Challenging’ across the board: Allseas Global Logistics Reviewing 2011

02 September 2012

Allseas Global Logistics Reviewing 2011

IT WOULD be easy to sum up 2011 as ‘challenging’ across most cargo and logistics operations. But in the heavy lift and out-of-gauge transport sector, ‘challenging’ is definitely an over-used word.

“Every job we undertake is challenging – it goes with the territory. We pride ourselves in rising to a different challenge every time,” says Mark Binge, commercial manager of UK-based Allseas Global Logistics. “Each project presents its own unique problems and, for us, 2011 brought some exceptionally unusual contracts. That meant we also had the undoubted satisfaction of creating unique solutions to overcome problems which might – to more mainstream transport operators – seem insurmountable.

“But this was a particularly special year for other reasons, too. We were delighted to have our achievements recognised by two major industry awards, and we continued to expand in size and geographical coverage.”

One of the highlights of 2011 for Allseas Global Logistics came right at the beginning of the year, when the company was named winner of the Project Forwarding Award at the annual British International Freight Association (BIFA) Freight Services Awards.

This accolade was in recognition of a contract in which Allseas sourced, assembled, packed and delivered all the materials, components, vehicles, equipment and supplies required to create a temporary base camp for 30 mine workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s remote jungle. Allseas put together a complex package of transport via air freighter, ship and specialist barge to meet the very specific requirements of the client in this project, Rio Tinto.

In March, the tragedy of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan shocked the world. The country suffered huge losses in the immediate disaster, and then faced a desperate shortage of power as it struggled to recover.

A few weeks later, Allseas was to play a major role in supporting Japan’s recovery, being contracted to transport five vast generator units, two equipment rooms and other vital components to a newly built nuclear power station at Shimane which, under new Japanese government regulations, was not permitted to open until emergency power back-up was in place.

The various parts of the consignment had to be transported to Japan from locations in the Netherlands, the UK and the US, all to an incredibly tight deadline. As part of the overall solution devised by Allseas, bespoke transportation and lifting equipment was designed and manufactured and a unique lifting method was devised, and used in the port of Xingang, China.

At the end of 2011, Allseas was to gain further industry recognition, with the Shimane project earning it International Freighting Weekly’s Project / Heavylift forwarder of the Year award.

Taking over the UK agency for Ocean World Lines (OWL) in June represented a major expansion of Allseas’ activities. OWL, one of the largest bonded NVOCCs in the world, shipping more than 100,000 teu a year, handed over responsibility for its entire UK agency operation to Allseas. Five key members of OWL staff, previously based in Ipswich, joined the Allseas team.

“There is excellent synergy between OWL and Allseas,” says Mark Binge. “The OWL staff brought with them many years of experience in various aspects of logistics. OWL predominantly carries FAK (freight all kinds) and airfreight cargo, so this sits really well with our own activities as specialist movers of project and out-of-gauge cargoes.”

Allseas, which is headquartered in Newark, also has UK offices in Brighouse, Tilbury, Felixstowe and Swinderby, an office in Antwerp, a direct airfreight division, and state-of-the-art export packing facilities at its 15-acre Midlands Logistics Centre.
In August 2011, Dubai was added to the network when Allseas opened a permanent office there for the first time. As a company moving project, heavy lift and out-of-gauge cargo throughout the world, Allseas already has a strong track record in the Middle East region – but previously handled that business from its UK offices or through representatives.

“The opening of our own dedicated, permanent office in Dubai represents an exciting new chapter for Allseas Global Logistics,” says managing director Andrew Morris. “This decision reflects Allseas’ strength in the oil & gas project cargo sector and also the increasing importance of Dubai as a gateway into the rest of the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.”

Dubai office manager Paula Bellamy, who was previously general manager of OWL UK, says that an important advantage for Allseas will be its location within the Dubai Free Zone. This will enable the company to support clients wishing to tranship consignments via Dubai; the Free Zone status means they do not have to pay customs or other duties as long as the cargo remains within the Free Zone.

“We can take advantage of what is in effect a huge bonded area and an excellent hub for moving cargo, for example, from the Far East to the UK, or to the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent,” she says.

Among other highlights in 2011, Allseas used the Port of Felixstowe, better known as the UK’s largest container hub, as part of the solution for transporting a consignment up to 7 metres high from Scotland to South Korea. The entire consignment, of cement house units and accessories for the offshore industry, was moved by coastal barge from Aberdeen Harbour to Felixstowe, where it was loaded by quay crane on to the 9,310 teu Albert Maersk for the voyage to Busan.

As well as further expansion of the Allseas team, the company continued its investment programme during 2011 with the purchase of additional cranes and heavy lift plant at the Newark site.

For the year ahead, oil & gas projects are holding up well and look set to remain buoyant, says Andrew Morris. Factory relocations are also a busy area. As well as building business in Dubai and the Middle East, the company is increasingly focusing on India and Brazil.

Author: Mark Binge, Group Commercial Manager

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Also published on: Global Logistics Media

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