CTO Global Logistics – Sydney, Australia

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Interview with

Mrs. Bronwen Grabe

Project Manager
Mrs. Bronwen Grabe

Tell us about the history of CTO Global Logistics. Where are you currently located worldwide with own offices, and who are the owners?

CTO is a long-standing brand of excellence in the international shipping industry. CTO Group is an International Freight Forwarding Company, which was founded in Milan in 1974 by Mr. Francesco S. Uria with the name of Compagnia Trasporti Oltremare, an exotic Italian name remembering the trades of the old merchant ships.

Since the very beginning, CTO’s DNA is the natural easiness to operate in the world as the only playground, developing international tailormade solutions to our clients, with dedication, passion and flexibility.

In over 4 decades the Group has intensified its activities by opening its infrastructures abroad, first in the Far East region in the 80s and 90s and subsequently in South America, Europe and Australia. Today the Group boasts a widespread presence in Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Brazil, China, Korea and Australia.

CTO Global has developed a complete supply chain solution through years of satisfying customers’ needs for any specialised Projects and General Cargo. Not only does CTO Global provide world-wide multi-modal freight forwarding it also offers Customs Brokerage & Consultancy, Quarantine Services, 3PL, Local Transport including Transparent Technology. 

How about your career in shipping and logistics? When did it start and how come you ended up in this line of business?

In 2006, I started my first role within the freight forwarding industry as an export sea freight operator for a company which was then called Halford Yong, which has since been acquired by Mainfreight. During my first two years within the freight forwarding industry, I managed to master the skills of Import/Export Sea and Air Freight.

It was at the end of 2007 when I started a new position at a project freight forwarder, handling shipments of steel strapping which were used by the aluminium smelters to load/unload the aluminium ingots to/from the bulk ships. 

Not long after I started my new role, I knew that Project shipping is what I wanted to do and soon my job became my passion.

It has now been over ten years that I have been in a project shipping role and during these years I now have a demonstrated history in the negotiation, tendering and management of multimillion-dollar projects within Australia for the Mining, Construction, Renewable, Oil & Gas and Infrastructure sectors and have worked with some major stakeholders over the past decade.

What do you like about this job?

The best part of my job is that no day is the same.

I love the challenges that come along with shipping large over-dimensional cargo and finding the solutions. On completion of each project, it is also very rewarding to see the result and the benefits and impacts it each project has for the country.

Could you provide our readers with a few examples of project cargo that you have moved? is there a specific project that you are proud of having handled in particular?

Below you will find some images and articles of some projects that I have handled. To answer your question, I am very proud of every project I have handled, especially knowing that these projects will have such major impacts and benefits to our community and our environment. It is also very rewarding to drive along the roads and see the results of making all the hard work even more satisfying.

West Melbourne Terminal Station Upgrade Project, I have been awarded the contract to handle the logistics of 3 x 165t Transformers + 1200m3 of Oversized Cases of which the second unit will be arriving into Melbourne on the 25th August 2019.

West Melbourne Terminal Station Upgrade Project

Stockyard Hill Windfarm – For this project, I have handled the logistics of 1 x 05t Transformer tank + Cases and 4 x 115T transformers which were shipped from China/India to Geelong and Melbourne Port in Victoria, Australia.

The 305t Transformer Tank made the headlines in Australia as this was Australia’s largest ever transformer.

Toshiba transformer transport to australia.
The 305t Transformer Tank

Bayswater Power Station upgrade secures additional energy supply for NSW – 305 T Generator Inner Cage and 130 Over-Sized Cases at 600 T / 1500 m3

Bayswater Power Station upgrade
Bayswater Power Station upgrade
Bayswater Power Station upgrade

Victoria Roads Upgrade – 1300 Tons / 3000 CBM of Steel Beams from Vietnam to Melbourne!AjUc1xXYR-1DaAMztAEC3zrfpWU

Victoria Roads Upgrade
Victoria Roads Upgrade


CTO are pleased to share the successful transfer of a mobile harbour crane (MHC) with a weight of 313tns.

The crane was moved from the pier of the Port of Vila do Conde in the North of Brazil to a river barge. The operation was performed using two cranes from a breakbulk vessel working in combination to lift the MHC, load it on board, rotate the vessel and unload the equipment on to the barge.

You also will find the link to our mowie of the last project shipment for Heineken:



POD: Rio de Janeiro
OOG piece – Brewing equipment
Dimensions: 695 x 460 x 476 cm
The over dimensional crate was shipped from the Port of Antwerp to the Port of Rio de Janeiro as breakbulk cargo via a container ship. Time constraints meant the arrival at the port of Rio de Janeiro coincided with the Rio de Janeiro Carnival period and thanks to the high standard of assistance from the CTO team, the item was successfully delivered to the importers plant safely, on time and within budget.


Are you a member of any networks currently or do you find members on a case by case members to work with abroad?

CTO Global – Australia, belongs to Cross Ocean Network and TPF. CTO Global – Brazil belongs to PLA and PCN & PPG.

What are the biggest challenges in being a project freight forwarder nowadays in your own words?

In Australia, and especially in Victoria, I find that the road authorities are our biggest challenges to overcome. Just to give you an example, it took the Victorian Road Authorities more than ten months to issue us a permit to move the 305t Transformer from Port to Site. A bridge assessment only was up to AUD20k each, there were about nine bridges we had to assess and then there was the traffic management fee, which came to about AUD 600k.

How to get in touch with you?

A: 1/3 Box Road, Taren Point NSW 2229 – Australia / PO Box 2582, Taren Point NSW 2229
P: +61 2 9349-3940

Gavan Gordon
General Manager
M: +61 411-641-115
Skype: gavangordon

Bronwen Grabe
Project Manager
M: +61 424-264-146
Skype: Bronwen Grabe

CTO Global Logistics