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AsstrA Forwarding – Romania

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Interview with

Mr. Pawel Iwanow-Kolakowski
Logistics & General Manager

Pawel Iwanow-Kolakowski

First off could you explain to our readers about the background and history of AsstrA?   Who are the owners of the company?  Where are your offices located abroad?

AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG, headquartered in Switzerland, is represented in 23 countries with 30 offices across Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS, Asia, and the USA. AsstrA has been a reliable partner in the logistics and transportation services market for over 25 years. We offer comprehensive services associated with the international shipping industry across all modes of transport including air, FCL, FTL, break-bulk and chartering, import and export support, customs clearance, warehousing and consolidation and cargo insurance.

Our highly qualified and dedicated staff identify the best logistics solutions for our customers’ requirements and scope based on their individual needs. In addition, our Industrial Project Logistics unit will create, design and develop bespoke project logistics solutions packages, taking into account project budget, geographical, political, climatical and ecological factors, marshaling/consolidation opportunities and project scheduling.

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Do you have experience in handling project and oversized cargoes?  Could you provide our readers with a few examples of project cargoes that you have handled recently internationally or to/from Romania?

1. Relocation of woodworking factory (Poznan & Magdeburg offices)
Route: Bischweier  (DE) – Rivne (UA)

Cargo: Woodworking equipment

Dimensions of biggest parts:
12 pieces x 856 x 856 x 440      45,0 – 96,0 tons each
+ 800 FTL
+ 250 another OOG

AsstrA services:
Custom formalities for whole shipment (more than 1.000 trucks)
Route survey, crane & loading operations in the port of Rhine (Kehl), delivery by road, river barge & sea transports from Kehl (DE) to Odessa (UA)
Road transports from port of Odessa and direct deliveries to Rivne (UA)

2. AsstrA moves trains on the road (Poznan office)
Route: Poland (different loading places) – Berlin (DE) / Budapest (HU)

Cargo: Train wagons

80 wagons x 2656 x 280 x 445 (15,0 each)
20 wagons x 2656 x 300 x 445 (55,0 to each)

AsstrA services:
Delivery by road incl. route survey & obstacles, engineering support, project pending from 2018

3. Project shipments: wood-chip production plant
Route: Spain – Portugal – Bulgaria

Cargo: Wood-chip production plant

+100 OOG pieces:
up to 5m high & 5.5m width

Transportation scheme:
Road to Leixoes port – part cargo to Varna – Road onforwarding to delivery site

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Romania has a strategic location in the Black Sea Region. Tell us about the ports of your country. Also, as I understand it, you have the possibility of moving cargo via the River Danube into other European countries.

As a main port we, of course, have to mention the ports of Constanta, Braila, and Galati.

River barging is a part of the logistics chain which is an extremely useful tool. By the way, we see continued development of barges being used for local and international shipments from Constanta to ports along the Danube river, Main-Danube Canal, Rhine and other rivers and canals. Thus, we have a connection between Constanta – Hamburg – Rotterdam (ARAG ports)

How is the Corona situation right now in Romania, and does it have an impact on shipping?

We are happy that an obligation to wear masks is no longer in force…So we are enjoying some “ease on strict regulations”.

As far as we understand, there is no longer a huge impact by the Corona topic on our daily routine. We truly hope pandemic stories will have no more new waves in the country and across the world.

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Do you feel that the current situation regarding Russian/Ukraine has an impact on shipping to/from or via the Black Sea?

Indeed there is a huge impact. For example, lines which used to call at Odessa or other Ukrainian ports are relocating to Constanta. A lot of containers have been shifted to Constanta and are then trying to find a way to Ukraine by road, rail or again to mention here river barging.

Using the river helps a lot at the moment since Ukrainian ports on the Danube are directly connected to Constanta, Galati, Braila as well as to other countries (Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands).

The situation created a lot of problems but at the same time a lot of opportunities. So we are trying to help each client with whatever need they have.

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What gives AsstrA a competitive advantage in the logistics market?

First of all, we have a professional team comprised of experienced people. Each person is given specific tasks according to their knowledge. In addition, there are many of us. At the moment, there are over 1200 people in AsstrA all over the world.

Geography is another plus. As we mentioned already, e have very good coverage: 23 countries, 30 offices.

We provide a wide selection of services.Besides all means of transport, we handle extra services like insurance, storage, organization of containers, tanks, flexi, etc. And we are ready to develop what our customers need. Once a client needs something new, we create a tool for them.

AsstrA believes in constant growth. We regularly develop our global network by adding new locations.

As a result of the above, clients remain with AsstrA and recommend us. We are pleased to say that top-rated clients with worldwide activities remain with us for many years

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How is it best to reach you?

Pawel Iwanow-Kolakowski
Country Manager Romania
Polish, English, Russian

Asstra Forwarding Romania SRL
Tel: +40 31 6201 580
Mobile: +40 749 119 386

Website: https://asstra.ro/