Mr. Christopher Taylor Pollmann
Executive Vice President
Tell us a bit about your company history in Chile. How many years have you worked there yourself?
Our company has been in the industry for 52 years. It was founded by Mr. Ian B Taylor in Valparaiso in 1965. I have been active in various areas of the company since 2001. Ian Taylor started as a shipping agency company, but through the years has developed different businesses, so we can say that we are more than a shipping agency, we are an integral cargo service provider.
What are the main activities, or shall we say core business of your company today? Can you give us a brief overview of your group? Do you have offices outside of Chile?
As I highlighted before, over the years we have developed a variety of additional services – all transport related – that add value to our core business. As such additional services, I can mention the most relevant ones: our brokerage division (fishmeal and bunkers), fleet (pilot boats and tugs) and logistics operations (ocean, air and land transport and depot services) which are mainly focused on project cargoes, liquid bulk, and roro cargoes. We cover Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia with our own offices.
Chile is an incredibly long-stretched country. Tell us about the distances from north to south and give us an overview of the ports that are active and for which kind of commodity said port (s) are generally known.
As you mention, Chile is quite a long country. It stretches over 5,000 kilometers and its geography goes from the desserts in the north to the subpolar weather in Punta Arenas, so in terms of commodities you can find a few! Just to be brief, I can say that the north of Chile is focused on minerals (copper, iron ore and non-metalic), in the central area of Chile the main production is fruit, fish, and timber and in the south it is lamb (meat, wool, leather) and oil and gas.
We are active along the entire Chilean coast, with offices in all the main ports, such as Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, San Antonio, Concepción Bay, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas.
As you can see, Chile’s main exports are raw commodities, so more than 90% of the manufactured products are imported. The main ports for this are Iquique, Valparaíso and San Antonio.
Can you organize transshipment via Chilean ports to other South American countries? Are there any customs headaches connected with this kind of transshipment? How about customs clearance in Chile, in general, how does it work?
Yes, we can. As a matter of fact, all the cargoes we handle to Bolivia (Arica and Iquique) arrive via Chilean ports and have to be transshipped (via land operations). Chile is not considered a hub for transshipments, so it is not a common practice, but in some particular cases as the aforementioned or for some cargoes coming or going to Paraguay and some parts of Argentina, we handle transshipments without any problems.
About customs (this seems to be a trending topic nowadays!) I can say that even though there is always a possibility that things can go wrong, customs clearance in Chile is not complicated and very swift if all the paperwork is in order and presented in time. Chile’s regulations make it mandatory (in over 90% of the cases) to use the services of a certified Customs Broker, so paperwork should not be an issue. My suggestion is that when in doubt, ask for local Chilean customs information beforehand. The same applies to transshipment cargoes: if done correctly from the beginning, it should not be a problem.
Chile is generally recognized as the country in South America with the most transparent government and least amount of corruption. Is that a true picture of today’s situation in Chile from a businessman’s point of view?
It is. Even though there has been some negative publicity due to some public corruption cases, these are isolated cases and do not represent the general business atmosphere in Chile. You can be sure that Chile is and will continue to be a country in which you want to do business.
Have you handled project cargoes in Empresas Taylor?
Yes, we have. Directly or via one of our principals (BBC Chartering) we are always involved in high and heavy cargoes. For example, we have done windmill projects, gas tanks for ALMA Observatory, a Methane Plant relocation and mining trucks transportation.
Can you give any good advice to anyone wanting to transport project cargo (or other cargoes) to/from Chile?
That is always a tricky one. With oversized cargoes, be very careful on the discharge port, especially regarding height, width and weight as many ports in Chile are surrounded by cities. Also, daylight transportation, police escorts, and permits are a thing to be evaluated in advance.
The World’s biggest industry is tourism – where would you as a local recommend our readers to go in Chile (if wanting to go off the beaten track) as a tourist?
I would definitely recommend the Punta Arenas area (Torres del Paine – Magellan Strait). If you prefer dessert climate and clear skies, San Pedro de Atacama. If you want to go “adventure mode on”, my suggestion is the beaches in the north of Chile (Arica-Iquique-Antofagasta area) or a flyfishing trip to the south (there are very nice fishing lodges available). For the former you should rent a 4×4 SUV, for the later, there are good facilities and you can enjoy some trekking as well. If you like good wine, close to Santiago (2hrs drive) there are some really good wineries that have their own hotels.
How to get in touch with you for a quote or further information about your company?
ask for myself or Mr. Philipp von Meyenn