgroupsite.com or janbak21@gmail.com )

IGS Logistics-Hamburg Visit CSS India

Winfried Prignitz, Division manager sea freight & air freight IGS Logistics Group visited CSS office in Cochin. The IGS Group is one of the largest German logistics services provider with over 30 yrs of experience in optimizing logistics operations globally and are having offices in major cities in Germany.  CSS Tirupur already enjoys a long time healthy business relationship with this German giant and offers total logistics solutions including door deliveries in Germany. Team CSS welcomed Winfried Prignitz on his visit to India. Both companies discussed various opportunities for enhancing the existing business trade lanes and conducted joint sales meets for strengthening business.

Cargo Ball 2013 CSS Joins for a Glittering Evening with Cargo Fraternity

The 4th Annual Cargo Ball 2013 is a premier non formal cargo industry event in the Middle East filled with a glittering evening of entertainment and international buffet dinner, attracting participants from the entire freight forwarding and logistics industry from around the world. The event was held on Thursday 28th November at Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The event was well attended by senior representatives from airlines, freight forwarders, logistics and ground handling agents and the evening aided all the attendees to come together to build industry partnerships and long-term business relationships.

“Cargo Ball 2013 is an occasion to mix business with a social gathering, at the same time contributes to a worthy cause. The general setting was a business networking session to consolidate current connections, revive old ones and even establish new contacts, all this in a cordial and social environment. In addition we are contributing to a worthy cause in the community – Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs,” added Jacob Isaac, General Manager Air Freight, CSS.

The sponsors and delegates in association with the organizers Arabian Reach FZ LLC donated 20% of the event revenue to the “Al Noor Training for Children with Special Needs” a special project dedicated to the welfare of the special needs children.

Al Noor Training Center for children with special needs has been in existence since 1981 and provides quality and effective training to the special needs community of Dubai. The center supports children with challenges such as Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. These are addressed through special education methods, physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Al Noor also has its own work placement unit, which trains children with an aptitude for open employment.??CSS Group since its inception has continually worked closely with the Al Noor Training Center to raise awareness about children with special needs not only through gala dinners, but also by way of souvenir magazines, directories and advertisements.

The CSS delegation who had attended this event included, Sreenath.V, Senior General Manager, Projects, Oil & Energy/Ops, Siby C. Kurian, Senior General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Rakesh Menon, Senior General Manager, CSS Logistics, Ajay Krishnan, Senior General Manager Ocean Freight, Jacob Issac, General Manager Air Freight, Suku Sudhakaran, General Manager, CSS Homeward Bound, Fida Asghar, Team Manager, NVOCC, Roshmon Manoli, Route Development Manager, North America, Amith Horra, Marketing Manager, and Baiju Sadanand, Manager Operations, Air Freight.

CSS Joins 20,000 in Beat Diabetes Walk in Dubai, UAE

More than 20,000 participants took approximately 50 million steps in total in Dubai on Friday in a bid to raise awareness about diabetes and promote the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

Renuka Jagtiani, Vice-Chairperson of Landmark Group, led the two-kilometre Beat Diabetes Walk along with senior officials from the group as well as representatives of Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai based diabetes support group – I am Number One – comprising of children with Type 1 diabetes and their families.

Following the two-kilometre walk, walkers were herded towards the area that enabled free diabetes checks and blood glucose tests were administered by medical professionals.

“There must have been at least 500 people wearing blue shirts and caps and walking at a snail’s pace at Zabeel Park in the morning. Families, elders and young children alike arrived in big family-sized cars and parked in front of Area A, Gate 1.  Everywhere you could see white and blue, the colour scheme of the event. Balloons in those colours swayed in the air and the presumably helium-filled ones were untied to float upwards,” added Chandrakala, Manager NVOCC-Operations, CSS.

CSS staff that participated in the Walk were, Chandrakala, Manager NVOCC-Operations, CSS, Ebie Babu, Sales Executive, Ruby Varkey, Sales Coordinator and Sasi Kala, Fashion Designer/Owner, Kala Fashion Group.

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