Mr. Alec Maurey McKeon
Knowing the french propensity for not speaking English may I ask if you speak French? I understand that your company is active in both France and Algeria, how did this come about?
Only when no one is looking… more seriously I am Franco-Irish, so I speak both languages. Funny enough, close to all employees in the UK have to speak French due to the nature of our historical clients.
With regards to Algeria, there was a gap in the market in the UK for freight forwarders specialised in moving cargo to and from North Africa so we used this opportunity to export the French know how in this region. Our first major project was in 1999 with Hess Corporation in Hassi Messaoud and operations grew from there.
Do you have experience in handling project cargo? could you provide our readers with a few examples?
That’s a tricky question. Is Project Cargo moving very big heavy pieces or can we consider a rig mobilisation as a project? Our clients are mainly energy based. We constantly need to be solution driven and problem solving and communication is the foundation of mindset. And this applies on a global scale on a daily basis. To us, our whole set-up as a company and our state of mind is the ability to move any cargo of any size.
Where are your own offices established? Do you belong to any international networks currently?
Oxford is the head-quarters; then there is Paris and Marseille in France, Algiers and Hassi Messaoud for Algeria, Dubai; Tunis and Houston, Texas.
We belong to Cross Ocean Air & Sea Network and also act as agent in Algeria for some global US players.
With Algeria being one of your markets and a market that is difficult and perhaps not so well known. Tell our readers who might be interested more in detail about your experience in this country and what you can offer there regarding logistics?
We have been operating in Algeria since 1998. It is the 10th largest country in the world, the largest in Africa and its economy is largely dependent on its massive oil reserves. This means that it is very active and stable in the energy sector (its has just invested 8 billions USD over the next 5 years for major EPC projects). It also has a very administratively heavy customs clearance procedure which creates a real barrier for most exporters. This is where we provide our real added value. We have our own customs clearance license, which is uncommon in Algeria, and our offices can handle operations throughout the country. Providing DDP solutions from and to anywhere in Algeria is our bread and butter.
What is the main difficulty you face in the logistics field nowadays? Are the customers only focusing on price, do the customers prefer to book with the shipowner themselves just to same a few of the feedbacks that we got from others?
The hardest part I find is the information we are asked for in tenders. The technical part we are used to but as soon as we go into the commercial section, we are asked for rates to be held for 3 years and price grids that are not coherent. It seems these are created by people that have never done any forwarding.
What is the best way to contact you?