Ms. Maria Jesus Fernandez
Branch Manager, Madrid
Tell us please about the history of Continental Worldwide Logistics (CWL). When did you establish the company? Who owns it today?
Continental W. Log. is a very active logistics company in Spain. We have over 20 years of experience, great organizational skills, extensive knowledge and technical resources, and a team of professionals of high level.
The beginning goes back to 1996, when our CEO, Luis Gimeno formed the company under the name of Continental Shipping to perform tasks of an international freight forwarder but with a clear focus on consolidating maritime LCL. Globalization and the new challenges it imposed on us led us to open our office in Barcelona in 2000 and then in 2008, our Madrid office. (I opened the Madrid office, in full crisis in 2008, starting from scratch.)
Over time, we have adapted to increasingly competitive new environments, expanding our services and media technologies, and investing in training our staff to become a key supplier in the logistics chain of our customers.
Our company is 100% Spanish owned. It has several partners, but the majority partner is Luis Gimeno, our CEO.
Do you have experience in handling project cargoes? Could you perhaps provide us with some examples of cargoes that you have handled?
Yes, we have quite a lot of experience although it is not our core business. Part of our staff has experience and every year we manage several projects, we wanted to focus our efforts this year and grow in this regard. I’m leading this idea, but COVID-19 is not helping.
Our services are as follows: air (we are a IATA agent, consolidations, door to door, full charter,…) , maritime (FCL, LCL, break bulk, tank, flexitanks,…), land (consolidations services, complete and partial loads,….), customs (we are customs agents and can offer customs warehouses, customs-related service-management….) , storage (in temporary customs warehouses and in free warehouses), cross trade, and we can also handle general, dangerous and perishable goods, oversized cargo, and projects.
The times right now are quite sad with the ongoing COVID_9 virus. How is it affecting your business? Do you still have work to do relating to import & export?
As I told you last week, we are suffering a lot these days. Many companies closed. There are many unpaid accounts that we must recover. There have been many booking cancelations. We have had to stop many cargoes at origin ports. Many cargoes have already arrived, but importers can’t pay the taxes and duties, so we must move them to customs warehouses. Meanwhile, we are in a nation state of emergency.
We are living in a nightmare. There will be economic bankruptcy for 90% of the companies if this situation doesn’t change soon.
Spain has many ports. Please tell us more about them and enlighten our readers about which ports are mainly used for moving project cargoes, and also in your view, which ports are more efficient? I have noticed that there are normally quite a lot of strikes both in Barcelona and Valencia.
At this link, readers can check all the Spanish ports and their technical descriptions if they are interested.
As far as I know, 50% of what we move is general cargo, and 50% is liquid and dry bulk.
Vigo, Marín, Bilbao, Barcelona, Valencia, Algeciras, Málaga, Las Palmas, and Santa Cruz are mainly used for general cargo. The rest is used mostly for bulk cargoes, but Vigo, Bilbao, Valencia and Barcelona, are for mixed use.
As far as I remember, the projects we have handled have been through Vigo, Gijón, Bilbao, Valencia and Barcelona ports.
The main stevedore’s union has a lot of power. The need to adapt the work of Spanish stevedores to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union already caused a strike by these workers in mid-2017. The conflict ended with two Royal Decrees issued by the Government that same year and another last March. The second forced all parties to adapt the agreements to this new legal reality before December 31 of that year. It seems that the Spanish stevedores had many acquired rights that were not contemplated by the EU. I’m not sure if we have suffered more strikes after the decrees were in force.
Do you belong to any networks? If so, do you find it useful?
Yes, we do. We have a person who deals with networks and agents’ relationships.
In my humble opinion, most networks are very similar. You go to meetings and try to make relationships and meet people, in order to collaborate and close business. There are some networks that offer something different, that are proactive and really have staff working to help members and send productive information.
Is there any geographical area of the world where you have more focus? Coming from Spain, do you also have close links to Latin America?
As far as focus is concerned, I would have to say import from Asia and export to the USA, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Qatar, Malta, Morocco, and South Korea.
Yes we have close links to Latin America but not much regular traffic, except for Mexico.
If people want to get in touch with you, what are their options?
With me? Very Easy….WhatsApp, mail, telephone call, Skype, Hangouts, Linkedin…. I haven’t mastered telepathy yet, but I’m on it.