Volans Logistics began operations two years ago after Hamburg Süd’s Condor service was suspended due to the CCNI acquisition. Executives from the former Chilean liner that were stationed in Spain decided to continue the Condor service by forming a strategic alliance in Hamburg.
For Gabriel Sanhueza, Volans Logistics, Procurement Officer in Chile, this “was not an easy task”, because 2015 and 2016 were difficult years for the shipping industry on the back of oversupply, low cargo volumes and a contracting global economic activity. However, he says that “it has been possible to keep this service on a regular schedule from Europe to WCSA, which has turned out positive.”
The executive says that the current success of Volans’ Condor service is thanks to its previous good performance for over 30 years. “Volans decided to extend the operations of this service which already had a loyal base of customers.” Sanhueza also mentions that despite operating with Agunsa in Valparaiso, Volans needed “its own representation” at the traditional Chilean port so they would be able to “take care of importer clients and future exporter clients, because the intention is to expand the scope of the service to the North Europe route (from WCSA including the Caribbean and Central America).”
As part of Volans’ consolidation process, the company attended the Break Bulk Exhibition in Antwerp, Belgium, last April. This event has been going on for the past 12 years, focusing on maritime cargo projects and heavy lift with the presence of carriers, owners, vessel’s operators, charterers, freight forwarders, equipment firms and even bunkering.
“Since Volans is Madrid-based, it was very important to be at this fair,” says Sanhueza. “There were 450 exhibitors and close to 10,000 visitors,” a clear argument for the importance of the fair for anyone in the shipping business. Francisco Möller and Gonzalo Fuenzalida, managers at the Spain offices, attended the fair together with local agents from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, Scandinavia and Spain.
Volans’ participation at the fair allowed the company executives to get in touch with freight forwarders, shippers and vessel brokers, among others, “which is a positive networking achievement to gain a closer view at the client’s needs and the offer we’re putting out there.”
Sanhueza also highlights that Volans was very well received at the fair, especially by people that did not know about the Condor service’s Europe-WCSA route, which turned out to be an attractive discovery for freight forwarders that needed to ship cargo to WCSA and didn’t know who to contact. Volans’ regular schedule stood out as a positive advantage along with its personalized client service, both qualities that have proven to be essential for client fidelity.
Volans Logistics’ projections
Sanhueza notes that at the event there was a palpable optimistic perception of the shipping industry’s recovery, “especially the break bulk project in South America and other industrial projects under development.” “Renewable energy will demand very specific transport conditions and that’s where we want to be.”
Jose Antonio Fuentes, Operations Manager for Volans agrees. The company has already formed part of interesting energy and transport projects, such as the Santiago underground train transport system (Metro de Santiago). “Every month we bring in eight to 10 wagons which are unloaded through TCVAL, and we also have clients in the mining industry. Right now, I’ve just returned from Callao, Peru, where we unloaded several pieces of heavy lift for the La Pampilla mining project in Peru.” Fuentes also highlights the company’s successful transport of equipment for the Quito underground train in Ecuador, with “excellent logistics and operations.”
Gabriel Sanhueza says that priorities projected are focused on “keeping our cargo base that is steel and maintain transportation of underground train wagons and project cargo.” In the renewable energy sector, the company is keeping an eye open for wind projects in southern Chile in the Puerto Montt region and others that have not been awarded yet.
“We at Volans Logistics want to become a role model for bulk, project cargo and break bulk in WCSA. We know that the competition is tough, but our punctuality and regular schedule is our strong advantage along with a deep knowledge of the shipping industry,” ends Sanhueza.