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Martin Bencher SAS – Marseille, France

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Interview with

Mr. Floris Schorsch
Managing Director

Floris Schorsc

First of all, Floris, please tell our readers about your shipping background.  I understand you have a past with CMA CGM. And before that? What made you enter a career of shipping and freight forwarding originally?

I have always been attracted to the sea. My father was a seaman. Logically at 19, I joined the Merchant Marine High School in Le Havre. I became an officer (deck & engine). I started my career at CMA CGM sailing on-board container ships. After four years, I joined the CMA CGM head office where I held several positions, including four years as owner’s rep in Ukraine and Chile. From 2007 to 2001, I managed and developed the project cargo division at CMA CGM. I then started working closely with project freight forwarders.

When did you establish Martin Bencher France, and how is the ownership distributed?

I created MARTIN BENCHER FRANCE in 2011 in a JV 50/50 with the MARTIN BENCHER GROUP. I always wanted to run my own business. It was the right moment and the perfect opportunity.

You have, no doubt, handled a lot of project cargoes, but is there a specific project that you would like to highlight for our readers?

There are a good many stories for sure.

Back in 2014, we gained our biggest single contract for the O&G industry. A 10M Euros contract representing about 20 part charters (mostly last in first out). All shipments were completed within six months.

It was intense. We are still working with that customer, so we must have done a good job.

There is a large French-speaking population in Canada, and many French-speaking ex-colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. Does it mean that you also have business and projects to those areas or are you totally “international”?

We are totally international. We have, of course, some good opportunities in those areas thanks to historical ties and language.

How do you find working with the shipowners nowadays?  Do you also see a change in the sense that some shipowners now want to be a “one stop shop and freight forwarders, too”?

I enjoy working with shipowners a lot. Coming from their “side”, I understand them quite well.

We can observe this tendency from shipowners to offer freight forwarding services. Yet, the jobs are quite different. The freight forwarders still have a card to play, being close to their customers and offering tailor-made services.

In a conservative French market, how can you compete with the “big boys”, and what makes you stand out in your view?

Our small structure (8 people) gives us a lot of agility and reactivity.

We have close follow-up on all our files.

We are also a recognized player for chartering and heavy lifts.

I understand that you are also looking at opening other Mediterrenean markets.  Can you tell us more?

We opened MB Spain six months ago as the market conditions were favorable there. We are always open to opportunities.

How should people get in touch with you?

By email: Floris.Schorsch@Martin-Bencher.com
By tel: +33 4 8425 5075