Mr. Avi Bochbot
First of all Avi, what can you tell us about the company UBL? When was it inaugurated, who owns it, and where do you have offices currently?
Ultimate Business Logistics Ltd. (UBL) was established in 2004 as a member of the Krief Group.
Our company specializes in providing logistics services for commercial cargo businesses in the international delivery sector and uses a ONE STOP SHOP business model. The Group is among the country’s top five leading companies in this field. The company provides a full array of import and export services whether by air or ocean as well as handling customs clearance and logistics.
We provide project-forwarding services to industrial clients and EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) companies. We serve buyers and suppliers of large industrial goods, heavy and over-dimensional equipment and modules.
As a leader in the international transport market, Ultimate Business Logistics Ltd. maintains a constant focus on both technical and product innovation and remains true to a single core value: the product must be delivered quickly, securely, and on time.
Ultimate Business Logistics Ltd. has four main offices: Head Office in Ashdod next to the port, city of Tel Aviv, Haifa Port, and Ben-Gurion airport.
Our team of experts in this crucial market is made of professionals with many years of experience.
Professionalism, honesty and integrity are the hallmarks of our team, ensuring that our clients’ trust and business is in the best of hands.
Can you elaborate for our viewers about the ports of Israel? Tell us about the main ports used for import/export please.
In Israel there are 6 sea ports :
- Ashdod port – governmental port and the biggest port in the country, mostly for import.
- Ashdod Darom (South) port – private port opened in 2022 and currently in a pilot scheme, mainly import.
- Haifa port – governmental port which was privatized 2 months ago and sold to the Adani Group. Haifa is the 2nd biggest port in the country, mostly for EXPORT.
- Haifa Hamifratz (Bay) port – private port owned by a Chinese company and currently in a pilot scheme, mainly import.
- Haifa Shipyard port – private port – especially for breakbulk.
- Eilat port – located at the southern point of Israel on the Red Sea – private port mainly used for vehicles.
In Israel, there is a big capacity for operations in these 6 modern ports which will increase import/export traffic in the upcoming future.
Furthermore, there is a unique inland transportation process to connect Israel to the Emirates via roads, a new attractive market which should help Israel become a hub for the EMEA region.
Do you have experience in handling project cargoes, and if so, could you give our readers a few examples of cargoes you have handled?
As a matter of fact, UBL is considered the biggest expert in sophisticated logistics projects with proven experience for :
- Offshore explorations logistics—such as we have handled for the Oil, Gas & Energy industry (with special rigs such as jack-up ,semi-submersible, ultra-deep), including warehouse, pier operations, shore base, manpower and trading.
- Infrastructure projects—such as Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem light railways including moving wagons, TBM, rails etc. power stations projects,
- Charters (ocean and airfreight) for the Defense and governmental industry, etc.
- We have a special service for chemicals, flexi-tanks, and iso-tank operations as a proven choice of the biggest chemicals companies.
- Trading activities—such as local purchase and client sourcing.
Customs clearance: is that difficult in Israel?
Israel has a very advanced customs system as all records go through EDI, so the customs brokers must all have adequate IT systems.
UBL has invested a lot of resources in its IT systems to be able to provide the best customs services available in the market.
On top of the customs clearance, Israel enforces unique standards of import legality through the Israeli Standards Institute. Shipments which follow the US or European standards must apply for permits and authorizations issued by the Israeli Standards regulations.
There are plenty of customs clearance companies in Israel. However, we employ the top classifier experts in the country (including several classifier speaking English, Spanish, Italian, German, Arabic, Chinese and Russian) and proven knowledge in mechanics, telecommunication, chemicals and physics.
Thanks to our experience, we help our clients qualify for monetary refunds from the Customs Authorities on their shipments as our top classifier and customs broker has served as a long-time expert in many cases.
Do you have a good relationship to ZIM Lines? We know them as a worldwide carrier, and it could be that some of our readers would like to get rates from them. Could this be done via you?
Yes of course; we have an excellent relationship with ZIM Lines management in Israel, and we can support anyone in need for quotation and service with this shipping line.
The President of ZIM, Mr. Glickman and the VP of Global Sales, Mr. Teitelbaum are good friends of the Chairman of our Board, Mr. Krief. We are proud to declare that we and ZIM have worked on successful projects together over the years.
Do you currently belong to any networks, and if so, can you explain why you think it is a good idea?
UBL belongs to the Cross Ocean network. I have found that our mutual cooperation is valuable to share knowledge, ability and projects between the network’s members. For example, we recently succeeded in handling with the network heavy machinery from Germany, Turkey, USA and New Zealand to Israel to benefit all parties.
Some shipowners nowadays are NOT freight forwarder friendly but rather wish to cut out the “middle man” and try to do it all themselves. Is that also happening in Israel, and what is your stance on this?
It’s true that the shipowners may approach the freight forwarders’ customers and offer them their services directly. The freight forwarders in Israel need to provide excellent, professional solutions and invaluable services in order to stay relevant in this challenging market.
Ultimately, for the last mile of customs clearance and the inland transportation process, the freight forwarders are still the experts to provide this service.
However, the competition pushes us to be better and more customer-oriented, especially for break-bulk and projects where we have a well-known reputation which helps the customers feel comfortable choosing UBL as their logistics provider.
How many years have you been active in shipping & logistics?
I have more than 25 years of experience in the field of shipping & logistics, including being an El-Al (Israeli airline) and DHL executive for many years.
How would it be best for our readers to reach you?