The right partners
The challenges of heavy cargo and project logistics are particularly demanding when they are headed for unusual destinations. Some firms see their chance in these situations, however. Christian Doepgen spoke to managing director Angelika Fischer in Zurich about partnerships that enable Jöbstl East to execute transports to Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia and elsewhere.
Since when have you been active with your firm, Frau Fischer?
We’ve been the first German branch of the Austrian enterprise Jöbstl for two years now. We’re an independent branch, operating as Jöbstl East. We’re a sales-oriented team with many years of experience in the logistics industry. Our clear focus is on service.
What services does your company offer?
We specialise in project and heavy goods logistics. One of our special strengths lies in the transportation of power plants as well as machinery. But our international transports also include luxury cars that are exported from Germany, for example, or entire prefabricated elements for hotel chains. The range of our projects is wide.
Where are you domiciled?
In addition to our main office in Munich, we’ve also had a sales office in Hamburg since February of this year. We therefore have the required reach for our customers located throughout Germany. In addition to this, of course, our parent company covers our back too, and we can also can count on several important cooperation partners.
But your regional sphere of influence goes well beyond Germany, doesn’t it?
Very much so. As our name indicates, we have a broad geographic range. We specialise in niche countries, where only a few players are active and transportation is difficult to organise, because experience is limited and the industry is barely established. Jöbstl has a strong presence in Central and Southeastern Europe, for example in Bulgaria, and gradually the emerging synergies are coming into their own. Our European customers can rely on Jöbstl East to cover varied and complex markets such as Iran, Azerbaijan or Bhutan.
Are you also a service provider for third parties, such as large forwarding firms?
No, we work exclusively with our direct customers. In this business you have to be a professional all-rounder and willing to work any day – even on Christmas day, for example. That’s exactly where our strengths lie.
Are there any services you don’t offer?
We aim to be a full-service provider. This means offering the entire range of services, including planning, approval procedures, customs clearance and combined transport, in cooperation with our partners, right to the final destination. Our mixed crews can take care of both oversized heavy cargo as well as the transport of full container loads with their accompanying material. This is particularly important in such complex projects as hydropower plants, which we have delivered to Bhutan and Kosovo, amongst others.
What can you offer that others can’t?
We’re one of the few providers worldwide that has its own assembly crew at the destinations, ready with its own off-road forklift trucks and special-purpose vehicles. This service is highly valued by our customers, not only in Bhutan and Kosovo, but also in Chile, to give but one more example.
What’s the secret of your success?
In addition to professional project and customer support, it’s all about bringing the right partners together.
The organisation provides clear leadership, and in cooperation with experienced partners we’re in a position to handle every project successfully.
Apart from your parent company, what other partners do you work with?
That depends very much on the destination or transport task concerned. When we’re headed for Iran and are deploying road transport units, then we cooperate with the Turkish logistics enterprise Petek Lojistik, which is headquartered in Istanbul. It not only has experience in transports to and from Iran as well as to the rest of Central Asia, but also has access to more than 30 of its own as well as chartered trucks.
And beyond Petek?
We complete our modes of transport that serve Iran through our cooperation with Mars Air & Sea, which is majority-owned by Japan’s Hitachi Group (see also page 49 of ITJ 35-36 / 2013). On top of this, this cooperation partner – together with us – covers the project cargo segment, including air and sea operations, as well as the regions of Turkey, the Near and Far East and the Caucasus. We’re currently in touch with our contact in Mars, Ahmet Yüksek, director of projects / heavy cargo operations, in order to process a major project there, amongst other things.
What is this project about?
We’re carrying out a transport for a long-standing customer, a company from Turkey that is establishing a new factory near Adana, in eastern Turkey. In this project, individual heavy loads are more than 4.3 m high and weigh over 100 t. The total volume adds up to about 10,000 t, and will be transported over the next two years.
Do you also cooperate in marketing, besides carrying out joint operations?
Yes, we do also acquire new projects together. Last year the partners Jöbstl East, Jöbstl Bulgaria and Petek appeared as a team at the Logitrans trade fair in Istanbul.
Is this network sufficient for your customers’s individual requirements?
We now also have a permanent partner for special transports on board. In future we’ll work together with the owner-managed enterprise Tiroltrans, which is headquartered in Bolzano, South Tyrol (Italy). It will handle our large project cargo undertakings. We’ve already completed our first efforts together. The company, which is owned and run by the family Gruber, is a very good fit for us.