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Lighthouse - January, 2019.

Chairman’s Message

Invariably the start of a New Year provides an opportune time to look back on events of the previous twelve months and look forward with anticipation to the year ahead. The support and encouragement we have received from our partners, customers and colleagues, over the last twelve months, were really appreciated. It gives us welcome impetus that raises us to a higher level of confidence. Our mutually beneficial relationships have developed into friendships. This, has in turn, energised us to explore larger horizons. Thank you to everyone, as I wish you a wonderful year ahead.

A speech that I heard recently, from the former President of United States of America, George Bush Jnr., during the memorial service for his father Bush Snr., was thought-provoking. In this speech he mentioned the inaugural address of his father as the 41st President of USA. Bush Snr., said, “We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood, and town better than he found it.”

I found this statement has got many overarching meanings, not only in our personal life, but in business too. It is the responsibility of every succeeding generation to leave what they’ve inherited, in better shape and condition. If we are able to start this New Year, by taking a lead that invigorates generations to come, I believe it will help focus our minds on achieving greater success for all of us.

CSS Group Strategy Meet 2018


The CSS Group’s annual Strategy Meet 2018 was held at the Cinnamon Lakeside Resort, Colombo, Sri Lanka from the 15th to 17th November. Time to evolve continued to be the theme this year for the meet, which invariably declares the need for strategically design new plans and programmes to enhance the business performance in this most challenging time. The meeting was inaugurated by Sasikala (SK), Manager- Corporate communications, CSS Group.

As a usual practice, budgets, achievements and strategies were presented by all divisions and departments. Delegates representing various offices of CSS Group and associates, participated the two days meeting in Colombo. Discussions and debates were seen all through the presentation on topics which needed extra thrust and focus.

The Sri Lanka operations of CSS Group was kick-started alongside the strategy meet in Colombo. The CSS Group operations in Colombo received a soft launch during the event. Full-fledged operations will soon commence from the region. The meet was concluded with a vote of thanks by T S Kaladharan, the Chairman and Founder of CSS Group, wherein he re-iterated the need for more focused strategies and personalized services in all segments.

The last day was dedicated to one-to-one meeting amongst various departments and associates. 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.

Day one dinner for the delegates were organized at the Rustic and Lovely Buba beach club and seafood restaurant, in Mount Lavinia, Colombo. The restaurant on the beach served some exquisite seafood cuisine within a stress release ambience for the delegates after a hectic meeting day. The group travelled in a coach together to this seaside venue and partied till mid-night.

Prestigious Access towers II within the Colombo city was the chosen dinner venue for the group on the second evening. The renowned roof top bar and restaurant here was ready to receive the cheerful gathering by sun down. The venue opened up a panoramic view of the Colombo city with all its lights and glitters. The new office bearers from CSS Colombo and associates from Maldives also attended the socializing session.

NVOCC- The Flagship Service of CSS Group

Consolidated Shipping Services Group, has attained a reputable position in the industry with specialized operations in cargo consolidation (LCL), both in Ocean export and import. The reliability of world class transcontinental partnerships qualifies CSS Group to be amongst the leading NVOCC service providers from the GCC and the South Asia. Personalized client handling and global standards in cargo management has made CSS the most trusted partner in consolidation activities in the region where they operate, that too made possible with an enviable global network of partners.

Past two decades we have been aggressively selling our NVOCC activities along with our overseas agents across the globe. We provide our clients with coherent and reliable LCL solutions through our trusted counterparts in Far East, Europe and the Americas. Our relationship with our agents has extended beyond business over the years and CSS Group is grateful for that. From this edition onwards, Lighthouse will be walking alongside, our network partners discussing and debating issues interesting to our readers

Walking The Extra Mile with CSS


Commencing in 2003, the combined efforts of both CSS Group and FPS Rotterdam has made them the market leaders today in the NVOCC industry. Mr. Jean-Paul van Munster, the CEO of FPS Rotterdam, spoke with Lighthouse on more about the mutual relationship. “It started when Mr. Kala and I visited Mr. Alvin Tan that time director of FPS Singapore at the same time. It was Mr. Alvin Tan who knew me since 1995 and figured that CSS and FPS Rotterdam had a lot to offer to each other, and he was absolutely right!”

Not only in business that Jean- Paul shared the same momentum with Kala, it flourished so well into the family matters as well gradually. “We both never missed the opportunity to be in each other’s family functions and over the period of time, we shared the joy of being like a single family and we continue the relationship which has grown in the past 15 years to become not only business partners, but something more valuable in this world; “United Friends”.

While discussing about the industry and business, Jean-Paul mentioned about the beginning and growth of FPS Rotterdam. He was full of excitement when he narrated the story. “FPS, Famous Pacific Shipping B.V. originated from the 1992 founded forwarder TOP Trans Ocean Pacific forwarding. With the growing consolidation activities within TOP it was in 2001 when we decided to separate the consolidation activities from TOP and continue fully independently as a neutral consolidator under the name of FPS Famous Pacific Shipping Rotterdam, successfully led by its present director Ms. Saskia de Jong. During the past 17 years FPS Rotterdam has grown from its humble start to one of the leading consolidators in Rotterdam”.

Jean-Paul paused for a moment and continued to say that he is obliged for the accomplishments, whatever achieved so far, to the support of their strong world-wide partners like the CSS Group. Besides its strong worldwide network, the keynote of the growth and quality of FPS Rotterdam is a professional and reliable team and the ongoing IT investments.

“Rotterdam, the centre from where we make cargo movement more efficient than ever, is the ideal gateway to and from the hinterland of Europe. Connecting the world with our direct services. The movement of cargo is closely monitored every step of the way. Track and trace, online booking and EDI systems make it easy to keep an eye on every shipment. Our state-of-the-art warehouse offers an IMO and non-IMO separated area. Last but not least our friendly service makes us gladly walk the extra mile. We believe in a friendly long-term relationship with our customers and worldwide partners like CSS!”

Beating The Noise

“How to Keep Focused in a Noisy World and Progress at Work”

In today’s world, where technology seems at times to be taking over our lives and where external noise is getting louder and louder, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to maintain focus. Especially at work.

Take a simple example in your daily life; you wake up, get ready for work and already your brain has been challenged by messages received overnight from your work place, text messages from friends and family, WhatsApp messages from people across the world, not to mention breaking news and relentless advertising bombarding us at every turn. Add in Twittter, Instagram and Facebook, and by the time you reach the office you’ve already been pulled in a million different directions. Alas you sit down, and are faced with an overloaded inbox and phone calls to take and make, and the need to interact with colleagues all at the same time.


It requires discipline and a strong willingness to follow a plan. In the midst of daily distractions and task items, it’s important to keep focused on the goal of your job. People who succeed and climb the ladder have managed to do this, and you can too. Every day we must overcome the distractions and focus on the job at hand, finding time to do that one thing that makes a difference. We must tell ourselves that every day we need to have done something to help grow the company, something to help us reach our goal at work.

I lead and manage a great deal of business within my company and often feel pulled in many directions. I remember the goal of my job. To grow business for my company. To sell. My strategy? Every day I look at what I can do to accomplish something important which is going to give me an opportunity to grow my business and my division.

For example:

  • Spend the entire day visiting customers – consolidate existing relationships and build new ones.
  • Spend time researching and studying the market and identifying new potential clients.
  • Set a number of calls and review expectations and results with our sales force.
  • Share ideas with managers – Identify growth opportunities in developing new products & new lanes.
  • Prepare a sales trip logistically and design a strategy.

Whatever you set your goals at, remember that at the end of the day you need to be satisfied about what was accomplished and not waste it as we often do not controlling our own time and actions and spending the day doing only clerical tasks.

As the year comes to an end, I encourage you to thinking about what you can do in 2019 to turn down the distractions and reach your goals at work. You’ll be amazed at how fast you will progress in your job, and more importantly, you’ll leave work with a feeling that you accomplished something towards your goal, which is a feeling louder than any other noise.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday and happy new year 2019….
Stay well until the next chronicle

CSS Group Commences Its Activities From Sri Lanka

As part of its global expansion CSS Group is proud to announce the opening of its Sri Lanka enterprise. Consolidated Shipping Services, Sri Lanka – commenced operations from Colombo, on the 1st of December 2018

“We are delighted to have our presence in the city of Colombo. Sri Lanka has always had a significant position in the global logistics map. Like at all our other locations, CSS will strive to deliver the best of services across all verticals to our clients in Sri Lanka,”commented Chandrakala (CK), COO, NVOCC CSS Group.

Strategically located in a key East-West trade route and set close to India, Sri Lanka has the essential locational advantage needed for it to develop into a key logistics hub in South Asia. The island state is an important transhipment hub in the region.

Sri Lanka, as a local economy, has been on the rise. Infrastructure development has been a focus, the results on the ground are testament to this. The forecast for long term growth in the Public and Private infrastructure space is strong. The CSS Group network strength combined with the experience, onboarded, at CSS Sri Lanka will allow for our new enterprise to leverage the expected uptake in the economy.

The team in Colombo will be led by Menusha Srilankeshwara, who carries with her years of experience in the freight forwarding & Logistics industry. “Colombo port has remained the busiest port in South Asia for the last many years. The total trade volume is increasing every year. This is the right time for CSS to be in Sri Lanka, and as a professional team, we can contribute a lot to the logistics business and gain much more from it,” mentioned Menusha, General Manager, CSS Sri Lanka.

CSS Group wishes good luck to the team at CSS Sri Lanka.

Address Details:
Consolidated Shipping Services Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.
20, 1/2 (1st Floor), Lauris Road
Bambalapitiya, Colombo 04
Sri Lanka

Key Contacts:
Menusha Srilankeshwara General Manager

Hansi Rajakaruna
Customer Relations Officer cs@csslanka.com

For more information:
Tel : +94 11 2555 442
Email : info@csslanka.com

CSS Group Attends The FPS AGM at Ningbo


From October 23rd-26th, over 100 freight consolidators came together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Famous Pacific Shipping Group and attend the FPS Group 20th Annual General Meeting. This year the members of FPS Group met in Ningbo, China. Ningbo is one of the oldest cities in China and is also home to one of China’s most important seaports.

Every year an FPS Group member hosts the FPS Group AGM, and Portever Ningbo was awarded the honor of hosting this year’s event. Portever Ningbo selected the Westin Ningbo as the venue for the 20th AGM, and chose a scenic riverside venue for the Farewell Dinner.

CSS Group was represented by Chandrakala (CK), COO, NVOCC. CSS Group has a long-standing relationship with FPS since its inception. “The conference provided a perfect platform to discuss the challenges and the opportunities for the freight forwarding fraternity. Moreover, attending FPS AGM was important to CSS, as this gave us the chance to interact with the most experienced heads of companies and meet and greet all our friends” mentioned Chandrakala.

This year’s event was kicked off by a cocktail reception that offered a wide variety of light foods, a good selection of drink options, and the opportunity for AGM attendees to meet, and even get a head start on their One-One Meetings.

On the 24th and 25th, attendees spent their mornings listening to presentations from new companies who have joined since last year’s event in Morocco, and also a Forum session that allowed for members to discuss suggested policies and changes to the group. In the afternoon of both days’ members were focused on One-One Meetings.

The AGM closed with an Al Fresco Riverside Farewell Dinner on Ningbo’s Old Bund. The evening featured skilled performers, delicious food, and delightful beverages.

The members and the associates are all looking forward to 2019 following the success of this year’s event in Ningbo.

Skid Movement


Projects team of CSS, shared details of a recent project movement they handled in Dubai. Two Skids of re-melt tank with structural steel skid & structural steel frame was moved from Jebel Ali to Houston. The cargo specification was 8.20 x 4.50 x 4.80 m with 24 Tons weight.

The cargo was moved as Ocean freight. “The entire movement was done overcoming lot of challenges and as usual our team were enthusiastically delivering their best throughout the process. Each project movement provides ample scope for learning something new.” Commented Sajith Vijayan, Manager – Projects.

The scope included collection on special 40 cms low deck trailer from Mussafah to Jebel Ali, lashing & securing of skids onto the 40 feet flat rack container and exporting to the destination in Houston completing all documentation and clearances needed for the move. As is the 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 fool proof and smooth journey of the cargo

Team – Work

Rahat Talreja
Vice President – CSS Central India

I’d like to start with a poetry rendition by Sarshar Sailani, a dialogue writer and poet:

Chaman mein Ikhtilat-e-rang-o-bu se baat banti hai
Hum hi Hum hain toh kya hum hain
Tum hi Tum ho toh kya tum ho

Translated in English as:

In a garden, multiple forms of colour and smell make up the ecosystem
If I am only about myself, then what am I.
If you are only about yourself, then what are you.

How beautiful.

The ecosystem of an organisation is the result of the multiple flavours that every individual contributes.

The smart, the smarter, the smartest.

The foolish, more foolish, most foolish.

The lucky, the luckier, the luckiest.

The good, the better, the best.

And voila, the organisation, its ecosystem, its culture, its philosophies, all bloom with this combined energy of its several people.

Let us therefore decipher a few points which are important for effective team work.

Team Size:

Let’s do some math with a simple number like 100

  1. First, divide 100 by 100
    The answer is 1
    1 is 1% of 100
  2. Now, divide 100 by 1
    The answer is 100
    100 is 100% of 100

(Some might be confused because math was always a tricky subject, but read again and it’s really a simple point)

From the above example, we can see that dividing by 100 gives you 1 percent of something and dividing by 1 gives you 100 percent of that thing.

Which brings us to the point on team-work where appropriate team size is most important to team work. If too many people get involved in the same work, the percentage of output only decreases.

What are the issues we typically see in involvement of too many people in a simple task?

  1. The simple task becomes complicated
  2. The task is simple but the discussion around it is disproportionate to its size
  3. People involved become more important than the task itself
  4. Ultimately the task never gets done
  5. Even if it gets done, the emotional, physical & financial costs mismatch the importance of the task

Therefore, its most important to have teams which are appropriately sized.

Let’s understand this point from our own human body. In relative terms, the heart is more important than the feet. But in absolute terms, the heart has its own functions and importance as does the feet. If this point is clear, most of us can work towards achieving absolute positions and not relative positions. Because the quest for relative positions only create issues within us and with us.

The working class all over the world sacrifice their NEEDS to fulfil the WANTS of their corporate employers. This is their absolute power. The power of giving. In fact, in the entire hierarchical spectrum, the one above fulfils his wants by sacrificing the needs of the one below.

Let us take the example of a top leader on the Forbes List. He wanting to move into the top 100 richest is a want, not a need. Who fulfils that want? The ones who serve him. They sacrifice personal time, family time, health, peace and so many basic human needs to help him achieve that objective. It’s a separate thing that the Saturn (Shani) in our horoscope decides the kind of people we will have serving us. The stronger it is, the better the people who serve us. These planet positions are not out of the blue, they are earned through good karma. Everything is earned and not an entitlement. But in the context of the material world, yes, someone’s needs fulfil the others wants.

Therefore, perspective is very important and we can all have harmony with each other in teams when this is clear. When you go to a restaurant, first the restaurant owner feeds you and then by paying the bill, you feed him. Both feed each other.

Try complimenting a top sportsman for just his good looks and not his sport.

He will be offended.

Imagine meeting Sachin Tendulkar and complimenting him for his pearly white teeth. Not a mention of cricket. He will say his famous words: Aila.

If you notice, true power always underplays itself not to attract attention from the wrong eyes and ordinary will always overdo itself to attract attention from the true powers.

It is most important to identify tasks and allot functions as per one’s strength and caliber and be continuously appreciated for that. The above examples have made it amply clear that misreading someone’s caliber and appreciating for the contextually wrong things might actually demotivate the person.

These are some points on team work. Many others also exist. We all are trying.

Release of The Cargo Without The Presentation of Original Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier (or their agent) to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment. Although in England, the term once related only to carriage by sea, a bill of lading may be used for any type of carriage of goods. A bill of lading must be transferable and serves three main functions:

  • It’s a conclusive receipt i.e. an acknowledgement that the goods have been loaded;
  • It contains or evidences the terms of the contract of carriage; and
  • It serves as a document of title to the goods.

As much as it is the most important document for shipment of goods from one place to the other, it has become very common for the cargo interest or their agents to demand the release of cargo without submission of the original bill of lading.

At the outset, the answer to whether the cargo can be released without the presentation of the OBL is a big NO! as this involves a lot of risk both for the carrier and the cargo interest since the reasons for the non-presentation are enormous. In spite of this being wrongful there are some carriers and P&I that do release the cargo, subject to certain exclusions and exemptions.

P&I releasing the cargo without presentation of OBL
In general P & I club exclude cover for release of cargo without production of Original Bill of Lading by incorporating an exclusion in their policy. However, certain P&I clubs include an omnibus clause in their Rules which do permit some flexibility by allowing the members to provide cover in some circumstances. At the same time with respect to commercial insurers providing P&I cover, this flexibility is not available to override any specific exclusions provided in the policy wordings.

P&I will be involved in such cases under various roles and various circumstances. When P&I represents the carrier, if the Principals or their agents have released the cargo without the OBL the shipper would be the claiming party. On receiving the claim from the shipper P&I club would reject the claim on the ground that there was no personal negligence. Similarly, when P&I represents the cargo interest, the carrier may have released the cargo without the OBL yet P&I would continue to reject the claim as the fault is off the carrier.

Thus, certain P&I clubs provide a wider cover with respect to release of cargo with Bill of Lading subject to certain specific exclusions already mentioned in the Insurance policy.

Carrier/Shipping Line releasing cargo without the presentation of OBL
When it comes to the carrier, they deny taking responsibility of the cargo that is to be discharged without the presentation of the Bill of lading as it causes a lot of trouble for the shipping line/ carrier eventually.

Although the above is what the carrier mostly follows, there are some cases where the carrier releases the cargo without the Bill of Lading for the following reasons:

  • To maintain a cordial and business relationship with the customer.
  • To reduce the unavailability of the containers.
  • To avoid the destruction cost that would eventually fall on the Carrier in case the consignee has not taken delivery.
  • The time and cost the carrier/ shipping line has to invest in claiming the detention and demurrage charges.

The carrier/ shipping line accept a document called the Letter of Indemnity in which the party including the consignee, delivery agent or any other accepts to indemnify the consignor in case of any consequence that arise in the future.

Letter of Indemnity
It is common in a lot of trades, whether bulk or oil, to accept a Letter of Indemnity (“LOI”) for non-production of bills of lading. A letter of indemnity (LOI) is a document which the shipper/ consignee indemnifies the shipping company against the implications of claims that may arise from the issue of a clean Bill of Lading when either the goods were not loaded in accordance with the description in the Bill of Lading or when the original document is not available.

It is absolutely essential that Members get the wording of the LOI right and ensure that proper procedures are in place to demonstrate compliance with the LOI.Members must also actively weigh up the counter party risk of accepting an LOI. An LOI is only as secure as the party providing it.

When this occurs, the carrier invariably agrees to deliver the cargo in consideration of receiving a Letter of Indemnity (LOI) from their charterer/ receiver. In many cases, a delivery of cargo in this way will proceed without incident. However, whilst the practice is familiar, familiarity can sometimes lead to complacency.

to be continued…

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