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Lighthouse - July, 2018.

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE


Whilst ‘Where have all the years gone?’ is sometimes used as a throwaway comment, it is frequently used when the passage of time takes on a delightful meaning. As it is exactly eleven years since the ‘Chairman’s Message’ was inaugurated in our Lighthouse magazine, I really do wonder where have all the years gone? I am overwhelmed that my message has proved to be a constructive platform which has resulted in timely comments and constructive suggestions from you – our readers. I am immensely grateful and express my gratitude.
The range of topics we have discussed both from within CSS and outside, interacted with major events which have flowed alongside with our development. The growth of CSS has been attributed to the healthy discussions and debates we have been able to have. The Chairman’s Message has been at the forefront highlighting issues and generating responses.
Any institution that seeks growth must have an attitude to always communicate positively. That doesn’t mean telling others what you want, it means being a good listener first. American educator, author and business man Dr Stephen Covey said; “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply”.
Taking on board the implications of this truism results in a company environment where a positive attitude to communication is encouraged. Putting active listening first, enables realistic forward planning where success becomes characteristically assured. Such interaction engenders friendship, loyalty and support which speeds along the passage of time. So, it really is no wonder that, after eleven years of the ‘Chairman’s Message’, I am happily asking: “Where have all the years gone?”


STRENGTHENING RELATIONS


CSS GROUP VISITS C.H. ROBINSON, USA

A Strategic Sales Campaign initiative by the CSS Group saw a team visiting C.H. Robinson offices in the USA. The CSS Group are exclusive agents for C.H. Robinson across the Middle East and the trip was primarily to boost trade growth and cement working relationships between the two organizations. The CSS Group team comprising of Ajay Krishnan, COO Freight Forwarding, Chandrakala, COO NVOCC/Ocean Freight Operations, and Rosh Manoli, Deputy General Manager Sales, visited C.H. Robinson offices at Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, as well as the C.H. Robinson Global Forwarding Corporate Office in Chicago. The visit concluded with commitments to grow the already significant USA/Middle East traffic, as well as discussions specific to product development and compliance.

“The relationship with C.H. Robinson has been a growing one. We believe there is an opportunity to take this to the next level, implementing the strategy we discussed during our visit. A robust and growing relationship (while remaining an effective and compliant trade lane) is our objective here.” mentioned Ajay Krishnan.

“The relationship between C.H. Robinson and the CSS Group continues to be very strong. We are excited about the new business development initiatives and continued growth together,” commented Matt McInerney, C.H. Robinson VP Global Forwarding Sales.
“It was a great visit to C.H. Robinson in the USA. I would like to thank Mr. Dan Sluka and the C.H. Robinson team for organizing the meetings,” mentioned Chandrakala.

About CSS Group
Consolidated Shipping Group (CSS Group) provides end to end cargo and logistics solutions through their 28 offices present in the Middle East and South Asia. CSS Group today is one of the leading integrated freight forwarding solutions provider, with close to 25 years of experience in the industry.

About C.H.Robinson
C.H. Robinson is one of the world’s largest third-party logistics providers and provides a broad portfolio of logistics and transportation services, fresh produce sourcing and Managed Services. From surface to ocean to air, C.H. Robinson uses the strength of their global network and the visibility provided by Navisphere®, their global technology platform, to integrate supply chains, end to end.


CONNECTING AND RECONNECTING


CSS GROUP PARTICIPATES THE GALA DINNER HOSTED BY DP WORLD

The CSS Group joined DP World at their annual Gala dinner, organized back in April, 2018 at the renowned Atlantis the Palm resort in Dubai. The banquet celebrated partnerships and achievements made by DP world and its clients across the UAE. Chandrakala (CK), Chief Operating Officer, NVOCC and Dr. Britto Satheesh, Director of the CSS Saudi Arabia branch represented the Group at the event.

“It was a good opportunity to hear DP World’s developments and successes over the years, especially for the year 2017. They are looking at a positive 2018 which is indeed amazing news for the logistics fraternity. We met with both new and old faces, I felt it was a good networking event” commented CK.
The CSS Group and DP World have enjoyed a wonderful working relationship over the years, never missing an opportunity to reconnect.
“This was a great opportunity for me to know how such events are organized – it was well put together, catering to over 3000 attendees. Being amongst the event’s delegates, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a lot of agents and forwarders – new and old,” mentioned Dr. Satheesh.


NVOCC – THE CSS GROUP’S BASICS


DUBAI – The Consolidated Shipping Group’s NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) division has been active in the Middle East for 23 years, going on 24. It will not be considered presumptuous if this particular LCL and FCL facility was to be regarded as the flagship service offered by the Group, locally and internationally.
The CSS Group’s NVOCC – whether it be inbound or outbound Middle East – based – all have one port in common; JAFZA, where the headquarters is located. CSS began offering inbound direct services wherever possible in the Middle East, an import market at the end of the day. The company wanted to ensure quick cargo turnarounds, connecting their final destination to Jebel Ali, the hub for all cargo Middle East. Opening up operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, KSA, India and Pakistan have cemented this directive in the industry.
When it comes to the Group’s employee loyalties, there are those that have been with the company – or dare we say division – for 19 years, and counting. CSS prides itself with seeing the right opportunity and potential, taking it forward to no end.
CSS Group’s NVOCC division is penned to keep growing, be it through LCL, FCL, Air Freight or any other method of transport and logistics. Advancement in technology will play a key role in ensuring the Group stays on point with their competition, introducing online platforms for our clients to reduce process time.
Being a freight forwarding company – undertaking movement of goods from point A to Z on behalf of the cargo owner – NVOCC services would never be possible without its dedicated staff members and reputation it carves out for the company in the market. With services extending to six continents, as well as partnerships with renowned companies such as C.H.Robinson and more, the CSS Group intends to hold on to its reputation as a one-stop solution provider.


WHAT MAKES NVOCC SO SPECIAL?


The Lighthouse editorial team sat down with Fida Asghar – Manager, NVOCC – to know more about the impact the current economy has on the maritime industry, his 19 years of experience with the CSS Group, and more.

Can you please summarize yourself in two minutes?
I am jovial, challenging and loyal. My job portfolio at the CSS Group includes handling all LCL cargo [imports and exports] by way of specifically managing the NVOCC division. I also help in product development for the CSS KSA branch offices (in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah).

How did you first get involved with the NVOCC industry?
That is really a good question – I was not a shipping guy before! I came to Dubai in 1993 and after a few years I was asked by the Chairman [T.S. Kaladharan] to join CSS. I came from the ground up, learning at every stage. I was in operations initially, then moved to the Customer Services department – in telesales – where my performance spoke for itself. I began heading the call center and it grew to what you now see as the NVOCC division at the CSS Group.

How long has it been since you have been with CSS? What has motivated you to stay?
I am in my 19th year at the company now. I joined CSS because I was looking for a better career – this industry is vast and you learn everyday. What keeps me here this long is the open door policy – you can meet the chairman, you can meet anyone that you want and it is a friendly atmosphere. As long as you perform well, you can go to great heights [with the CSS Group].

How can you keep brushing up, or adding, on your knowledge of the industry?
We meet a lot of people in this industry, including our peers. Through listening, you learn. There will not be any daily trainings but you do end up learning through [observation]. It is fair to say you gain knowledge through networking, your colleagues and your superiors.

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In your time with the CSS Group, what have you seen it to become?
It has expanded really fast – when I came in first to the CSS Office in 1995, there were only 3 employees. When I finally joined in 1999, there were 80-90 employees – you can imagine the amount of growth in 3 years. Within 10 years, we were at the top. I will not say we have reached our peak yet – we are still going higher and breaking more barriers!

What is the average day like for an NVOCC operator?
It is mostly a lot of phone calls. This industry is based on creating and sustaining relationships. In my 19 years of experience, I have learnt that you need to have good relationships in order to get yourself that cargo and volume. Just keep working on your people skills!


CARGO BY AIR


CSS MOVES PROJECTS CARGO FROM HOUSTON TO RAS AL KHAIMAH

A highly challenging Air Project Cargo movement was successfully handled and completed by the Projects team at CSS Dubai. The move was concluded before the deadline, receiving appreciation from the client’s side. The real challenge in the project was to transport machinery through different airlines from the US to the destination in the Middle East. The cargo – Marine Crane Parts with 60 tonnes of total volume – was airlifted from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston, Texas and transported to Dubai International Airport.

“The real challenge here was to transport the Machinery as parts, on different airlines and to track all of them to make sure that each of them reaches Dubai on time, so that we could fulfil our commitments. The shipment was loaded as part cargo on 5 separate cargo flights to meet the deadline. Such tests give us great insight on how to handle time bound movements with precision.” Mentioned Sajith Vijayan, Manager Projects, CSS Dubai.

The scope of this air project movement included, the collection of cargo as loose parts from the supplier, completion of airworthy packaging, and successfully doing the airfreight to the destination. The cargo arriving in Dubai was cleared at the Dubai International airport and transported to the client in Ras Al Khaimah, the final destination of the cargo. Within 15 days, the entire movement was complete and the last consignment reached the client facility a day prior to the deadline given by the client.
“The project cargo movement has become highly competitive. The freight forwarder handling projects cargo must be knowledgeable in all aspects of the movement of goods. Our team engaged in this particular air cargo movement has done extensive research on all levels of operation before the actual move commenced. We are thankful to our clients for the continuous trust they are showing us” commented Raj George, Senior VP, Projects Oil & Energy division, CSS Group.


NEXT PHASE OF PRINCE RUPERT FAIRVIEW TERMINAL EXPANSION UNVEILED


CAPACITY INCREASE TO 1.8 MILLION TEU IN 2022 AND CREATION OF 300 NEW JOBS

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 20 June 2018: The Port of Prince Rupert and DP World have agreed on terms of a project development plan that outlines the next phase of expansion for the DP World Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal.
The Phase 2B expansion will increase annual throughput capacity at Canada’s second largest container terminal to 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) when complete in 2022.
DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “Canada is an important part of our global network and we are delighted to confirm these plans, which underline our commitment to Prince Rupert, which plays a major role in enabling trade in the region and across the west coast with rail connections inland to the rest of the country and the United States. It also demonstrates the excellent relationships built with the Port Authority and the confidence we both share in the future and the creation of jobs in the community, stimulating the local and regional economy. I would like to thank all our partners and people at Prince Rupert for their commitment and ongoing support.”
The Fairview Phase 2B project follows the 2017 completion of Fairview Phase 2A, which increased the terminal capacity by 500,000 TEUs to its current capacity of 1.35 million TEUs. Construction on Phase 2B will begin in mid-2019. There will be an initial gradual release of capacity to 1.6 million TEUs in 2020, following the completed expansion of the container yard to the south.
Port of Prince Rupert Chair, Bud Smith, said: “The execution of this agreement signifies DP World’s commitment to enabling Canadian trade with another significant investment that will bring a total of one million additional TEUs of container capacity to the Port of Prince Rupert in less than five years. This project will provide critical trade-enabling infrastructure for Canada’s west coast, a timely response to forecasted growth in trans-Pacific trade and supportive of Canada’s efforts to diversify markets through new free trade agreements such as the CPTPP.”
The project will expand the container yard from its current 32 hectares to 41 hectares and add two new rubber-tired gantry (RTG) cranes as well as an eighth dock gantry crane. The existing maintenance and administration buildings will be relocated to create additional container storage capacity.

DP WORLD JOINS WORLD OCEAN COUNCIL

FIRST COMPANY IN SECTOR TO BECOME A FULL MEMBER

Dubai, UAE, 7th June 2018: Global trade enabler DP World has become the first company in its sector to join the World Ocean Council (WOC) as part of its leadership journey to actively engage in the protection of the world’s oceans. By becoming a member of the growing international multi-industry alliance on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility” DP World will commence, enhance and advance its role as a responsible leadership company.
The WOC is a global, cross-sectoral business leadership alliance with a network of over 35,000 stakeholders addressing corporate ocean responsibility. Developed by and for the private sector, it addresses issues affecting ocean sustainable development, science and stewardship. It brings together representatives from shipping, oil and gas, tourism, fisheries, aquaculture, mining, renewable energy, ocean technology and financial services sectors. The WOC is a registered not-for-profit organisation in the US, the UK and Europe.


BEING RESPONSIBLE-CSR INITIATIVES


As part of a CSS – CSR initiative, school kits including new bags and umbrellas were distributed amongst pre-primary and primary school children in and around Thrikkunnappuzha, Alleppey Dist. Kerala. Five lower primary schools and the new commers of one Upper primary school running under the Government of Kerala aid benefitted by this regular CSR programme of school aid distribution by CSS under the guidance of T S Kaladharan, Group Chairman. The schools were Govt. LP School Valiyaparambu, Govt. LP School Thrikkunnappuzha, Govt. LP School Panoor, Govt. LP School Pallana, Govt. LP School Atmavidya Sangham and MT UP school, Thrikkunnapuzha.

New school kits brought beaming smiles on the faces of more than 1000 little faces. The school aid distribution was inaugurated by Unnikrishnan G, Head of Marketing & Corporate communications, CSS Group. The function was attended by Government Local body representatives, School PTA members, and school authorities. Students accompanied by their parents were welcomed with sweets and balloons to the function. Local body representatives and the school authorities thanked CSS and its Chairman for this noble activity, followed by lunch.


SPARE THEM FROM EDUCATION


The criteria for education in today’s times is only one thing: How much of a profiteer you become. Development of virtues like integrity, character, persistence, commitment which are intangible are not even counted since the ultimate parameter of evaluation has become profit, Nothing else.
As I famously tell people: Cost price is the truth and Selling Price is a lie. The difference between truth & lie is called profit.
So, without getting into the morality of education, let us extrapolate on the reasons why everyone is after education these days and how it will create serious labour issues in our world going forward.
If you see the pattern of education, it is primarily to bring you to the work desk. After that, only work skills and domain experience matter. But a dangerous trend is emerging, especially in countries like India, where everyone wants to be “educated” And that is a serious problem. So, watchmen, electrician, plumber, driver, maid, cleaner, mechanic all of them are in a race to educate their children. This primarily emanates from the need for dignity of labour which has been lacking with these skills for decades. But here is the catch. Their time has come now. Because the educated space is getting congested by the day. Jobs are being chased by millions. Anyone will tell you that price corrections in salaries have already happened for graduates & engineers who are queuing up for the same jobs and creating a huge supply – demand gap.
Compare this to a truck driver. An interesting incident happened last month for us and give us the jitters for completing a very important project shipment. We had scheduled pick-ups in trailers but there was a severe shortage of drivers. This is unique and unheard of in so many decades. Due to several overlapping reasons there was an acute driver shortage. On engaging further with transporters, we also learnt that these days drivers make more money than the transport owner himself. Because they are in shortage and therefore command a premium.
Ask any Indian household. They will tell you that the most important service provider in the house is the maid. In urban cities like Mumbai, not an inch can move without them. It is common to see maids being treated at par with the house owner’s family. Taken to parties and even vacations. A car mechanic I know for many years now said he is saving to make his son educate himself. One thing I have seen is common. No one wants their children to be in the same profession. I asked him to make his son a mechanic because education will only put him in a queue which is congested. But the future will have no mechanics compared to the demand. So, his earnings will be much higher. But he might privately think that I am not his well-wisher for giving such an advice.
But this is what I call a classic curse that the poor carry. Their time has come now but they are moving towards education which will keep them poor again. Only if they see that continuing the same profession will lead to enormous wealth for themselves along with the dignity that these scarcities will bring for them. But no, they want their kin to study. Study makes one a smooth talker but talking alone does not run the world. Look at your own self. If every body part wants to be the head, what will the head stand on? We need feet for sure. You may not give feet the dignity that you give the head. I have not seen people shampooing their ankles and feet more than their head and faces. That will always remain. But the feet are feet and we need labour class to run our world.
Look at the developed world too. America and Europe. They had this 100% educated population and had issues growing their societies too. So, they made immigration policies and labourers from across the poor countries moved to these nations and helped build them. Even today the taxi drivers, grocers, cleaners, newspaper boys, truck drivers, forklift operators etc are mainly immigrants. The problem is with growing wealth across the world and across classes, who will be left to do these jobs? And the generations of skills that they carried will be lost. They should know that we live in a pyramid model society where people at the bottom provide the foundation and support to people at the top. If everyone is the top, it becomes the bottom.


MARITIME INDUSTRY IN THE DECADE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES – SINGAPORE’S JOURNEY TOWARDS DIGITALIZATION IN 2018


The rapidly developing digital technologies are embarking on a significant transformation of the Shipping Industry across the globe. The implementation of Digitalization, the innovative cyber security systems and technological solutions, autonomous mobility and artificial intelligence has helped in transforming the developments in the shipping industry. With the inputs of accurate, updated and secure data insights, delivered on time, the achievement of a more strategic and cost effective productivity along with maximum performance is possible. The ability to centralize the decentralized digital transformation on a digital platform creates a great potential for organizing markets efficiently. The exchange data and digital platforms enables the companies to have a control of and also organize the logistic chains delivered on time, by reducing the waiting period and predicting the arriving time of the vessels accurately, thus opening up the possibility of unmanned ships in future.

The world’s first crewless cargo ship will be delivered in 2018 under the name and fame of Yara Birkeland and the operations is assumed to commence in 2020. These Unmanned Ships are also referred to as “Unmanned Sea Surface Crafts” and these vessels are either remote controlled by shore- based controllers/officers, or controlled completely by complex algorithms with no human existence or a combination of the above mentioned two. The challenges that will be faced by these are guidelines and legal regulations to be followed in case of any violations, or maritime incidents involving any damage to the vessel, the cargo, human life, environment and property. The existing legal framework is that of the UNCLOS82 regulations by the International Maritime Organization. The present legal system and maritime regulations are designed for manned vessels so this will make it a difficult task for the legislators and jurists to decide upon the best and effective legal resolution in case of a violation or dispute. Therefore many countries are already considering amendments or integrations in the existing regulations and also drafting of fresh shipping guidelines and laws.
Digitalization has brought in many challenges as well as opportunities. According to the IMO over 90% of the world’s trade is carried out by sea as this is the most cost-effective way to move goods and raw materials across the world. One of the important factors is that it reduces cost and increases efficiency. The data inputs and interconnected technologies are emerging to create a revolution in the maritime industry. Systems like Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) are used to track the movement of the vehicles cargo and people, and ensure timely delivery of cargo. GPS navigation system, automated electronic data exchange from ship to ship and ship to shore increases the efficiency, safety and accuracy in navigation and communications.
There are many challenges to overcome, and one of them is that of marine liability. The Question of liability is considered to be more complex as the vessel travel through different national waters and of different jurisdictions. The insurance industry will also face similar challenges in resolving disputes and also the difficulty to analyze the resources to risk management as well as to understand loss occurred. Thus, it becomes a necessity to ensure maximum data security for preventing a risk or loss. Cyber attacks on unmanned ships also can be problematic as container vessels reliant on digital navigation systems could be potentially manipulated and a small failure in a system can result in dangerous consequences in an interconnected digital environment. The networking of vessels and ports is an enormous opportunity for shipping. This also helps in reducing the ongoing over capacity paired with a relatively soft global demand, and the existing pressure on the rates and profit margins of the industry.


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