Shipping Agent Liburnia Maritime Agency in the former Yugoslavia

Q&A with Mr. Marin Skufca
Project Manager, Chartering

Tell us about the background of Liburnia and whether the name of the company has a special meaning. Tell us about where in the Balkans you are active.

Liburnia was established in 2004 primarily as owner’s agent, and since the very beginning we represented all major heavylift shipowners in Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. At the same time we also started our Chartering activities, with focus on project and heavylift cargoes. 5 years ago, because of market demand, we established an in-house freight forwarding department, and IMO cargo department. Today we’re proud to be able to control cargo flow from door to door using in-house know how.

Liburnia is the micro region where we are all from and live and work.

What are your main activities in shipping?

Our main activity today is project chartering and freight forwarding. Most of the company revenue is coming from chartering activities. We’re proud to have the reference of handling big projects worldwide! Our business activity is not limited only to the Balkans. For example we had a big shipment of 3 tugs, each 750 metric tons from Korea to Iraq. For the purpose of good preparation and safe loading we had a team on site for more than one month. Port agency activities remain very important as well.

Who are the owners of the company today?

Liburnia is a privately owned company. We are three partners, all being involved in Liburnia’s daily business.

Former Yugoslavia now consists of several independent countries, does that make your business more or less difficult than before?

It is difficult to make a comparison. Yugoslavia hasn’t existed for more than 25 years. The entire industry has changed since then, especially ways of communication. Furthermore, many companies disappeared and new ones were formed. Commercial relations between countries are good and there are no obstacles to do business.

Do you speak the same language in the Balkans?

Yes, we do speak the same language, except with Slovenia and Kosovo, but we still understand each other, so I can say there’s no language barrier.

Tell us about some of the clients that you regularly provide shipping agency services to.

As port agents we represent major heavylift shipowners today. We also represent BP in Croatia. Our main clients on the cargo side are Siemens, Trafigura, Emerson, INA Mol group, etc.

Do you also handle project cargo to/from the Balkans and can you give us a few examples of projects that you have handled?

We have handled numerous projects. IMO cargo for example is constantly handled from Bosnia or Serbia. There are many projects coming to Croatia or leaving out of Croatia by river, passing Serbia on the way to the Black Sea. One of the nicest projects was a shipment of 2 coke chambers from Italy to Sisak, Croatia where we handled the full scope from factory all the way to site with cargo passing through Romania and Serbia on it’s way. For the purpose of safe discharging we even built a pier in Sisak.

Kindly provide contact details for each region where you are active.

It depends what kind of request we will receive. Your readers can direct their requests to agency@liburniamar.hr which is our main email and we will filter it and pass the same to the proper persons.

When did you start your career in shipping?  Tell us a bit about yourself and your own shipping background.

I graduated from the Economy of Shipping at Faculty of Maritime studies in Rijeka. By coincidence Liburnia was established at the same time and my present colleague Capt. Danko Crncevic was seeking a young talent. He asked for help at university, and as my final thesis was very good, they recommended me and changed my life. Today I’m a partner in the company and after 13 years of hard work we’re proud to have one of the strongest companies in the region. I was happy to have one of the biggest professionals in the industry, Capt. Danko Crncevic as a mentor. I also kept good relations with faculty, and for several years now I have been holding classes in chartering and the economy of shipping.


Interviewee:
Marin Skufca
Project Manager, Chartering
marin@liburniamar.hr
Liburnia Maritime Agency Ltd.
http://www.liburniamar.hr/