What happens when things happen along the logistical chain which means that the transport company does not receive the whole truth?
Unfortunately in our business we need to rely on the logistical chain to ship boats around the world. Complete Marine Freight is a freight broker that basically acts on your behalf in front of people such as ship owners, airlines, trucking companies, customs authorities to get things done for you so you only need one point of contact and so that you can move your boat around the world without a hitch. However as we all know, when you are managing a chain of production, logistics and communication, there is a lot of room for things to go a little left… it is how we, as freight brokers, deal with situations that makes the difference to our clients.
Last year, CMF was contracted to ship 2 x Montefino motor yachts from Taiwan to Dusseldorf to arrive in time for Jan 2013 Dusseldorf boat show. In turn CMF contracted the services of a well known ship owner who have heavy lift vessels operating from the far east through the Med and into North Europe. With a lot of planning time and plenty of lee way on the arrival date the 2 yachts were loaded in Taiwan without problem, both under deck and stowed very well. CMF had signed a contract for the yachts to be shipped on a sailing route with as few port calls as possible up to arrival in Rotterdam so as to reduce any risk of delay. As soon as the yachts had been loaded, 2 extra port calls were announced by the shipowners reassuring us that it would not affect anything and they were just calls for bunkering. Algiers was one of them. This we thought a little odd as it was the time of the civil unrest in Algeria when several flights of tourists had to be evacuated very quickly. When the ship started to unload in Algiers we were informed that the port had congestion and it would be delayed a while before entering. This was odd as it was meant to be going in for bunkering. With some heavy phone calls on Sunday morning to the shipowners, it was discovered that actually they were discharging cargoes; apparently steel tubing for some civil works going on. The ship stayed another day in the port and then another. A very frustrating situation for both CMF and their customers.
Finally through other contacts of CMF in Algeria the cargo was released and the ship could sail. It arrived into Rotterdam and discharged all through the night. The boats were both then delivered up the Rhine, washed down and were the last boats to enter the show… but they made it!
Communication and transparency is always key in logistics and are values we pride ourselves on. Things do not always go to plan, but by having the leverage of experience many things can be avoided.
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