Capt. Umur Ugurlu
Head of Project Department
First of all, could you tell us a bit about your history? I understand that LAM is the abbreviation of Lyonel A. Makzume. Where is your head office located, and who are the owners today?
We are a family company with both a family and corporate culture. The company was founded by Lyonel A. Makzume in 1944 in Iskenderun, Turkey. Today, the group’s HQ is based in Istanbul, Turkey, overseeing a group of companies and its own presence in 11 countries.
In which countries are you currently active, and do you handle all kinds of logistical work?
Alphabetically, we are present in Azerbaijan, Egypt, France, Georgia, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, and the USA. We offer various services in each country from shipping to logistics.
I understand from your website that your company first started as a shipping agency. Do you still perform shipping agency functions, and do you represent some regular shipping lines currently?
Yes, we still act as ship agents in 5 countries (Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt) today and hopefully more in the near future. We represent liners in all types of shipping activities, i.e. container liners, PCC liners, as well as NVOCCs.
Noting that you are active in Azerbaijan, which we all know is an oil-rich country, how do you foresee business in the Caspian Sea this year? What is the best gateway for getting cargo into the Caspian Sea region?
We see the future of the activities in the Caspian Sea as normal. We do not expect an increase of activities, but we believe the States of the Caspian will continue to steadily improve the infrastructure within the energy industry. The oil crisis will temporarily affect certain projects but not all. Project Cargo can arrive via the Volga-Don river way system and more narrow pieces and containers can travel via Georgian ports.
In Turkey, the market is seemingly crawling with shipping agents and freight forwarders. How do you manage to stand out in Turkey?
Our reputation is our best asset. You are unfortunately right. There are too many actors in shipping and freight forwarding. A lot of these companies are unfortunately staining the reputation of the country. Fortunately, old and new companies with great management are still available in Turkey
Are you currently a member of any international networks or international organisations?
Yes we are, and we also rely a lot on our own network acquired with time and experience.
Have you had experience in handling project cargoes before, either as freight forwarder or shipping agent? Also, could you perhaps provide us with a few examples of such?
Both as freight forwarder and as ship agent we have had experience handling many project cargoes, and most of the time, we are combining both shipping agency and freight forwarding. As LAM, we handled a few projects to the Maghreb region and one important project for an international non-profit organisation to South Sudan via East African port last year. Today our JV ‘ Sinotrans Makzume ‘ is also regularly handling project cargoes in our region.
What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?