Q&A with Manfred Müller
CEO of EMS-Fehn-Group
Tell us a bit about the history of Global Boat Shipping as part of EMS-Fehn Group. When was this particular branch established and what was the reason for its establishment?
The projects department of EMS Chartering started with yacht transport more than 20 years ago. With increasing volumes it seemed prudent to put the business in the hands of a specialized team and form a company solely dealing with the yacht transports. Both companies work still closely together and often join their assets for special projects.
Do you operate own or chartered tonnage and do you operate certain established routes and services?
Global Boat Shipping (GBS) has first access to the fleets of Fehn Ship Management and NTO Shipping, both members of EMS-Fehn-Group. For worldwide shipments GBS uses Multi-Purpose Vessels (MPV) and increasingly, container lines in order to offer competitive prices as well as regular schedules.
Yachts are highly sensitive and expensive goods, what makes you a specialist in this field?
Unquestionably our greatest asset is the experience of the GBS team. In the past 20 years the company shipped boats and yachts ranging in size from small tender boats and large super yachts to racing yachts worth millions of dollars. Add to that the experience within EMS-Fehn-Group, which covers road transport with special equipment by Europatrans, EMS Chartering’s experience in project cargo and the highly trained staff for cargo handling in our port terminal operating companies.
Can you give us a few examples of yachts and boats that you have transported recently?
Our latest project is the transport of a super yacht built in Taiwan, which is currently under way to the Mediterranean. At the moment we also have a sailing yacht northbound from Spain to Scandinavia, several motor yachts southbound from the North Continent to the Mediterranean and boats from Germany to the Far East.
What specific requirements are there for yacht transport? Does price matter, or is quality and safety of more concern to the owners these days?
To make your customer happy you have to find the right balance. Price is always a major factor, but when quality and safety comes into play there is a boundary we do not cross. There is nothing worse for a customer, who is eagerly awaiting his yacht for a well-deserved vacation, to find it has scratches, dents and broken windows.
How do you find your customers, are they both owners of yachts and freight forwarders?
We do have lot of customers who do business with us on a regular base – both private owners and from the yacht industry. That makes us especially proud because we are interested in long-term relations with customers and our service providers. Word of mouth is very important for us, because that shows us that our customers are satisfied with our services. We attend the major boat shows and do some advertising, which generates new clients.
I can see from your website that you have operations in the Balkans, tell us a bit about your activities there.
EMS-Fehn-Group has three companies in the Balkans:
- EMS Albanian Port Operator (EMS APO) operates the East Terminal in the port of Durres, Albania’s major port and a gateway to the Southern Balkans.
- German Albanian Logistics Agency (GALA) is a logistics company based in Durres, which offers a wide variety of services. GALA acts as agent for shipping companies and organises a lot of transshipments from Durres to Kosovo and Macedonia via road transport.
- In Skopje we have EMS German Balkan Logistics which acts as close partner for GALA and organises transports in and through Macedonia especially for German companies.
How many years have you worked for EMS-Fehn-Group and how did you end up there?
I have been CEO of EMS-Fehn-Group for almost 10 years now. I worked in the leading position for several companies worldwide before I joined EMS-Fehn-Group as co-owner.
Over the last ten years EMS-Fehn-Group has grown from a shipping company into a group of companies that covers everything in logistics: We have ships, we have trucks and trailers for special cargo, we have equipment for yacht transports, we have port cranes, we have warehouses. But shipping is still in our genes.
If a potential customer wishes to get a rate for a particular shipment from your company how should they proceed?
EMS-Fehn-Group contains all-in-all 19 companies that cover the complete value chain in transport – from storage to sea transport. The best way to find out who can help you finding a solution for your inquiry is to:
Call EMS-Fehn-Group headquarters in Leer: +49 491 928150 or