Chairman’s Message

Once again, the beginning of a new year provides yet another moment to look back and extend our warmest gratitude to all those who have stood beside us during 2015.  The past twelve months were truly momentous for all of us at CSS, as we rightly celebrated our 20th anniversary in style.  Nevertheless, looking back also requires that we must keep attentively looking forward.

This is why the theme chosen for our recent strategy meet was ‘innovate and inspire’. It was prompted by my belief that building on knowledge, from past experiences, develops confidence and awareness of one’s responsibilities.  This builds a belief in one’s ability to move forward to achieve greater things.  The concept ‘innovate and inspire’ is, no doubt, amongst one of the toughest challenges business executives face throughout their careers.  To be acknowledged as an innovative and inspiring person is a prestigious accolade.  A talented workforce is a prerequisite for a company’s future success, but this also requires leadership that is driven by innovative thinking. I believe that in order to have an innovative mind you need to design your thinking in a way that is curiously eager to explore opportunities; visualizing and anticipating outcomes.  Combining this approach to learning experiences, with a humility that affords respect to others, is the real ‘innovate and inspire’ in operation.

Our ethos at CSS has attracted people who can lead teams, towards the future, through innovative and inspiring thoughts. We need to ensure we continue to do this. Like the saying goes, ‘life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it’. The solution to a problem might just be your attitude, where innovation and inspiration will undoubtedly direct you along the winning route. My best wishes to all our readers for a promising year ahead.


CSS Group Sales Strategy Meet 2015

CSS sales strategy meet this time was truly Innovative & Inspiring, doing justice to the theme they adopted. This year it was decided by the senior Management and the Chairman of CSS group, to conduct the Sales Strategy meet, a much awaited official meeting amongst the Sales teams of CSS, in the UAE region itself. And hence, CSS Marketing & Corporate communications ventured into the luxurious spaces of the Hilton Al Hamra beach & golf resort at Ras Al Khaimah. The dates chosen were the 20th & 21st of November 2015.

“Innovate & Inspire” being this year’s theme, the main focus of discussion apart from the budget presentations were, the looming market situations and the much feared recession. The Political uncertainty was another concern everyone shared. Brain storming discussions were held for strategizing new ways in exploring the untapped areas, overcoming threats and to achieve company goals for the next year.

The meeting commenced with the announcement which declared the top 10 sales performers of the year 2015. This invited a good round of cheer and applause amongst the participants. Chairman’s message clearly reiterated the need for innovative minds to sail through the bad currents and to achieve goals. This was followed by the budget presentations by the Sales managers and unit heads. CSS Kingston was the latest entrant to the group in this year’s Strategy Meet. Last year’s performance was reviewed and the projections were thoroughly analysed throughout the session. The growth of online markets was a topic of discussion during the concluding session. Even though the market situations are not that much promising, the CSS achievement during the last year and the programmes designed for the New Year gives a clear signal of growth for the overall performance of the company.

Mentioning about the prospective regions for the company like Doha, Muscat etc drew attention from all those who have participated. Day one concluded with the grand dinner and entertainment programmes which included a DJ bash.

Expert Solutions for Automobile Movement

CSS Group shakes hand with Pangaea Cargo GMBH

The CSS Group has recently begun a strategic alliance with Pangaea Cargo GMBH, one of the leading logistics solutions providers globally for vehicle and personal effects transportation. This alliance brings to the Middle East Market a world class door to door solution to the automotive market and their transportation needs.

Pangaea Cargo utilizes the efficient Racking Systems for efficient transportation of all kinds of Automobiles including Bikes in containers. The Steel racking system since its inception has effectively reduced chances of damage to vehicles during transport and is environmentally friendly replacing the traditional Wood Packing that has been used in this mode of transport.  The use of the racking system also allows for various models, make or size to be consolidated into one container, thereby optimizing costs while ensuring integrity of the cargo is maintained.

Pangaea Cargo’s innovation combined with the CSS Group’s infrastructure and expertise in handling automobiles has already proved to be a great success. The throughput of vehicles through the CSS Group’s state of the art CFS has increased significantly since this product was launched commercially. Currently this service is being provided from Jebel Ali, but a road map is being designed to expand this to the rest of the Middle East using the CSS Group’s significant footprint across the Middle East Region.

The CSS Group’s strong presence in the relocation segment of our industry has also been assisted with boosting Pangaea Cargo’s other area of strength, which is removals and relocation. This allows both organizations to promote a one stop, safe and effective solution for household moves including automobiles and bikes.

Thomas Buse

Chief Executive Officer, Pangaea Cargo

We are looking forward to intensifying our exclusive relationship with CSS in Dubai and are proud to have such a well-respected partner on our side, maintaining the high level of quality especially in worldwide car shipping.

Martyna Dzierzynska

General Manager, Pangaea Cargo

Since we have established our alliance with CSS, we had great success on many levels. Not just in the car transportation, also the satisfaction on door to door solution for personal effects from our clients with overwhelming positive feedback has shown us the power of our engagement with CSS.

Benjamin Bartosch

Chief Business Development Officer, Pangaea Cargo

The demand of car transportation needs has always been very sustain from various economy impacts in the Middle East. The Market is very competitive and not comparable with the western market. Therefore it was highly important for us to find the right strategic partner to build an alliance of world class service. CSS has well honored our know-how and shown their capability to implement this knowledge into daily operations. Innovation, sustainability, German standards and environmentalism has been indicating key words for our future and I’m proud to say that this alliance has already truly surpassed all my expectations.

T S Kaladharan

Chairman, CSS Group

CSS Group had always strived to excel in each and every segment of its business from day one onwards. An association with Pangaea is seen with great importance, as we see an expert partner in them who can use CSS’s network strength and our resources in the Middle East effectively to deliver the best to the global competitive market of Automobile movement.

Ajay Krishnan

Sr. General Manager, Freight forwarding, CSS Group

In our industry, if we do not innovate and if we do not continue to bring in new products for our customers we will stagnate. This is where our new association with Pangaea is significant. This technology used to transport vehicles in a safe/ environmentally friendly manner is not common here. We intend to position this as a key product to meet the growing demand in this business vertical here.

Ras Al Khaimah to Abu Dhabi with CSS

The Projects team at CSS Group successfully completed yet another job recently, inviting highest client appreciation. Eight units each of 15 x 5 x 5.10 M weighing 118 tons of Skid Shoe was moved from the Maritime City at Ras Al Khaimah to the NPCC yard in Abu Dhabi. As a usual practice, extensive study and survey was conducted as part of this movement regarding the Origin, destination and the travel route. Each point of the entire project was carefully assessed to ensure a foolproof and smooth journey of the cargo. Multi axle hydraulic trailers were used for the project movement.

Prior permissions were taken and escorts were arranged for the entire route. The entire operation included night movements as well. “We consider each project movement as a chance to learn more and an opportunity to prove our professionalism. The excellent team work displayed by our staff ensures zero percentage stress and pressure for our clients. That could be the reason which made CSS the most sought after name in the field of project movement in the entire Middle East and the Indian sub-continent”, commented Raj George, Senior Vice President, Projects Oil & Energy, CSS Group, after the successful project completion.

FPS AGM at Jakarta

CSS Group representatives attended the recently concluded FPS AGM and conference at Jakarta.
The CSS Group was represented by Siby Kurian, Senior GM, Sales & Marketing and Thomas Mathew, Manager Pricing and Key Information Department, CSS Dubai, Jairam KR, Director, CSS India, Narayan R T, General Manager, CSS Bahrain and Dean Landers, General Manager, CSS Kuwait.
FPS Group – one of the largest and longest-established forwarding groups in the world – is to change its constitution to allow multiple memberships in each territory. The decision was reached at this year’s AGM and Conference, which took place in Jakarta, Indonesia, and was attended by representatives of the network’s global membership.
Advisory Board Chairman Sam Aparo, co-owner of one of the network’s founding members, told delegates that the original FPS Group policy of one member per country was no longer the best model. Although it had been very successful since its launch in 1998, “The strength we once had is now our weakness,” he said.
“If we have multiple members in each market, it means we all have multiple choices. It’s not just more members, it’s also about quality and additional opportunities. We should not be afraid of competition,” he continued.
“Networking at the FPS AGM and conference always provides an opportunity to meet new members from some of the geographical regions where we do think about exploring in the near future and hence CSS finds it very fruitful to be at this gathering” commented Siby Kurian.
FPS will also embark on an aggressive expansion programme in 2016, to fill gaps in its existing geographic coverage. Speaking after the conference, Sam Aparo added: “2016 is the year of expansion for our network. We have a tremendous and unrivalled asset in the quality, size, reputation and business base of FPS Group. New members will immediately benefit from this, as well as opening up new opportunities for the whole group.”
Aparo added that there had never been a better time for agents to join a quality network, enabling them to counteract falling margins with increased reciprocal sales and more professional marketing. “There is strength in numbers; both more effective marketing, and the opportunity to share its costs over a larger number of participants.”
“In a very uncertain global economic scenario we face, it’s extremely important to have regular overhauling of your contacts to keep the business lively and aggressive. CSS India has always utilised the opportunity of interacting at the FPS, from day one onwards and we have found it very useful” mentioned Jairam K R.

Emirates Skycargo’s Mainland China Network Expands

Emirates will expand its services in mainland China from May 3, 2016 with four weekly flights to Yinchuan and Zhengzhou, adding 56-tonnes of bellyhold cargo capacity to Emirates SkyCargo’s network.

The additions of Yinchuan and Zhengzhou expand Emirates’ offering on the mainland to five, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Yinchuan serves as a gateway connecting China to Arab countries and is positioned as a hub for economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchange between China and the Middle East.

Zhengzhou is an educational, technological and economic centre and the second largest city in central China. Its strategic location has enabled the city to become one of the largest economic hubs in the country.

“With the opening of these new strategic routes, Emirates looks forward to contributing to the enhancement of China’s trade links with the rest of the world, in particular with the UAE and Arab world,” said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Emirates airline and CEO of the Emirates Group.

“We believe the new international air links will help create tourism and trade opportunities for Chinese business and leisure travellers that may not otherwise exist,” he added.

Emirates flights to Yinchuan and Zhengzhou will depart every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from Dubai as EK326 at 2.45am, arriving at Yinchuan Hedong International Airport at 1.35pm.

The service will then depart from Yinchuan at 3.20pm and arrive at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport at 5pm. The return flight, EK327, will depart Zhengzhou at 9.10pm, arriving at Yinchuan at 10.55pm.

It will then depart Yinchuan at 12.40am, arriving in Dubai at 4.30am the next day.

A three-class configured Boeing 777-200LR airliner will operate the service, carrying up to 266 passengers and 14 tonnes in bellyhold cargo capacity.

Popular commodities expected to be transported on these services include electronics, such as mobile phones from Zhengzhou, and agricultural products such as goji berries and cashmere from Yinchuan.

Courtesy: Arabian Supply Chain

France Fines Express Operators €672m

Twenty express logistics companies have been fined a total of more than €672 million (£490m) by the French Competition Authority for price fixing between 2004 and 2010.

The largest fine was for Geodis at €196m, while Chronopost was fined €99m. Other companies fined include:

DHL Express France: €81m

TNT Express France: €58m

GLS France (Royal Mail): €55m

DPD France: €45m

Dachser France: €33m

Gefco: €31m

The competition authority (Autorité de la Concurrence) said the companies had agreed on annual price increases at meetings which took place at the TLF trade association between September 2004 and September 2010.

The companies involved are: Alloin, BMVirolle, Chronopost, Exapaq (now DPD France) Ciblex France, Dachser France, DHL Express France, FedEx Express France, Gefco, Geodis, GLS France, Heppner, Lambert et Vallette, XP France, Norbert Dentressangle Distribution, Normatrans, Jewel-Schenker (now Schenker France), TNT Express France, Transport Henri Ducros, Ziegler France.

Kuehne + Nagel acquired the Alloin Group in 2009. In a statement K+N said: “Regarding the fine of €32 million for the Alloin Group, approximately €31m are attributable to the time before the acquisition of the Alloin Group by Kuehne + Nagel.

“Kuehne + Nagel dissociates itself from such business practises, has a comprehensive compliance programme in place, which is continuously improving, and has been cooperating with the French Competition Authority since 2010. Kuehne + Nagel is reviewing all options, including an appeal against the decision as well as a recourse against the sellers.”

Royal Mail has also issued a statement saying that by agreeing not to contest the allegations and provide compliance commitments, Royal Mail has benefited from a reduction in the French competition authority’s fine to €55.1 million (£40.2 million).

TNT said it had co-operated with the investigation since it started in 2010. “During the third quarter of 2014, TNT entered into a settlement agreement with the FCA and booked a provision of €50 million in relation to this matter. TNT will review the merits of the decision.”

United Heavy Lift Middle East Launched its Operations

United Heavy Lift Germany launched its operations in the Middle East by participation at the Break Bulk Middle East Exhibition and conference recently concluded in Abu Dhabi. A special Mena Regional Office launch function and event was also held for key and potential customers in this market whereby over 100 VIP guests were entertained at a special venue in Abu Dhabi.

UHL was Founded in February 2015 by Mr. Lars Rolner, who has held various executive roles in the heavy lift industry for more than 30 years to accommodate the unique requirements of various clients

United Heavy Lift’s team  provide individual and innovative solutions for heavy lift transports. An experienced team of engineers, naval architects and other specialists provide a wide range of services to ensure safe and efficient operations.

They currently have a fleet of 14 vessels, with up to 800 ton lifting capacity, in commercial management.

The reason for the UHL’s participation in this year’s Break Bulk event in Abu Dhabi and Mena region set up in Dubai is in line with UHL’s strategy to be close to key clients and markets, hence UHL recently established a representative office in Dubai to cover the entire Middle East region in close cooperation with UHL’s headquarters in Hamburg.

The Reason for this is for UHL to Develop Sales and Brand UHL in the Mena region as well as add value to the UHL Global Network.

Adani Begins Work on International Transshipment Project at Vizhinjam

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), India’s largest port developer and part of the Adani Group, has started development of India’s first international transhipment project in Vizhinjam, Kerala. It shall be completed within the stipulated time period of four years.

Oommen Chandy, chief minister of Kerala, along with Union Minister for Transport, Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari, chairman of Adani Group, Gautam Adani and other dignitaries from the Government of Kerala laid the foundation stone at the ground breaking ceremony at the proposed international port site in Vizhinjam. The project will be Kerala’s first ever deep water container transhipment port.

Speaking on the occasion, Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group, said, “We are honoured by the trust bestowed on us by the Government of Kerala. Developing India’s first international deepwater seaport project in a record time of just one thousand days is another opportunity for us to fulfill our commitment to Nation Building. Given Vizhinjam’s access to prominent international waterways, the project will be a significant catalyst in positioning India strategically as a global transhipment hub. It will also help us in accelerating our journey towards achieving our vision of annually handling 200 million tons of cargo by 2020.”

Government Supports Financial Assistance for ‘Make in India’ Ship Building

In order to promote the shipbuilding industry under the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the Cabinet approved a proposal for financial assistance of 20 per cent for ships built in the country.

The implementation of the policy, which would be in force for 10 years, requires a budgetary support of Rs 4,000 crore. “It includes a policy for grant of financial assistance to shipyards, after delivery of ship, to counter cost disadvantages at 20 per cent of the contract price or the fair price, whichever is lower; such assistance is to be reduced at 3 per cent every three years and will be given for all types of ships,” the official statement said. The proposal also includes grant of a Right of First Refusal for Indian shipyards for government purchases; tax incentives and grant of infrastructure status for shipbuilding and ship repair industry.

When Containers Become a Bit More Romantic

Ben’s unique marriage proposal at CSS

Asking for a woman’s hand in marriage is one of the most important things a man will probably do in his life. Therefore, a good deal of consideration should be put into the timing and setting of this event. Thinking of creative marriage proposal ideas is tough and one of a kind proposal can be very hard to think of. We have seen and read many times in our life of people around the world exploring different, sometimes insanely expensive ways to propose marriage to their partners. Often times it is the the unique ones that take the headlines of News papers. One such unique proposals happened last week, showing that the logistics business can be more than what we know it to be!

Recently, The CSS Group helped organize a unique proposal for an industry friend and associate of the company, Ben of Pangaea. Ben a long time friend of CSS group, wanted to make his proposal  unique while relevant to the industry where his partner Martyna works in. He came up with an idea to do this inside a container. He shared his thoughts with Kala, Chairman of CSS group, who didn’t need to think twice to make this real. Arrangements were immediately made at the Jebel Ali office with all CSS staff sharing the same excitement of Ben.

A container was organized at one of the loading bays at the CSS Group Jebel Ali facility, the décor was done in-house by the CSS team. Cupcakes and flowers were arranged and Martyna was invited, albeit, without a clue as to what was to unfold. It was a truly romantic and unique event, attended by CSS Staff and the CSS Group Chairman.

Kerala Cricket League

CSS Kingston Alleppey Amigos Play KCL Dubai

CSS Kingston Logistics FZC, sponsored Alleppey Amigos team participated in the recently concluded Kerala Cricket League (KCL).  Destructive West Indies batsman and the ambassador of Kerala Cricket League 2015, Chris Gayle has officially opened the third edition of the tournament here. Gayle kick-started the competition in his trade-mark style after getting into his batting gear and lofting the ball high much to the delight of the nearly 2,000-strong spectators gathered at the Sevens Stadium. Sixteen teams featuring UAE cricketing talent took part in the league in four groups, which was managed by Seashell Events UAE and was organised under the patronage of Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Cricket Council. Renowned Malayalam film actress Nyla Usha was the Brand Ambassador of CSS Kinston Alleppey Amigos team

Meticulously Executed Supply Chain Management

Millions in Mumbai commute everyday to earn a living. Banks, colleges, hospitals, government offices, private offices, factories and ports are all spread across different parts of the city. In a country where hot and freshly cooked home food is the most preferred for consumption, carrying of lunch boxes is a big burden for the working populace. However, this problem is unheard of in this metro city thanks to the presence of the 100 year old organization of “Dabbawalas”.

The Dabbawala community has about 5000 people working with them. These Dabbawalas deliver lunch boxes for about 2 lakh people at their work places on time. The work doesn’t end here. They also carry the empty lunch boxes back to the homes of the customers. The unbelievable part is they make only one mistake in sixteen million transactions and have been consistently good at it for all the time of their operations. This credibility earned them a six sigma designation by the Forbes magazine and ISO 9001 accreditation.  The three main reasons for their success are as follows.

1. Supply Chain Management

Surprisingly there is no use of Information systems or technology for their Supply chain side. A rigorous level of practice over the years has led to the unwritten steps to follow for accurate supply chain management and time precision. There are about 40000 transactions (delivery and return) of lunch boxes taking place daily. The figure below shows their Supply chain model

• Dabbawalas use cycles or go by foot to every household. The waiting time to collect a lunch box is maximum 2 minutes

• Every Dabbawala has to assemble at his/her reported collection point at sharp 9. 30 am

• From these collection points they assemble at the nearest railway station which is the Aggregation point

• The next mode of transport is the trains where the carriers containing lunch boxes are transported to the destination railway stations

• From every Destination station the dabbas are carried over carts, cycles and carriers to the destination zones which are given a specific number

• From these zones, the lunch boxes are carried to the offices or workplaces which reach by lunchtime

• From here the reverse process of delivering the empty lunch boxes back to homes starts

• All through the above process, there is no slack at any point of time

• Traffic Jams, pedestrians, delays in train and signals do not stop the functioning. The trademark white cap wore by these Dabbawalas are known to everyone including the police who don’t interfere in their process

2. Coding System

Coding System is meticulously followed in order to avoid any mistakes involving interchange of lunch boxes, that is, wrong Tiffin box reaching the customer.

As given in the above Diagram, the Coding system can be explained as follows:

• BVI: Borivali, a suburb in Mumbai. This denotes the residential station

• 9 RC 14: Code for Dabbawalas at destination. This user code is different for each customer

• RC: Raheja Chambers, name of a building or office

• 14: Floor Number

• E: Code for Dabbawala at Destination station. For example, E is a code for Nariman Point, Churchgate

• Jain: Name/Surname of the customer

3. Employees

All the employees or Dabbawalas are the stakeholders in this organization. This is the source of their motivation. Most of the employees are illiterate and rest is school dropouts. However they are literate enough to understand the codes and comprehend which lunch box belongs where. They are given basic idea about writing the alphabets and numbers on the boxes on joining the organization. Every Dabbawala takes about 3 hours for completing his assignment and has to cover 60-70 km on foot, carts, cycles and carriers combined. Alcohol consumption is strictly avoided during work hours. The employees’ monthly salary is about Rs.6000 per month.

Key Features of the Dabbawalas organization:

• Organization Turnover is about Thirty Six Crores annually

• Uninterrupted and on time service delivered even in occasions of bad weather and transportation/traffic problems

• Dabbawalas are well used to the local areas where they are functioning and make use of short cuts to save time

• No error inspite of lunch boxes changing hands six times

• During the working hours, they do not take a break or rest and thus no slack is present in the system

• They do not use vehicles which require fuel which makes them 0% Fuel reliant

• They do not use any modern technology for carrying out the logistics

• There are no disputes between the employees and no presence of any union

• Unique organization with Six Sigma designation and 99.99% rate of performance

• Cost of Service per lunch box = Rs. 450 per month and is standard price for all

• Customer Satisfaction accounts 100% with utmost trust


The Dabbawalas organization is a standout example of efficient Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Corporates and students should make note of their functioning in order to understand their unique structure and process. Today the Dabbawalas have welcomed the use of internet technology only for increasing their customer base and nothing more. Many fast food chains and hotels in the city will always be competing with the Dabbawalas but their hope of failure of Dabbawalas system may never materialize.

Compiled by Rajesh Chakiat, GM, Supply Chain, CSS Dubai

Expanding New Horizons of DP World

CSS was advised by DPW management at a recent briefing here in Dubai (Dubai Ports Operator) that DP and other partners are investing $1.9 billion in China port terminals until 2020, DPW stated The $1.9 billion investment in China is the total investment by all partners in China terminals including DP World for the years up to 2020 – DP World’s share of the Capex will reflect its minority shareholding in the respective projects,” a company statement mentioned

DP World has three ports in China – Qingdao, Tianjin and Yantai .

This announcement came after a recent three-day official visit to Beijing, during which a host of business deals have been announced between the United Arab Emirates and China.

The deals included the two countries establishing a joint strategic investment fund worth $10 billion as China pursues its ambition to rebuild Silk Road trade routes.

DP World and the Prince Rupert Port Authority have announced an agreement to study further expansion of the Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert. The agreement was signed by DP World Canada Group and Prince Rupert Port Authority further strengthening the commitment of their respective organizations to the development and growth of the Port of Prince Rupert. DP World is the operator of the Fairview Container Terminal and construction is currently underway for the Phase II North expansion. Government of Canada approval has been received for the Phase 2 South expansion of the terminal further to the environmental assessment (Comprehensive Study Report) completed on terminal expansion in 2012 in accordance to the requirements of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Under the Feasibility Study agreement, DP World intends to study current marine liner services and container volume growth forecasts for trans-Pacific trade on the West Coast, weighing demand for activation of Fairview’s Phase II (South) expansion to align the project schedule with market demand. This study is critical to the future growth of port operations within British Columbia and will serve as the basis for moving forward with this project in a timely manner. Additionally, the agreement included the intention to establish a cohesive and systematic approach to information sharing as well as environmentally sustainable port initiatives re Phase II South, which could potentially be delivered within the next three to five years depending on demand, would increase the total capacity of Fairview Container Terminal to in excess of 2 million TEUs, and would provide capacity to meet Canada’s Pacific container terminal capacity requirements for decades to come in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner, The growth in traffic at the Fairview Terminal, North America’s fastest-growing intermodal gateway, has been a validation of the Prince Rupert advantages in transpacific shipping. DP World is ready to seize those advantages and move forward with planning the terminal’s continued expansion. In early 2015, the Phase II North expansion project was launched, which will raise the terminal’s capacity to approximately 1.3 million TEUs upon completion in 2017.

Intelligence is in Being Unintelligent

Each morning, from every corner in the world , people get up, get ready, eat or skip a breakfast and head to offices and then around 9.30 or 10.00 am starts the collective intelligentsia of the world, using their skills and intelligence to “grow” and “solve problems”

So a corner in Abu Dhabi to a corner in Mumbai to a corner in Amsterdam to a corner in New York

To a downtown in Delhi to a downtown in Madrid to a downtown in London to a downtown in Dubai

All are “actively” using strategy and intelligence to achieve growth at:

a. Individual level leading to growth at

b. Company level leading to growth at

c. Country level leading to growth at

d. Group continent level – say EU or Emerging market group

This corporate phenomena started about 3 decades back and what have the collective intelligentsia of the world achieved today in 2015?

a. USA in recession and deep debt

b. EU in recession and deep debt

c. Japan in recession and deep debt

d. China and India slowing down

e. Brazil deep in the red

f. Russia – like you, even i don’t know

g. Africa still in hunger and poverty

h. Middle East and Arab world in deep turmoil

i. Canada, Australia and New Zealand anyways were soft honeymoon destinations , who never really shook world economies or caused any political instability

Central Banks don’t know how to service the debt at

a. Individual level which lead to debt at

b. Company level which lead to debt at

c. Country level which lead to debt at

d. Group continent level

So there are short term steroids offered in form of bond buying and playing on interest rates to make liquidity flow for temporary solutions

I think its safe to say that the collective intelligentsia – which spent so much on business suits, ties, presentations, iMacs and iPhones, travelling business class and first class, brainstorming and grain starving, business lunches, signing cheques, sealing deals, making agreements etc with all the attitude and egos, have miserably failed. They have bought us to this in 2015.

They say, often, when the larger picture is seen, the minute things that matter are forgotten.

The intelligent never cease to look below their own nose and which is why today – we have forgotten the basics.

So all of us need to ask ourselves – have we turned too intelligent to understand the very basics of our own lives? Is this mirage that we live in, which makes us feel confident, superior, competitive, one up on another, actually taken away our mojo?

At individual levels, we need to buckle down and see:

a. How do we treat our colleagues

b. Are we fair to our surroundings

c. Is our work and private life in harmony

d. Are we being too intelligent to be one up always

Questions we need to ask:

a. Is growth always the way forward

b. Whats the benefit of distribution vs growth

c. What does being competitive do to us

d. Is quality defined by money alone

e. Are we compromising values for the sake of currency

These are not mere “moral” suggestions, I am not in the business of morality.

But these are real time things we can relate our daily work with.

Is it not really ok to simmer down sometimes , be comfortable, let go, say no, chose between right and wrong, assess the pennies lost to the pounds gained, to be uncompetitive, to be unintelligent vs being too intelligent, to stop monetising our talent always.

If the past decades belonged to intelligence who bought us to this, let the future belong to being unintelligent, use the heart more than the brain, think about small than think about big , put people over cash, be a human to being a money maker.

Reason being – each business today is a peoples business. And by doing so – people will remain people. Because people can be stupid, people can be foolish, people can make mistakes, people can falter.

If you need counselling on this topic , you can email or call me. I charge a fee and its just about affordable. This preceding line is just a joke. Thank god, I haven’t come to it and made a business out of it too.

A Mandatory Container Weight Verification Requirement


The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (hereby referred as SOLAS Convention) shall make a mandatory container weight verification requirement in its Chapter VI, Part A, Regulation 2 which shall come into force on 1st July, 2016. As per this Regulation 2, the person who is transporting the shipment / Shipper or a third party arranged by the Shipper is responsible to provide the weight of their packed container in any of the following methods:

1.    Weighing the loaded containers;

2.    Weighing the cargo and adding the tare weight of the container which can be seen on the door of the container.

Once this provision enters into force, the requirement to provide the Verified Gross Weight (hereinafter referred as VGW) shall become mandatory and the Shipper has to make sure that he provides the VGW prior to the shipment. If the Master or the Terminal Representative has not obtained the VGW, then the container shall not be loaded on to the vessel .

How the weighing may be done?

The Port of Loading may facilitate itself with equipments to weigh the containers. The Shipper shall use either one of the two methods to calculate the actual weight of the packed containers. For this, the Shippers can make use of the weighing equipment, if available at the Port. But the Port authorities has the duty to make sure that these equipments shall meet national certification and calibration requirements. Is there any alternate remedy available to the Shipper if the Port of Loading does not have the weighing equipment?

SOLAS does not say that the Port of Loading should have a weighing equipment to weigh the packed containers or shipments. It only mandates the shipper to issue a verified gross mass of the shipment. In case the Port of Loading does not have the weighing equipment, then the shipper shall find any alternate way to weigh the shipment / packed containers.

In case the Shipper does not provide the weight verification, then the vessel and the terminal operators would have the option of weighing the packed container at the Shipper’s expense to obtain weight and thereby keep the commerce moving.

How the new provisions would affect the parties concerned? 

1. Shipper

All the expenses with regard to the weighing of the packed container shall be borne by the Shipper. Now the problem arises if the Carrier receives the packed container without the verified gross mass. If the loading port does not have any provision to weigh the packed containers, then they will have to arrange to weigh the container at somewhere else.  In such a case, the shipper might have to take the consignment or the packed container to somewhere else to get the actual weight or the carrier may have to make arrangements for the same at Shipper’s expense.

However, it would be difficult for a shipper to weigh a packed container if the weighing equipment is not easily available. Under such circumstances, the Shipper can opt for second method available under SOLAS Convention instead of the First Method.

2.  Carrier

This provision will be boon to the Carriers who are especially engaged in the transportation of the Container cargoes. The actual mass of the packed container would definitely help the Carriers in the loading of the Containers efficiently. This can for an extent reduce the accidents caused to the vessel due to the instability.

Also this provision would help the personnel who are engaged in loading. There are incidents were workers have died while loading of containers. Due to the miscalculation of the actual weight the Containers  have fallen down on the workers while trying to load them on board. This new provisions might help the stowing of the Container in a better way thereby reducing accidents.

3. The Government.

The Shipping Industry plays an important role in funding the economy of the Country. When the mandatory provisions enter into force, the Government shall make available the certified equipment for weighing the Containers and to make a smooth movement of commerce.


This is a very relevant and important provisions incorporated in the SOLAS Convention. Usually, the Shipper/Consignee who are engaged in domestic or international trade when transports a shipment, would never give out the actual weight of the consignment. This has caused many accidents in the industry as the misdeclared weight would affect the stability of the vessel, cause damage to the container stacks etc.

Staying Focused

Perhaps you have pondered over the last few weeks if you should make any New Year’s resolutions, but how many of us can remember the ones we made last year? Unless we managed to achieve the outcome we resolved to attain, the chances are we have long since forgotten them. This is unfortunate because setting goals, by making resolutions, does work. The concept has never failed anyone. The only reason failure occurs is because the person, who may easily be you or me, has chosen to give up. What has let us down is our inability to stay focused. Research supports the view that over 78% of those making meaningful goal setting resolutions failed to stay focused and gave up.

For this reason, when setting any targets or goals, we have to accept that focus may become an issue and make plans accordingly to help us keep on track. There seems to be evermore distractions which demand our attention and steer us away from being focused. Our particular goal setting may be seen as unusual, so even our friends often want us to conform to what they see as normal. “Go on another piece of cream cake won’t harm you”. “You’ve been to the gym twice this week, time for you to have some fun”. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – come on give yourself a break”. Perhaps they do not appreciate your need to stay focused when you have set yourself goals? The most important person when it comes to deciding this is YOU. Sometimes we need to put ourselves first and for many this is not an easy attitude to accept. Recall, if you will, what a flight attendant tells passengers before take-off.

‘If the oxygen masks deploy you should secure your own before attempting to help others with theirs.’ After all, unless you are getting enough oxygen, how can you help them? There are times when you have to stay focused on yourself because only when your needs are met are you able to help anyone else.

It was some fifteen years ago that a former Apple and Microsoft Executive coined the term, ‘continuous partial attention”, to describe the modern predicament of being constantly attuned to everything without fully concentrating on anything. How, in such an environment can anyone hope to stay focused? Today’s generation seem to have even more distractions, steering them away from being focused. Personally I cannot understand how someone can give an issue their full attention when holding a face to face conversation whilst at the same time juggling their mobiles, texting and allowing them to be interrupted by calls.

There are numerous ways to help stay focused but my favourite is to create a vision board made with a collage of pictures and slogans that represent my goals and dreams. I make sure I display it in a prominent place so as to remind me. When I set myself a weight loss target, I put a picture of a lean and toned guy, the same age as myself, on my fridge door. When planning a campaign I find pictures of winning situations, coupled with cryptic words, and mount them on a board near to my office desk.

To succeed you have to develop a mind-set which sees you attaining your goal. You also have to limit the number of goals that you set in order not to spread yourself too far. Ideally picking one to three goals and sticking to them, is usually a realistic target for most of us. It is also crucial that you do not bother yourself with other goals until you have achieved those you have already set. Of course the proviso to this, if your priorities shift and your goals no longer reflect what you want, is a reassessment is required.

Oprah Winfrey, American media proprietor, TV show host, actress and philanthropist tells us we should, “Take five minutes to centre yourself in the morning – set your intention every day”. Obviously this routine has worked well for Oprah and it is an appropriate start for our day if we wish to move forward, achieving our goals. Nevertheless, without determination and dedication, it is easy to be detracted from staying focused. This why my New Year’s resolution was; “Procrastinate more – Starting tomorrow! “

Lucky Winner

As part of our continuous commitment to the freight forwarding fraternity, CSS initiated a thank you scheme over 6 years ago, whereby one lucky name out of the scores of business cards that are dropped into the raffle bowls placed at the Delivery Order Counter will be rewarded with a gift.

The winner picked selected and rewarded for the months of September- November 2015 was Suresh from Fujairah Export Import Co. who walked away with gift vouchers worth AED 200 from Lulu, presented by Fida Asghar, Team Manager NVOCC Sales, CSS Dubai.