Limited port facilities in developing countries are giving an Italian company a chance to upscale an old business model.
Corrado Cuccurullo is the CEO of Shi.E.L.D Services, the newly born management company specialsed in transhipper units, created when Coeclerici decided to exit the coal logistics business after more than 15 years. He’s bullish there’s still plenty of business left in the movement of coal.
“In some areas of the world, some commodities can be exported only by using transhippers. These kinds of vessels help a developing country to start with their commodities exports and imports because it is the cheapest and most efficient way to get trading,” the Milan-based executive tells Maritime CEO.
Shi.E.L.D. Services employs all the people dismissed by Coelcerici Logistics, thus maintaining both the know-how and the expertise.
“We started to manage the fleet sold by Coeclerici, being the ones who designed, built and operated the fleet since the very beginning. The new owners were more than happy to be served by us to continue to manage their fleet,” Cuccurullo says, mentioning companies like Trans Coal Pacific, Asian Bulk Logistics, Adani, Vale and InterGen as counterparts today.
The Italian management company started its activity on January 1 2018, managing the Indonesian fleet owned by Asian Bulk Logistics and Transcoal Pacific, then a further two vessels operated by Vale Mozambique in Beira were added. As of today the company is engaged in Indonesia as technical and operation manager, meanwhile it is also making design services for LDA and another mine owner that can’t be disclosed for a transhipping project in Guinea for bauxite. But Shi.E.L.D Services is also looking at countries like Vietnam, Pakistan, West Africa, East Africa that are starting to develop export and import of commodities using this kind of transhipper.
Transhipper vessels are effectively floating production lines and the sophisticated machinery onboard and continuous operations puts additional pressure on operators to ensure that there are no breakdowns and that the vessels operate safely, hence the need for niche expertise, such as from Cuccurullo’s team.
Cuccurullo reckons increasingly a majority of mine owners are deciding to own the assets used for their exporting activities.
“In this way mine owners have more control on the logistics activities involved in their business, but not having the expertise to operate such types of vessel, they are giving to third party companies like us the duty to operate and manage their own assets,” the Italian explains.
Cuccurullo’s latest client is Adani and a mining concession the Indian giant has in Indonesia.
The Italian transhipper manager can also provide design and consultancy services in the offshore logistics business, giving the opportunity for customers to own and control their assets.
This article first appeared in Maritime CEO magazine. Splash readers can access the full magazine for free online by clicking here.