Jeena & Co – Mumbai, India

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Interview with

Ms. Shama Matthew
Head of Projects


When was Jeena established and who are the owners?

Jeena & Co. was established in 1900 in Mumbai, India.

To understand Jeena’s history, I would like to narrate a story.

Mr. Pallonji Katgara & Jamshedji Dastoor established Jeena in Mumbai with a start up finance of USD 75.- from a person called Jeenabhai. This finance was extended on the condition that the new company that would be formed would be in his name, i.e. Jeena.

They started clearing, shipping, and warehousing departments. Within a short span of time, they returned the money to Mr. Jeena and kept their word about the name. So, they never changed the name of the company.

Currently, the fourth generation is managing the company.

India-Mumbai Map

Where do you have your fully owned branches located in India, and where is your HQ?

Our HQ is in Mumbai, and we have more than 25 branches in India which includes offices in even the satellite cities of India.                       

India is developing its infrastructure I believe. Can you comment and tell our readers more about it; perhaps enlighten us a bit about the current progress?

India plans to spend 1.4 trillion on infrastructural developments in the next 5 years.

The National Highways of India (NHAI) is expected to generate USD 14.3 trillion from tolls and wayside amenities over the next 5 years.

In the Union budget of 20-21, the government has given a massive push for infrastructure and allocated USD 24.27 billion for the transport sector. The private sector is emerging as the main player across various infrastructure segments, ranging from roads, bridges, and highways to communication and the airports. In order to boost the construction of buildings in the country, the government of India has decided to come up with a single window clearance facility to accord speedy approval of construction projects.

384 ton boom on ship
384 ton Boom on Ship

There are many ports in your country. Which ports are mainly being used for project cargo and plant equipment in your view? How are customs nowadays in India?

So, there are 13 major ports and more than 200 minor and intermediate ports in India. Most of the project cargoes are usually moved from ports like Mumbai, Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Hazira, Kolkatta / Haldia, Vishakapatnam &  Chenai / Ennore.

With respect to the ease of doing business, Indian Customs has implemented paperless /faceless assessment of shipments this month. Trials are underway in Bengaluru and Chennai as of this date. They have also introduced online query reply in the form of instant messaging which is a very good initiative from their end.

Assembled barge loader
Assembled Barge Loader

Could you provide us with some examples of project cargoes that you have handled?

We have experience in various segments like industrial projects, EPC’s, oil & gas, manufacturing and energy.

One of the most interesting and challenging projects that we handled was last year in 2018- 2019 when we were awarded the logistic scope for a large scale project in West Africa. Our client,an EPC contractor, was awarded an EPC contract for a Bauxite mining exploration project in Guinea, West Africa.

Along with my seniors, I travelled twice to Guinea to understand the customs,                   port, and infrastructural modalities at destination and to identify potential agents to partner with, since our scope was door delivery and the final site was more than 150 kms from the port of Conakry.

We moved about 550 x 40 HC containers and tons of air freight over a period of 1.5 years.

And for the last part of the contract, we had to move a Barge Loader (in dismantled condition) to Guinea. We shipped out 2 HL’s of 384 tons (Main boom – photo 1) & 154 tons (Slew deck –photo 2) respectively, and in total 9500 FRT in one ship. A heavy lift vessel was booked by us on an inducement basis, and part of the contract was to “offload and install” the cargoes onto the client’s private jetty in Kamsar.

For this, we undertook a feasibility study of the routes, engaged SPMT’s, and                   had regular technical discussions with the client’s and shipowner’s engineering team overseas through VC’s for close to 4 months, resulting in a very successful operation. See photos of the cargoes getting loaded at load port in India, and the last one is of the fully assembled Barge Loader on the client’s jetty, the assembly of which was done by the ship’s cranes.

The project was commissioned in 3 months, and you can see the assembled  Barge Loader at work in Guinea (refer to photo 3).

154 ton barge loader slewdeck
154 ton Barge Loader Slewdeck

I believe that airfreight is also a speciality of Jeena. Is that correct?

Yes, that is correct. Jeena & Co is one of the top IATA companies in India. We are a dominant player in the air freight industry in India.

Last year, we executed a very prestigious project for which we air freighted cargoes in 12 Antonovs from India to Niamey in Niger for a government contract. The total tonnage was 770 tons and 7500 cbm of cargo.

Air charter project
Air Charter Project

Do you need a licence to establish a freight forwarding company in India? Why did you choose this career path and for how long have you worked in logistics?

Yes, we need an MTO Licence to establish a freight forwarding company.

My father was working in a Mumbai port in a high ranking position, and from childhood, I was used to seeing trailers, ships, and containers. I felt naturally drawn to this line.

I worked with a mainline container carrier for 6 years and then forayed into forwarding 18 years back and project forwarding 14 years ago to be precise.

A view inside the airplane of an air charter
A View Inside the Airplane of an Air Charter

How is it best for people to reach you?

My email I.D. is smathew@jeena.co.in. Just write me a mail, and I will unfailingly respond.