Hamburg-based COLI Schiffahrt & Transport GmbH & Co KG has been in the break bulk business for more than 35 years, gaining an enviable reputation as a specialist in transporting wind power components by sea. Felix Peinemann, Director of Shipping, explains how the company has built its success on customised solutions for the wind power industry.
PES: When was COLI established and what range of services was offered at that time?
Felix Peinemann: We have been in the break bulk business since the company was founded in 1974. At that time we started as agent for liner services handling break bulk cargo, so we look back to more than 35 years of experience in this market.
PES: How did the company and its portfolio develop from that point?
FP: Increasing globalisation led to changes of the streams of goods and the global economy had to respond and adapt these changes since the early 80s. As a result, the COLI Group realigned itself and shifted its business focus from pure liner agency services to becoming an independent shipbroker for worldwide break bulk cargo.
PES: What services does COLI currently offer, and what is special about your portfolio of services?
FP: Our focus is still on brokerage but we also provide many services in addition. For example, we can provide super cargoes with our own trained personnel. We also offer port agency services for vessels calling in regions where we have local offices. This helps to have more control and background information at load and discharging ports. Thanks to decades of experience we also offer reliable consultancy services concerning transportation at sea. This is particularly important for transportation of wind power components. We know how the individual components have to be packed, what suitable transport saddles and stacking frames have to look like, and how they need to be assembled so that they can be handled easily by the carrier and secured without problems.
We always analyse the client’s requirements, come up with a solution and on occasion provide alternatives where appropriate e.g. for the lot size, the port of loading or the port of destination, always finding the most economical routing for the client. The advantage we have as broker is that we have plenty of options when it comes to selecting the suitable vessel type. This is especially beneficial in the area of wind energy which we have now been expanding for five years, turning it into a focal point of our business.