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Lighthouse - September, 2018.


‘Righteousness’ was a word which former India President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam used in most of his speeches. Its frequent use made me ponder on the meaning which may be defined as, ‘a quality of being morally correct and justifiable’. It helped me recognise that in our lives, both personal and professional, there are situations where we have to take decisions that may not be so comfortable for everyone. I have personally found myself, many times, in such a dilemma. The way forward is to remember the concept of ‘righteousness’. When we are able to justify our thoughts and decisions as being right, we should not hesitate in taking the initiative. I have never delayed acting decisively about an issue which is correct and good for the larger group.
My observations indicate that a large majority are reluctant to be as quickly and effectively resolute, especially when bold decisions are needed.
Their biggest problem seems to be that they don’t have the courage to say, “No”. I have always found that if one strongly disapproves of something then there is little point in trying to appease others by saying, “Yes”. To do so will not only destroy yourself mentally but also weaken your self-esteem. Why do others find it so troublesome to say, “No”?
It is because there is a fear of rejection, not being liked by others or anxious at having to perhaps stand-alone upholding what you believe?
Whatever feeds such reluctance can be assuaged by remembering Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s concept and start acting with ‘righteousness’. The more you do so the more you will be prepared and confident to take meaningful decisions, for the good of others and your own well-being.
This latter sentiment is so appropriate when we realise the tragedy that has unfolded in my home state of Kerala. The relentless force of nature’s floods has brought disaster and heartbreak. “For the good of others and your own well-being”, provides a mantra spurring all to wholeheartedly join in supporting efforts to help the rescue services and provide succour for those in need.
I pledge to do all I am able to do to assist others in their time of great need. I express my sincere prayers on behalf of CSS Group and myself; knowing that ‘Righteousness’ being shared by all, amongst us all, will see Kerala recover from this terrible tragedy.


The Lighthouse editorial team sat down with Sreenath V. – Vice President Operations & Projects – to know more about his dedication to the field of logistics and freight forwarding, what his motivation is and more.
By: Minaal Pervaiz

If you were to describe yourself in under two minutes, how would you sum it all up?
Team player, flexible and open to constructive ideas.

How did you first get involved in the Shipping, Liner and Logistics industry?
Getting into the logistics industry was purely an accidental occurrence. I started off my career by being part of the customs clearing division and as opportunities presented themselves, I kept learning various aspects of the logistics industry.

Tell us how you got to join the CSS Group. Why did you want this job?
CSS was – by 2002 – a very fast-growing organization. I met Mr. Kala [CEO and Founder, CSS Group] and Mr. Anil Kumar [Finance Director, CSS Group] through a mutual friend. We sat down for a casual cup of coffee and we discussed the role they had in mind. Now, 16 years later, I sit here as the Vice President of Operations & Projects!

What do you think it takes for an employee to get ahead in the CSS Group?
There is no alternative to hard work and when it is combined with honesty and passion, growth is imminent. There are a lot of opportunities still around for youngsters in the CSS Group. If they understand that growing laterally too is an achievement, then for sure they will [get ahead].

Could you tell us about the portfolio you are currently managing?
Presently I work along with the operations team of Consolidated Shipping Services, be it the CFS or the SCM requirements, take care of the Transport department activities, and commercially involved with the projects division under Mr. Raj George.

How would you handle failure?
Failure can only be understood as being a corrective step towards success. Why not embrace it, learn and look forward to new doors?

What do you enjoy most about working here?
Being a part of a big family, where everyone cares for one another, works as a team to find solutions and then enjoy the fruits of their labor – together.

What is your personal philosophy on working with logistics and freight forwarding at this point?
I have moved ahead in my career simply due to the passion I developed for the job I do. I am still learning the nuances of this industry. The logistics industry is an ocean and you never get tired of learning new things on a daily basis.

What do you think the current state of affairs are in the industry and possible (positive/negative) predictions using your knowledge at this point?
The market is on a course of stabilization with various aspects affecting our industry. As CSS, we have always ridden the wave quite fine over the years and are confident that we will ride this one too very smoothly. Of course I am not predicting anything but – as a team and putting in a consolidated effort – we are earmarked to do well.

What motivates you?
It is the team, the people that one works with that motivates one automatically. I appreciate every day that I can walk into my office and interact with such willful and intelligent colleagues. That is my motivation – I keep going because I want to, not need to.


Air Craft rescue firefighting trucks, moved by CSS Projects team
An interesting project movement was successfully concluded by CSS Projects team lead by Sony Mathews recently. The details of the movement were explained to Lighthouse by Sony himself. Air Craft Rescue Firefighting trucks were the cargo. There were Two trucks to be moved from its origin at Jebel Ali to the destination at Male. The experienced CSS projects team conducted the pre-move survey of the route and the destination prior to the commencement of the move. Each point of the entire project was carefully assessed to ensure a fool proof and smooth journey of the cargo.

The trucks which were Out of Gauge, were loaded on to Flat Rack containers using special lifting gears. “We enjoyed each point of the project execution. The movement was challenging at the same time exciting. Two cranes were engaged for tandem lift. Special wooden supports were provided for the accurate positioning of the trucks onto the flat racks. The trucks were lashed on to the flat racks and secured with suitable chains & buckles”, mentioned the team leader.

All documentation and sanction pre-requisites were properly met so as to ensure a hassle-free cargo movement. “Project movements always demand experience and skilful handling. Executing the movement on-time with cent percent success is what we look into, at CSS. Our past experience and successful results attract clients to us when such demands pitch in”, commented Raj George, Senior Vice President, Projects Oil & Energy, CSS Group, after the successful project completion.


Project Cargo Movement from Dubai to Lagos

CSS Projects team has released details of an Air Project Cargo movement done to Lagos recently, to Lighthouse. The said movement was successfully handled and completed by the Projects team at CSS Dubai. 68 tons of Pipes, flanges, stud bolts and nuts were air freighted from Dubai to the African destination.

“Extensive examination of the scope and aim of the project movement needs to be analyzed before commencing such projects. Our experience in the field of project forwarding helped us a lot in this regard” said Sajith Vijayan, Manager, Projects Oil & Energy Division, CSS Dubai.

As per Sajith, the main challenge in this particular project was managing the movement within a short time frame. The entire cargo was moved in four different lots and different aircrafts, based on cargo movable on passenger flights and cargo flights and with minimum transhipments. The scope of the project included collection of the cargo, completion of airworthy packaging and per the airline guidelines and doing the airfreight.

“Timely follow up with the airline companies and updating the client about the status of the cargo in regular intervals becomes indispensable to keep the movement robust. The assistance from the air freight department at CSS Dubai needs a special mention here. They have done a commendable job in successfully executing this project”, mentioned Sreenath V., Vice President, Projects Oil & Energy Division, CSS Group.

The successful completion of this air project cargo movement has once again proved the trustworthiness of the Projects division of CSS Group, who have already in its credit a long list of renowned Project cargo movements in the Middle East over the last two decades.


Yacht & Marine Logistics, with care

CSS Homeward Bound – a domestic and international relocation company and also a division of the CSS Group – carried out a successful international movement, involving Yacht & Marine Logistics, this past month.

A Four Winns Horizon 260, with specifications of 7.93 (L) X 2.59(W) X 1.93 (H) mts. And weighing in at 4,580 lbs., was shipped to the USA.

The team successfully secured the client for his need to move his personal effects and property, in this case utilizing not only our relocation services but also our Yacht & Marine Logistics’ skills.

All pre-requisites from the client’s side related with the move were handled, including lashing, building a custom-made fabricated cradle, and more.

Kimberly Ola, International Moves Coordinator said, “The team finalized equipment and internal divisions needed to carry out the job, with the client being promptly updated on every step. The job was successfully executed, surpassing our client’s expectations.”

The CSS Group is a world leader in the provision of marine logistics, offering global boat transportation and freight forwarding via air, road, rail and sea from a worldwide network of offices and exclusive agencies.

The CSS Group is the preferred shipper for many of the world’s leading yacht manufacturers. Services include access to shipping cradles, CSS Load Masters and Surveyors overseeing all operations, all cargo handled directly through CSS’ local offices, as well as offering general freight services for Marine Spares and Equipment.


CSS attends GPLN AGM in Bremen

CSS group participated in the 15th annual general meeting of Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN) in Bremen, Germany. CSS Group was represented by Raj George, Senior Vice President, Projects Oil & Energy division and Narayan Tagore, General Manager CSS Bahrain & Qatar.

“GPLN is a wonderful assembly of Project Logistics professionals that provides great opportunities to discuss and formulize new ideas. We have pleasure in being a part of this network and gain a lot of mileage from attending the annual meet regularly,” commented Raj George.

This meeting gave CSS the opportunity to meet the GPLN members face to face and efficiently build professional relationships, to discuss past, current and future business, and develop a range of business possibilities. This partnership brings together project cargo experts and independent project logistics specialist companies from around the world, all of whom have an expert focus on project logistics.

“Being an active Project Logistics company CSS gain a lot from being here. GPLN goes beyond networking, offering visibility on the current biz trends and practices in project logistics” mentioned Narayan

Break bulk Europe is the continent’s largest exhibition designed for the break-bulk and project cargo industry. It is bringing together EPCs, ports, forwarders, transporters and other cargo specialists and industry experts. The exhibition offers a multitude of networking opportunities, executive presentations focused on Europe’s economic and transport issues. A chance to meet with over 500 exhibitors and sponsors, representing the entire industrial project supply chain Network with more than 10,000 participants and a lot of new business.
The event provides a dynamic conference, along with a range of educational and training workshops.


Logistics for transporting vehicles from port to port requires maximum reliability, safety and at the same time adequate network. The ever-growing demand for automotive logistics brought in CSS Group into this highly perfectionist job. CSS offers full rage of services from point of collection to point of delivery. State-of the art storage facilities, trained technical man power and fleet of own vehicles makes the company equipped to serve complex requirements. The extensive global network enables CSS Group to provide its service to both B2B and B2C clients.

From the “auto racks” which allow for effective and environmentally friendly loading of vehicles in shipping containers to specialized handling of high end vehicles, the CSS Group is has become a trusted name in “auto logistics” in the region. The proven success of auto logistics through Sea, Rail, Road & Air and a handful of satisfied clients gives an added confidence to the team at CSS.

The new warehouse facility in Jebal Ali combined with the previously existing facility, gives an unparalled infrastructure to cater to this segment of the business in the region. CSS facilities at Sharjah, including a covered area suited for storage of vehicles and the open yard are already popular with customers looking for safe and secure handling of vehicles.

Service offerings:

  • Door- to- door automobile transport
  • Underbody protection and cavity sealing
  • Pre-delivery inspection and cleaning
  • Mechanical & electrical servicing
  • Wrapping and Lashing on flat rack / Container
  • Clearing all documentation works
  • Storage services on demand
  • Photoshoot on demand


DP World acquires 100% of Unifeeder, the largest container feeder and growing shortsea network operator in Europe
Dubai, UAE, 7 August 2018: Global trade enabler, DP World today announces the signing of the acquisition of 100% of the Unifeeder Group (“Unifeeder”)1 for €660 million2 from Nordic Capital Fund VIII and certain minority shareholders. Based in Aarhus (Denmark), Unifeeder operates the largest and most densely connected common user container feeder and an important and growing shortsea network in Europe, serving both deep-sea container hubs and the intra-Europe container freight market. The Group reported revenue of €510 million in 2017 and EBIT margins in line with other asset-light logistics operators. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year after completion. It will be financed from existing balance sheet resources and is expected to close in 4Q 2018.

The acquisition of Unifeeder will further enhance DP World’s presence in the global supply chain and broaden our product offering to our customers – the shipping lines and cargo owners – with a view to ultimately reduce inefficiencies and improve the competitiveness of global trade. The current operations of Unifeeder are complementary to DP World’s existing business and provides future growth opportunities.
Unifeeder, founded in 1977, is an integrated logistics company with the largest and best-connected feeder and growing shortsea network in Northern Europe with connectivity to approximately 100 ports. The company provides efficient and sustainable transport solutions for international container shipping lines between international and regional ports and shortsea services to cargo owners with fully multimodal door-to-door solutions, combining seaborne transportation with road and/or rail. The business is cash generative and operates on a highly flexible cost base.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “We are delighted to add the Unifeeder brand under the DP World umbrella, which supports our strategy to grow in complementary sectors, strengthen our product offering and play a wider role in the global supply chain as a trade enabler.
“The ever-growing deployment of ultra-large container vessels has made high-quality connectivity from hub terminals crucial for our customers and Unifeeder is a best-in-class logistics provider in this space with a strong reputation in Europe. Our aim is to leverage on the in-house expertise of Unifeeder and to accelerate growth in this scalable platform to deliver value for all stakeholders. Unifeeder operates on the same common-user principle as DP World and adds to the Group’s strong value proposition to international shipping lines and end cargo owners in making the global supply chain more efficient and cost effective.”
Jesper Kristensen, CEO, Unifeeder A/S, said: “We are excited to join the DP World Group as we believe that Unifeeder will benefit from the Group’s significant expertise in the wider supply chain and excellent relationships with shipping lines and end cargo owners. Not only is there commonality with our business models but we also share the vision of serving our customers through removing inefficiencies and delivering sustainable shareholder value. We have enjoyed great success over the last five years under Nordic Capital’s ownership, and we believe that the Unifeeder brand within the DP World Group has the opportunity to accelerate growth, expand further and take the business to the next level.”


Its a dark night. The nascent moon is deeply hidden by the dark cumulonimbus clouds forming over Mumbai. Heavy rains have lashed the city. Nothing is visible outside the glass window of the hospital guest lounge overlooking the Arabian sea. The relatives are waiting with bated breadth for the doctors to come out of the diagnosis centre to get an update on the patient. Their worst fears haunting them. And then , the doctor comes out and nods his head in affirmation. He has confirmed the disease. Another chip down to this deadly new disease: OA/OD. She has consumed most of the world and almost every 2nd person is inflicted.

I remember distinctly that each decade throws up a new disease which leads the charts for a long time till something better and newer emerges. So the period of the 1980’s belonged to Tuberculosis. TB as we know it by its nick name. The 1990’s belonged to Heart disease. Attack aayega toh? (hindi for : what if one gets an attack?). This fear ruled this period. The 2000’s started with cancer raising its ugly head. And cancer went all over the place. Disease had gone global with the world economies going global. A heart attack would mainly relate to the heart. But cancer was more cosmopolitan. It could affect any part from your brain to your liver to your breast to your prostate. I reckon it had a larger reach than even the best logistics companies like DHL, UPS, Fedex etc. Another reason why these diseases ruled in their times as the undisputed leaders of human body misery was the fact that they captured the creme de la creme of the world like celebrities in movies, business, politics and fashion.

So Nelson Mandela had TB.
David Letterman, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Walters had heart disease.
Bill Clinton had heart disease. Common, even the Clintons have it.
Hugh Jackman, Sheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong were caner survivors.

Back home in the Indian subcontinent, our very own Amitabh Bachchan had TB. The founding father of our neighbour Pakistan ( love thy neighbour said Jesus, anyway) had TB. The tallest leader of the universe The Thalaiva Rajnikanth had Chronic Bronchitis and believe it or not Viral fever. What a shame. And then Yuvraj Singh and Lisa Ray are the cancer survivors we know.

It has also been observed that as you go up the value chain in the economy and as your individual wealth and nation wealth increases, you qualify for better diseases which is why the poorer nations get TB even today, slightly more wealthy ones get Cancer and Heart Disease. But then all of the above does not cover the disease which I want to talk about. OA OD. The disease that is the ruler of the information age. Took birth around 2010 and then onwards at its peak today.

Over Analysis ( OA) Over Discussion ( OD) . OA OD.

In textbook parlance , the situation in which the tongue and brain make an unholy partnership and the ears sign off on a pilgrimage is called OA OD. In this disease, the tongue keeps saying something on the brain impulses and one talks and discusses on topics ranging from politics, national interest, sanitary pads, cricket, economy, logistics business, trade wars, GDP, baby burps, yawning, size of the male ….. ego, god, religion, buildings, cars etc
It is important to note that ears need to be logged out and you need to have ZERO listening skills or minimal listening. The environments in which the disease grows is social media, conference rooms, meeting halls, forums, news rooms etc The person discusses everything yet achieves nothing. In the end, what comes out is only “Khichdi” ( Indian staple diet of lentils metaphor for gross confusion) In a chartical representation, I enumerate that the stages of human growth are as follows:

a. Talk
b. Think , Talk
c. Listen , Think , Talk
d. Listen , Think
e. Listen

When you reach stage E, you are up there. OA OD entangles you at stage B or stage C.

I have written several paragraphs on this disease. Do I have the symptoms? God save me.


CSS Group’s urgent Donation Drive for Kerala’s Flood victims

August saw the worst natural disaster in over a century in the state of Kerala, India. Severe flooding caused by torrential rains saw over 445 people dead, 15 missing within a fortnight, and at least one million evacuated, with all 14 districts of the state being placed on red alert.

The CSS Group’s offices across the GCC initiated a CSS Donation Drive through its online platforms from the 15th to the 27th of August, 2018 welcoming contributions from within its ranks, as well as its dedicated customers, and the public.

With the aid of the Group’s partners, an immediate air freight shipment with food and medicine, followed by a 40-ft container packed with relief materials – donated by employees and the public – were sent directly to Cochin.
“My deepest condolences to those who lost their loved ones, their homes and so much more. We are here to support the people and hope this token can bring some relief to their suffering,” said T.S. Kaladharan, Founder and Chairman of the CSS Group.

CSS Group’s offices in JAFZA, Al Quoz, Garhoud, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were open to receive donations from the public. The multinational logistics and freight forwarding company then sent forward this relief material, addressed to NGO’s and certified aid providers, in the country.
The CSS Group’s GCC offices collected over 2,650 cartons of relief material; 400 employees across its international offices also proceeded to donate a day’s worth of salary towards the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund in Kerala, India.

The Group would like to personally extend its thanks to Navio Shipping who donated the 40-ft containers used to deliver relief material to the people of Kerala. Navio Shipping is one of the leading liner agencies in the Middle East based in Dubai, representing a wide range of NVOCC principals. They offer consistent service operations across the Middle East, Upper Gulf, Far East, Europe and South Asia.

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