Chairman’s Message

T S Kaladharan

T S Kaladharan

2016 proved to be another challenging but, at the same time, an exciting year. The past twelve months have occasioned situations, in the business world, which have tested our abilities. Unrest in the Middle East and the demonetisation in India are only a couple of things from a long list of challenges. However, looking back, I take comfort from the fact that our resilience and forward planning have carried us successfully along. Overcoming such demanding events makes you even more confident to move forward. As time passes we learn and mature gaining the experience to strive and stride forward towards a better future. As the year comes to its end, we invariably end up analysing the ups and down. It should give us all satisfaction, at CSS, that our team work and commitment has meant we have had many more ups than downs.

Accordingly it is an opportune time to highlight our recently concluded strategy meet. We focused on the disciplines and skills that have stood us in good stead, realising that even the unexpected can be successfully addressed by sticking to the ethos on which CSS has built its strategies. Whenever big or small situations arise, our past experiences enable us to sail through any adverse currents, with confidence and determination.

As we start a New Year I am emboldened to feel upbeat to see the opportunities that lie ahead for all of us, in the logistics industry. My personal thanks for the past year and wish everyone at CSS, our well-wishers and clients; good fortune while we move forward together.

Planning, Precision & Performance (P3)


CSS Group Sales Strategy Meet 2016 held during the month of November

CSS Group recently conducted their Annual Sales Strategy Meet for the year 2017 in Dubai. The Two day event was organized at the prestigious and picturesque Golf Club in the Arabian Ranches. The theme they adopted for the year’s meet was “Planning, Precision & Performance (P3)”, which invariably demonstrates the professional approach of the company towards the services rendered from the day of its inception. CSS has always strived to excel in all the ventures, year on year and today has reached a respectable position amongst the renowned names in the field of Shipping and Logistics in the Middle East and the Indian Sub-continent. The meet was inaugurated by Chandrakala (CK) who introduced the theme and its inner sense and importance.

sales-meetThis year’s meet saw some interesting presentations on the first day regarding the Strategies for each division of the company. The strategy presentation was done by the division heads and Senior Management staff. Day Two was dedicated to Budget analysis and proposal for the next year. The discussions and interactions invited some novel changes in the current approach of Sales and Marketing. Delegates from both the Middle East and the Indian offices participated and did their presentations.

The sales strategy meet is organized as a part of enhancing the sales programme, every year. The middle & top management of the group company assemble at any of the renowned destinations of the globe and discuss about the past sales and design new sales programme. Each office and each department will have separate presentations and suggestions regarding the sales enhancement. All suggestions will be finally reviewed by the Top management who approves a consolidated sales programme which will be incorporated into the sale process.

The Two day meeting concluded with the vote of thanks by the Chairman of CSS Group T S Kaladharan wherein he reiterated the need for more focused approach to overcome the present global crises.

Machinery Movement

jcbCSS team at Coimbatore office has successfully handled the shipment of excavator JCB machine movement from Coimbatore to Tema, Ghana.  Shipment weighing 21tons with a volume of 93 CBM was handled by well-trained team of CSS. The movement which required close coordination was handled professionally by the CSS projects team with careful planning and meticulous handling.

The volume specification was 9.5X 3X 3.2 meters and was successfully moved on 1X40 flat racks. The entire units were carefully loaded under expert supervision and moved with enough escorts to the destination site. The movement was carried out in November and CMA CGM will take the machines to its destination in Ghana which is expected to reach by January. All necessary documentation including permissions was procured prior to the movement. Team Coimbatore, under the leadership of C. Thainis Raj, Manager Sales & Marketing reports that this is going to be a regular project movement henceforth awarded to CSS.

“CSS offices in the South will be more aggressively exploring the opportunities related with machinery movement, as there are huge hidden prospects involved here” mentioned T K Vishwanath, GM South India. High professionalism was displayed by each and every team member involved in the project and proved once again CSS Group’s commitment towards achieving highest quality of service rendition.


How long will it take to stabilize the economy?

cashOn 8th November 2016 India makes another abrupt history when Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi announced Demonetization of High denomination Notes with immediate effects. The step has been taken into consideration to stop Black Money, Fake Currency Note, Inflation & fight against terrorism.

To some extent the Demonetization abolishes Terrorism, Black Money in India but Growth of any Country depends upon its Export Import Trade and indeed it is very crucial for India too. After demonetization however Exports have slowed down due to currency crunch.  The Trading Market almost demolished due to the fact that this market operates in Currency Notes only. True to its core that instability in the Exports leads to inflation and that in turn leads to an uncertainty of internal purchasing power and unstable economy.

The Foreign Trade industry is suffering in the aftershocks and shall continue to suffer for a further period, though for limited time as per Trade Experts.

Government’s decision to ban use of old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes is expected to impact adversely the growth of export-import (EXIM) trade, shipping giant Maersk Line said in a report.

rajesh-arora“Trade wise, Maersk Line expects India’s EXIM growth in the fourth quarter (October-December) to be slower than third, as a result of the demonetization exercise undertaken by the government in November this year,”…. the global containerised division of the Maersk Group said in a statement.

However the influx of money from the black market shall certainly improve to be beneficial in the long run for Export Import Trade. The fact lies at the moment that plunge in money supply with overflowing bank deposits ring an alarm in consumption demands, means decline in imports.

The Indian Government has always paid incentives and promoted Export with easy policies. Nonetheless the Exports market is taking a toll at the moment. “ Make in India” projects need easy flow of currency for manufacturing, hence the Import and Export both trade have got their bottlenecks as of now and nobody is sure how much time it requires to be back on business…

Demonetization is indeed a great move by Government to fight against corruption, fake money, black money, terror financing and long term economic gains and  for a greater cause it is inevitable that for a few months Indian’s Export trade will be slow but as per experts considered it is a bold step taken by Indian Government to strengthen our GDP the future of Indian Export Import trade looks promising for coming 2017.

AFBN 1st Annual Meet


The first annual meeting of the AFBN (African Freight Bridge Networks) was held in the historic city of Marrakech, Morocco from the 8th to 11th December 2016. Consolidated Shipping Services Group attended the Meeting and was represented by Ajay Krishnan, Vice President, Freight forwarding & Pricing. The conference comprised of presentations, one-to -one meeting, social get together, group lunches and post tours.

awardAFBN is the first International freight forwarders network based in the African Continent. The network membership offers many benefits to the member companies in the African region. This member ship introduces a new member to the best and reliable freight forwarders in Africa. Being a member of AFBN networks will allow you to work only with trusted and specialized freight forwarders from all over the world under the financial and monitoring protection programme of AFBN which secures all financial transactions amongst the members.

“AFBN Conference was an extremely interactive and engaging event for CSS. Three days provided opportunity to know about the members of the network more closely and explore new paths to build better business relationships in the African region”, mentioned Ajay Krishnan.

CSS Group with its worldwide network aims at exploring the opportunities of the prospects offered by the African countries, which they haven’t pursued yet. Consolidated Shipping Group, established in the year 1995, is one of the fastest growing NVOCCs in the region where it operates. CSS Group, headquartered in Dubai has become one of the most trusted partners for freight forwarding and logistics among the global fraternity within a short period of time. Professional and dedicated services offered in the field of Ocean Freight, Air Freight, Local & International Land Transportation, Projects Management, Supply Chain Management and Personal Effects Management has brought in accolades and recognition for the entire CSS Group. Being a prominent name in the field of freight forwarding in the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent, CSS Group has to its credit an enviable list of Global Network Partners. CSS has a dedicated and highly skilled team of over 750 professionals around the globe offering integrated freight forwarding & logistic solutions to varied clientele.

Regional Headquarters


Consolidated Shipping Services L.L.C Starts functioning from its new Regional Head Quarters in Jebel Ali. The new facility is conveniently located in JAFZA adjacent to the existing CSS CFS and Opposite to LOB 08. The soft launch of the new office building was held in the first week of December with the CSS Senior Management and other staff in attendance for the function. Office inauguration was done with a ribbon cutting by Chandrakala (CK), Director Ocean freight Operations which was followed by Lighting of the Lamp by the Senior Management

The business relocation was informed well in advance to all the company stake holders, overseas agents, local customers and associates through an office announcement release a week prior to the function. The sprawling new office was completed in record time with the state of the art ware house associated with it and is adjacent to the previous CSLC 1 facility. The new facility has increased the storage provisions of CSS in the Middle East, which will give a boost to the 3PL activities over this area.

The telephone number of the new office would be 04 8831303, however the PO Box will remain same for the company.

Lingering of Oil Economies – A Matter of Concern

oil-economyEconomics is a social science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.

Oil Economies, a cliché term to elaborately define the strong existence of the conventional oil producing nations. As oil is an exhaustible resource, which will eventually run out, the economy that depends on oil can also eventually run out. The oil market has undergone considerable amount of change during the past few decades. The etiquette that protects the oil market is no more valid. The oil economies require an updated set of principles reflecting the New Economics of Oil.

The current soar in oil prices of an approximate 40% is not a matter of excitement according to experts. No one knows the future of oil prices, which has been showcasing fluctuations in the recent past. The so called oil economies are preparing to lower their oil production and thus bring the prices to hover around $50 per barrel. To a certain extent this strategy might show a positive vibe. However, can we consider this as an everlasting phenomenon?

The recent survey done by the Harvard Business Review shows that the present situation of lower oil price environment is not an “oil bust” that will be followed by an “oil boom” in the near future. Instead, it cautions that the aftereffect of this phenomenon will definitely impact all nations including non-oil producers.

In the recent past, economic scenario assumed that the oil producers are strong enough to take care of the oil and gas supply worldwide. However, as an unexpected jolt to the conventional energy giants, the American shale oil and gas producers’ master crafted a new business strategy. When the traditional oil companies takes at least five to ten years to explore, invest, and produce new oil fields, the US based shale oil companies require just five to six months overall to execute the same process. The capital investment for these American shale oil companies is really low when compared to their conventional rivals. This has resulted in a five times jump of total oil production in the United States.

The US has also lifted a four decade old ban on exporting its oil to the worldwide demands forcing the traditional oil producers to lower their production.

It is high time that the oil nations should stop relying on the conventional oil strategy as their economic backbone. GCC nations who have a strong oil based economy have amassed considerable wealth during the past decades could come under stress in the coming decades if they continue to follow their status quo. Instead, they have to find new methods and technology to invest in other forms of renewable energy and shale gas production as well.

Gopakumar KP
Sales Executive – CSS Dubai

Caste System in the World

rahat-talrejaOh no? What did I just say? isn’t this supposed to be a corporate journal and I need to write all the neutral and nice sounding things which appear modern and liberated from the past clichés of society like caste , class etc.

Shouldn’t i have written words and phrases like “go green” or “value addition” or “digital revolution?”

How could I use THAT word in the 21st Century?

But me being me, I can’t remain on the surface for long. So let’s get to the real thing. Which is our internal world which is not seen by all but runs us constitutionally in every way.

Caste! So what is it? It is nothing but a race or a set of similar people who follow similar customs and traditions and mind set and thinking. Not wholly but mostly.

My current insecurity makes me identify my current caste.

If sitting with a Delhi person, I am from Mumbai

If with a Chinese, both Delhi and I are Indian

If with a European, all, Chinese, Delhi and me are Asian

If with an alien, all, European, Chinese, Delhi and I are from the Earth

If in a car, the guy on the bike is another caste

If with a female, I am the guy, the other caste

If with an old person, I am young, the other caste

If I am fat, the thin guy is another caste

Besides if i am my caste, all others are from the other caste.

So basically, my dual nature of viewing things, with two eyes, and not the third eye: the eye of perception, everything is Another Caste

I am basically “casting” myself in one slot, viewing with 2 eyes and automatically the other becomes “other caste”

If you see, this caste system emerges from human insecurity and nothing else

He is just trying to get comfortable in his own casted space.

If insecurity is a fear and the human overcomes it be “casting” himself, how can it be wrong since it comes from a totally helpless and hapless position

Now a lot of countries like India are especially infamous for the caste system. North Indian, South Indian, East Indian, West Indian. Dig further and you get many such bifurcations.

So as we have observed, human beings first need “security” It is the most fundamental need and survival instinct of a human being. You cannot move forward one bit unless you feel secure. This is why now I come to the point that it is not the bad word it is made out to be. In fact the whole world follows it. I have seen in India. Japanese forwarders work with Japanese exporters/importers. Germans work with Germans. And so on. It is the feeling of security, of being like them, of having same thinking. And this is across the world. A very big role is played by the caste everywhere in the world. I have heard how Jews are comfortable with the Jews. How Whites avoid marrying the other colours.

Nothing wrong. It’s the comfort, the security; the same values the same thinking, the ability to address issues together.

The problem is we made it a bad word and then started avoiding using it on the surface although internally, our fundamental need of security and comfort drives us to think with that mentality. Many people suggested that the world citizens have globalised and everything is common now. But look around on the socio-geo-political front, globalisation has failed miserably. Protectionist policies are coming back on the economic front, on the leadership front, protectionist leaders are getting elected with recent examples of this being Mr Trump in the USA and The Brexit vote. How you find the disparity in retirement ages bring grudges to the hard working European countries vis-a-vis the earlier retiring populations of other European countries. In fact the prime agenda is now to save the EU. How the migrants from Syria and the other GCC countries being met with resistance from taking refuge. How Russia is consolidating its CIS position. How India is protecting its local farming industry for years now with protectionist duties.

As they say, you can only make others happy if you are yourself happy. Same applies to races, castes, countries etc. Human populations became adventurous in the name of globalisation and now are coming to terms, that first is security, then comes the rest.

Don’t you see that pickle jar being off loaded by the customs for an Indian traveller? It’s the pickle that gives him security. That taste. Makes him connect to himself, before he connects to others. The goal of every person should be to make a relation with himself first and then others. Every act you do should take you closer to yourself.

And for that, I think the most important is to see things in three dimensions and not duality. Beyond good and bad, beyond right and wrong, beyond day and night, beyond fire and ice, beyond high and low. The fact that every aspect is useful to understand the other aspect. That good cannot be understood without knowing bad. That richness can never be achieved without knowing poverty. That tall cannot be understood without seeing short. This is the third dimension. Which takes you beyond presentation, performance and any other external activity. It gives you a “cast” where you slot yourself and see things as they are. Without judgement. Because that my friends, is the actual caste that we belong to.

The inner world of blood, bone, mind, soul, perception. All the same.

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all

Merry Christmas


It was a room full of variety dishes and beaming faces. Christmas decors all around, red, gold and green colours were predominant. Celebration, gifts and carol songs and the pot luck lunch with around 30 dishes from starters to desserts. CSS Group celebrated Christmas this time in style on the 22nd in the office and the 25th of December in the Warehouse.

Santa arrived, but not in a sledge as the tradition recommends. Instead he came in full style in a Forklift, the CSS way. Gifts were distributed amongst the staff members. Cake cutting on the 22nd was done by Chandrakala (CK), Director Ocean freight operations in the office and on 25th it was done by T S Kaladharan, Chairman of CSS Group.

Two Tier Arbitration Clause is valid – Supreme Court of India

joyIn the recent Appeal filed by M/s Hindustan Copper Limited against M/s Centrotrade Minerals and Metals Inc., the Honourable Three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court of India held that “the Arbitration Clause in the Agreement between the parties does not violate the fundamental or public policy of India by the parties agreeing to the Second Instance Arbitration”.

The brief fact of the case is that M/s Centrotrade Minerals and Metal Inc and M/s Hindustan Copper Limited entered into a sale Agreement wherein 15,500 DMT of Copper Concentrate was to be delivered at Kandla Port, Gujarat as two consignments. Though the consignments were delivered and payments were made, a dispute arose between the parties later and M/s Centotrade invoked the Arbitration Clause in the Agreement.

The Clause 14 under the heading “Arbitration” in the Contract between the parties is as follows:

“All disputes or differences whatsoever arising between the parties out of, or relating to, the construction, meaning and operation or effect of the contract or the breach thereof shall be settled by arbitration in India through the Arbitration panel of the Indian Council of Arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Arbitration of the Indian Council of Arbitration.

If either party is in disagreement with the Arbitration result in India, either party will have the right to appeal to a second arbitration in London, UK in accordance with the Rules of the Conciliation and Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce in effect on the date hereof and the result of this Second arbitration will be binding on both the parties.

Judgment upon the Award may be entered in any court in Jurisdiction”.

By an Award dated 15 June, 1999, the claim of M/s Centrotrade was dismissed by the Indian Arbitrator and a Nil Award was passed. Hence, M/s Centrotrade invoked the second part of the Arbitration Clause and thereupon an Award was made by the London Arbitrator upholding the claim of Centrotrade.

Further, M/s Centrotrade filed an application for the enforcement of the London Arbitration Award and the said application was allowed by the Calcutta High Court by an order dated 10 March 2004.

Aggrieved by this Order, M/s Hindustan Copper Limited, filed an Appeal before the Calcutta High Court, (AIR 2005 Cal 133) the Honourable Court allowed the said appeal and the impugned order was set aside. It was stated that the London arbitration Award was declared inexecutable so long as the Indian Nil Award stands.

While considering the Appeal, Hon. Supreme Court opined in Para 27, that “a combined reading of Subsection (1) of Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act and Section 35 thereof, an Arbitral Award would be final and binding on the parties unless it is set aside by a competent court on an application made by a party to the Arbitral Award. This does not exclude the autonomy of the parties to an arbitral award to mutually agree to a procedure whereby the arbitral award might be reconsidered by another arbitrator or panel of arbitrator by way of an appeal and the result of that appeal is accepted by the parties to be final and binding subject to a challenge provided for by the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. This is precisely what the parties have in fact agreed upon and that the Court see no difficulty in honouring their mutual decision and accepting the validity of their Agreement”.

This Judgment can be marked as a landmark Judgment wherein the Hon. Supreme Court has accepted the Two Tier Arbitration as agreed by the Parties to the Contract and hopefully, this can be a turning point to the international community.