Titan Sea and Air Services Pvt. Ltd. (TSAS) - Interview with Mr. Jagannath Rai
4:31am on Tuesday 30th October 2018
Project Handling has been one of the core competency of Titan Sea and Air Services Pvt. Ltd. (TSAS) as one of the leading International Freight Forwarding, Customs Brokerage and Road Transportation Company established in India in 1994, by its Managing Director-Mr. Jagannath Rai. Let’s have a quick look of his interview that will show how he started his career in the logistics industry and his experience.
How long have you been in the freight forwarding business
MJ - I am in Freight Forwarding Business for the last 25 years and in the Industry for the last 35 years.
How did you get into the freight and logistics industry?
MJ - After my University Education in Mangalore, I came to Mumbai in search of job. The first job offer I got in my favour was from Freight Forwarding Industry ,which I am continuing till today.
What are the current difficulties or challenges you are facing in your country when it comes to shipping?
MJ - Lack of Standard Operating Procedures in Freight Industry, Poor Infrastructure, Poor payment recovery system from customers.
For customs clearance in your country, any advice or guidelines you can provide to your future partners?
MJ - Present Customs Clearance procedures need to be changed as per Global standard. More transparency with less human intervention on Customs Clearance procedures.
If you can change anything about the freight forwarding industry, what would it be?
MJ - Advance Cargo Declaration procedures should be followed globally, so that export document of goods origin country will become an import document of goods destination country. AEO or CT-PAT approved Customs Broker or Freight Forwarder should have worldwide recognition by all stake holders including carriers.
What advice would you give to a person who is considering a career in a freight forwarding industry?
MJ - For the first 5 years I would recommend to get trained in every possible fields of freight industry and then focus on one particular field. It is advisable to keep learning and reading about freight industry thoroughly during your initial stage. Keep attending Freight seminars and exhibitions on a regular basis. Start writing case study of your success and failure.
What is something you would like to us to know about your company?
MJ - The speciality of our company. Even though we are specialising in Project Logistics, we are offering all types Freight Forwarding services to our customer as a single window solution to them.
Please tell us about your company. Where are your headquarters and when did you first establish the company?
MJ - We established "Titan Sea & Air Services Pvt Limited” in 1994 based in Mumbai, commercial capital of India with a branch office in Bengaluru. Currently we have a staff strength of 60 people working for our company. We have our own Customs Broking Licence, member of IATA, FIATA, FMC, AEO approved, member of X2, Lognet, JGC Global Network. We are specialising in handling large sized projects on door to door basis. We also have an experience in Customs Clearing used machineries in India on a regular basis.
What are the major issues that you may encounter, when handling a break bulk shipment?
MJ - Change of dimension, weight, mis match of lay can of cargo and vessel, change of vessel’s routing, delay in freight payment from customer are some of the major issues we come across, while handling a cargo project.
Could you describe your planning process? Also, what shipment stands out in your memory as your most complicated, and why?
MJ - We prepare a detailed packing list in our own format and discuss in details with customer before sending enquiry to reliable partners and carriers.
Picking up 100 MT steel pillars from Sacramento and Cleveland, U.S. to Nhava Sheva, India was one of my toughest job. One of our customer was setting up Theme Park in Mumbai and suddenly realised some of main pillars were still in USA. They gave us 20 days time limit to bring this cargo to India. It was February during Chines New Year, several flights suspend their operation. We picked up the cargo, arranged crating, moved cargo from Sacramento and Cleveland to Houston loaded on Etihad Freighter to Abu Dhabi, from Abu Dhabi to Dubai by road, from Dubai to Nhava Sheva by sea and delivered cargo to site within 18 days.Customer called us at 6 PM to inform about this issue and by 10.30 PM I was already on flight to U.S for a week.
What knowledge would you say is exclusive to project logistics professional? What does one need to learn before entering in to project logistics?
MJ - Project Forwarder should have the knowledge of getting right vendors from market. Without proper qualified vendors and good technical knowledge in handling projects one should not get into project forwarding business.
What has been your most exciting shipment? What made it exciting?
MJ - I was 3 months old in freight industry, working as a trainee in one of the British Shipping company Mackinnon Mackenzie Co Ltd for their air cargo export department. One fine day my chairman of the company called and ordered to arrange Customs Clearance 10 MT (spare parts) air import trans-shipment for a vessel waiting at mid sea. The time limit given for Customs clear was just one day which was too short in India during 1984. Though we had a separate import Customs Clearance department, who refused to handle this project due to fear of performance. I accepted the responsibility and completed the job as per schedule and delivered the cargo by barge to vessel, waiting at mid sea personally. My 18 months training period was cut down 6 months and promoted as an "Assistant Manager” and made in-charge of Air Cargo department. It was really an exciting story in my life.
In your career, have you seen some very poorly executed shipments? What would you have done differently?
MJ - During the transportation of one of the machine our vehicle met with an accident and cargo got damaged. Unfortunately our customer did not secure insurance arrangement. This was the mistake happened by my team. I would have ensured to check proper insurance coverage is in place before moving any cargo from a Port.
From your experience, what industries are seeing the greatest growth in requiring project logistics services?
MJ - Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas and Wind Mill are some of the major industries requiring project logistics in near future.
Could you provide us with a few examples of project cargoes that you have handled recently?
MJ - Handled seven Tunnel Boring Machines from Singapore and China to Mumbai Port, Heat Exchangers of various sizes from Mumbai to Kuwait, Crane and Rail wagon in CKD conditions
Mumbai Metro Project-Underground
Mumbai, one of the most thickly populated city of the world with a population of around 15 million people in an area of 603 sq. km. It is the most congested city with narrow roads, due to which moving such over dimensional packages of Tunnel Boring Machine is itself a herculean task.
To ensure 100% safety of the machine, we had to undertake the complete route survey couple of times. For more clarity, we even performed a mock drill on 12 hydraulic axles set vehicle with a frame structure replicating the actual machine dimension to make sure that the transportation of the heaviest TBM part weighing 162 MT and 6.63m diameter is completed securely so as to satisfy all stake holders involved in the project.
To ensure speedy delivery, we arranged on wheel clearance and successfully completed all the related procedure within 48 hours including CE certification.
Project from Mumbai,
India to Queensland, Australia
Successfully carried out the shipment of 38 packages containing Metro Rail Coaches and its accessories weighing 335 MT and a volume of 1737 CBM.
Project from Achhad,
India to Al-Zour, Kuwait
As a result of our team work and efficient
management system we have timely accomplish the shipment of 137 packages of
project equipment weighing 2402 MT and volume of 2532 CBM containing heat
exchangers and its accessories to Al-Zour Refinary project sites.
Re-export of used Cranes from Taloja, Mumbai to Port Klang, Malaysia.
This shipment involved 23 packages of crane parts
stuffed in 4 containers in addition to
150 CBM of crane body and total weight
of 138 MT from Taloja, Mumbai to Port Klang, Malaysia. The timely execution of
the project helps us receiving customer appreciation.