September results have ended up being satisfactory despite multiple challenges, and the EMO group remains stable despite the economic roller coaster of 2016. Marco is just returning from his Asia trip which included stops in Singapore, China and Japan; he has reported good progress and successful customer meetings.
Above: Successful meetings at EMO Singapore. L-R: Edward Seet, Alex Tan, Tom Bayes, Marco Rohrer, Michael Eng, and Yanto Kamis.
The Hanjin bankruptcy has resulted in financial hardship for many companies and caused turmoil and time delays throughout the supply chain. Many Hanjin ships around the world were stopped at sea, and others were stranded in ports unable to discharge their cargo. Many Hanjin vendors charged additional costs as they were understandably concerned that the steamship line would not pay their bills. As a result, containers were held hostage, only to be released against immediate payment. This practice often resulted in duplicate charges.
Fortunately, our Ocean teams quickly pinpointed the location of our freight and immediately initiated the release process. Hopefully, this ongoing situation will end soon. Afterward, it is unclear how much of the overcharges can be recovered, but our priority is to deliver the goods to our customers as soon as we are able.
It is difficult to determine whether the Hanjin disaster will result in a more balanced price structure among the carriers that allows them to operate on a profitable level, but it is clear that many ocean, air, and truck carriers are suffering from reduced pricing caused by overcapacity. In an interesting development, Maersk Lines has decided not to build new ships but rather try to grow through mergers and acquisitions which will not increase the global fleet. In our opinion, this is a smart business move.
EMO USA conducted its Board of Directors meeting in September. The members, Jo Frigger, Marco Rohrer, Tom Harlin, and Jenni Frigger-Latham elected Sven Frigger, Director – Export Compliance as a member of the Board. Sven will continue in his role as a member of the advisory board. In addition, our attorney, Terry Grainger, has been appointed as the company’s Secretary following his father Edmund C. Grainger who passed away earlier this year at the age of 92. Acting as our lawyer, Ed Grainger established EMO USA as a Corporation in 1972. Throughout the next 44 years, Ed remained Secretary of the Company as well as a trusted, valuable friend and advisor.
The board meeting included a performance review of all global EMO Companies and discussed plans for further expansion. We also reaffirmed our basic philosophy and credo of the company: Our loyal employees are the backbone of EMO Trans. Our company is not for sale, and we will finance additional growth ourselves as we have done before. The global EMO organization has a combined revenue in excess of half a billion U.S. dollars.
At present, we are working on a platform for global netting procedures for internal payments and receivables between the EMO countries. The Board made it a priority to aggressively expand sales and our global IT implementation. We also agreed to introduce a new system for cargo marine insurance and liability coverage for the whole group to protect our customers and us.
In other news, our logistics centers in El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico have received high praise for their warehouse handling procedures from one of our most important customers. The implementation of the warehouse management system piloted by Debbie Meinero and her team has created the foundation to properly handle this cargo efficiently and may lead to additional logistics business in other parts of the U.S.
In early November, we will conduct an EMO Trans organization meeting in Singapore to focus on some of the above matters and our strategic development in Asia. A small number of our network partners who have special interest in Asia traffic have also been invited to participate. Our next EMO Trans Global Network meeting will be arranged for the end of March 2017; the venue has yet to be determined.
Therefore, all in all I am happy to report that business is going well so far in 2016, and there are many challenges along with good opportunities ahead of us. As I always say, “Never a dull day in the life of a freight forwarder."
On a personal note, Jenni is back in the office after the birth of her son Kai. Paul and Maya (age 4), who adores her little brother, are doing well.
Ani and Sven are expecting their second son in November, and Lucas is very excited to be a big brother. Soon I will have to reserve a table of 10 for a family dinner. When Karin and I arrived in this country in 1969 with a job and two suitcases, we could not have envisioned such a future.
All the best, and have a golden October.
Pictured above left: Kai and Maya Latham. Above right: Lucas Frigger.
Kindly note that all EMO China offices will be closed to celebrate the National Day holiday from October 1 to October 7. They will resume work on October 8.
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a country rich in heritage, culture, and natural resources. EMO Trans established its office there in 2014 with a contract with the country’s national air carrier, Air Niugini. EMO Trans has the responsibility of ensuring that all critical spares are delivered consistently so that the airline can maintain its enviable on-time departure record. “This can range from a small part such as a simple fuse from Houston to a complete engine from London,” says Country Manager Lee Andison. “Our largest shipments are the receipt and clearance of complete aircraft when they are exported for regulatory service to other designated countries, and once they’re completed, imported once again into the country.”
While EMO’s business in PNG has been mostly in the aviation sector, the office has branched out to accommodate the needs of manufacturers, construction companies, and other businesses. “PNG is a major importer of basic food products as well as electronics and consumable goods,” Lee explains. “We’re pursuing opportunities with rice and wheat importers as well as world-recognized manufacturers in the region. There is a strong representation of Asian businesses here, and with EMO’s presence in most of these Asian countries, we can provide full services from origin to destination.” He notes that they are also working to develop a worldwide distribution network for a new company that exports roasted coffee to Europe and Australia.
As a country that gained independence from Australia 41 years ago, PNG has worked hard to become a leading player in the Pacific region. “Natural resources are a main growth area in PNG, and some large mines are expected to come on line within the next two years which will provide many opportunities for companies like EMO Trans,” says Ian Ahern, Managing Director of EMO Trans Australia. “Fishing has also grown with the opening of two new tuna canneries in the last 18 months which has assisted in boosting exports and reducing the country’s unemployment rate.”
Ian also notes that while Port Moresby’s city skyline hints at the country’s emerging modernization, heritage and national identity remain important factors. Last year’s Pacific Games in Port Moresby, for example, displayed PNG’s unique blend of cultural pride.
Pictured clockwise from top: The EMO PNG team; Customs Arrival Hall at Port Moresby; Lee Andison at the Morobe Cultural Show in Lae, an annual tribal/clan gathering.
“It is a very interesting culture that I find fascinating,” Lee says. “I never get tired of observing the attitudes, philosophies, and customary ways of the native people.” Yet, these charming attributes can pose unique challenges. “Despite a population of only 8 million people in the entire country, PNG has more than 800 different languages and more than 800 different tribal cultures. It is without doubt the most culturally diverse country in the world,” he explains. “This diversity can bring some fragmentation, and we also contend with what is known as the 'wantok' system, wherein it’s the responsibility of each individual to support a colleague from either the same tribe or same province. Every day in PNG brings so many positive experiences as well as challenges. It’s no wonder that the country’s slogan is ‘PNG – The Land of the Unexpected’!”
Lee and Ian envision growth with Port Moresby’s increasing traffic and success, as well as future development in Lae, the country’s second largest city and industrial hub. (Surprisingly, Port Moresby and Lae are not currently connected by road.) “Expanding into Lae will give us access to the large sea freight market, which will increase our business strength within a relatively short period of time,” Lee says. “With our worldwide network, local knowledge, and staff experienced in all facets of transportation, projects, warehousing and logistics, we have the competitive edge. We can offer a full service by air, sea or road and still offer the personal touch. These pillars of EMO Trans make it unique in a market where local agents and franchise holders are the main alternative. Our customers appreciate our attention to detail and close relationships. We treat our clients more as associates rather than just another customer walking through the door.”
EMO Detroit Employees Embody Company Values
Pete Jaeger, EMO Trans Detroit’s Air Export Manager, wanted to extend special recognition to three staff members who helped out in an exemplary manner. “We had a sudden vacancy in our ocean department, and Melissa Mason immediately stepped in. She had ocean experience, was more than willing to help out, and learned the job and filled the role in a matter of days. I couldn’t have been more proud!” he says. “At the same time, Kristin Leigh and Bridget Nash from our air department picked up the slack in airfreight with great attitudes that showed that they truly put the team first. All three employees showed an enormous amount of the ‘we’ mentality that we preach in Detroit. And they did not show one bit of the ‘me’ mentality that we work so hard to keep out of our branch! I wanted to extend my thanks to these hard-working employees!” Pete says.
Pictured left to right: Kristin Leigh, Melissa “Missy” Mason, and Bridget Nash.
Congratulations to EMO Chicago on ISO Certification
EMO Chicago secured its accreditation for ISO 9001:2008 in August! “I would like to give special thanks the Yvania Gamez for heading up the task of preparing for the audit,” says Linda Rutland, EMO Trans’ Quality Systems Manager. “She did a great job of getting everyone ready and focused. Based on Gary Schmidt/ABS Auditor’s comments, Yvania and staff have shown that they embrace the Quality System. Further, their focus on customer service and satisfaction is evident. Keep up the good work!”
SFO Ships Race Car to Malaysia
EMO Trans San Francisco recently shipped a Ford Focus race car to Malaysia that will be entered in various races throughout Asia, including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Macau. The customer, Rotek Racing, expressed their satisfaction with the move: “Thanks for everything. Couldn’t have gone smoother!”
"EMO Trans SFO also received tremendous assistance and cooperation from our new office in Malaysia – EMO Logistics Malaysia," says SFO Branch Manager Michael Salomon.
Teamwork Makes it Happen!
A cooperative effort between EMO Germany, Project Logistics International, and EMO Trans Hartford resulted in the successful move of an oversized vacuum melting chamber. EMO Trans was awarded the shipment in January 2016 to start moving it in June.
The shipment moved from Germany to the door of its final destination in Monroe, North Carolina via Port Charleston. It moved in three separate stages, each one being very large with a lot of coordination each step of the way. The main chamber of the shipment was 20’ 8” (L) x 18’ 4” (W) x 15’ 9”(H)/87,083 lb., while the chamber doors were 18’ 6” (L) x 16’ 4”(W) x 10’ 2” (H)/42,594 lb. each.
The shipment was time-critical and even though price was a factor, service, handling, and communications were a huge requirement. The shipment was delivered on time and everything went smoothly. Meetings were held in Germany to understand the shipper’s specific needs, and Michael Horn met with the consignee’s customer in Monroe and the trucking company that would be making the deliveries of this shipment. He worked closely with the specialized heavy haul company to make sure all permits got granted on time, as well as coordinated route surveys, arranged police escorts, and scheduled bucket cars to lift power lines and street lights so that the shipment could move through.
Special thanks to Susan Budd, Michael Horn, Knut Thaysen, Thorsten Peters, Alex Mueller and Ulrike Boehfield, as well as all other participants. They went above and beyond to advise updates every step of the way.
Shout Out to EMO CLE
We always are grateful for positive customer feedback! EMO Trans Cleveland recently received raves on Kim Ribich, the branch’s Export Manager. “She makes exporting much easier than others we’ve worked with,” says the client – a leading commercial foodservice, kitchen equipment and supply dealer serving independent and national chain restaurants, institutions, and event facilities.
EMO Speaks to German-American Chamber of Commerce
EMO Trans Chicago’s Christian Nierenkother recently spoke to the German-American Chamber of Commerce with great results. According to the Chamber: “Logistics solutions play a key role when we advise German companies on exporting to the U.S. Additionally, the Christkindlmarket, which we organize every year in Chicago, works closely with its vendors on logistics and import questions. In order to strengthen our employees’ expertise in this field, we invited EMO Trans to share its knowledge and provide us with the latest industry insights.”
EMO Atlanta Volleyball Champs
EMO Trans Atlanta is proud to announce that it was declared 2016 Champs
of Atlanta Air Cargo Association’s Annual Volleyball Tournament! Thanks to
Team Captain Dianna Garren (not pictured) for getting everyone registered and pumped up for the tournament, and thanks to all the players and team support! SUCCESS BY PERFORMANCE!!!
Pictured right: Chasing Containers!
EMO Trans Raleigh's Lynelle Munson and her husband were coming back from vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina when she spotted a Hanjin vessel "hanging out" on the coast. It turns out that EMO Trans had freight on the vessel, which had been moored near New York for a while before heading south. "I knew how excited our crew (Pete, Ryan, Linda and Jared) would be because they’ve been waiting for this container for what felt like forever!" A welcome sight, even while on vacation!