Works of Art – On the Road

1,000 works of art from 100 countries – NordArt, an exhibition held at Büdelsdorf near Rendsburg, is regarded one of Europe’s biggest annual displays of contemporary art. This summer, Mongolia is represented with its own art pavilion. Militzer & Münch transported the exhibits from the capital of Mongolia to Büdelsdorf in Schleswig-Holstein.

Art is known to transcend borders. At Militzer & Münch, this is what happens literally. The company transported over 50 exhibits from Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, to Büdelsdorf. It took the 40-ton truck 16 days to cover the 9,000 kilometers via Russia to the NordArt exhibition area. A long trip for the delicate exhibits. A logistical challenge: the different sizes and materials of the works of art. The collection comprises traditional portrait paintings but also installations, such as from tree branches and cable binders. Militzer & Münch is experienced in handling sensitive exhibits: several times already, the company has delivered works of art to NordArt.

Diplomatic Status for Installations

The Mongolian Embassy in Berlin, the Mongolian Ministry of Trade and the German Foreign Office supported the transport. Thus, it was possible to ship the exhibits as diplomatic cargo, which simplified border formalities. Only once did the voyage come to a halt: at the Belarusian border, the truck was stuck in a long queue for four days because of the Easter holidays. Despite a slight delay, Militzer & Münch was still able to meet the schedule. After 16 days, the works of art created by 23 artists reached Büdelsdorf as planned. Which proves that art can, in fact, transcend borders.

NordArt runs through October 13 at Büdelsdorf.

Regular Maghreb Traffics

The Turkish Militzer & Münch organization now offers regular traffics to customers with exports to the Maghreb. Every Friday and Saturday, the team transports textile products and shipments for other industry sectors to Morocco and Tunisia. The freight is consolidated in Istanbul, but the goods come from all over Turkey.

“So far, we are transporting mainly textile products to the Maghreb countries, i.e. fabrics, sewing threads, zippers and buttons”, says Alex Sandalcidis, Deputy Managing Director of Militzer & Münch Turkey. “It’s one of Turkey’s major export industries. But on this trade route, we also offer transports for all other industries, for example for the automotive sector.”

Exports From All Over Turkey

“Many orders are destined for Morocco and Tunisia, and we are increasingly shipping to Oran in Algeria,” says Alex Sandalcidis. “The goods are picked up at numerous Turkish points of origin and transported to Istanbul. At our new logistics facility, we prepare them for export. Every Friday and Saturday, we truck the consolidated freight to Vitrolles or Lyon, our French trans-shipment stations for Maghreb traffics.”

On these transports, Alex Sandalcidis and his team cooperate closely with the colleagues from Militzer & Münch in France, Morocco and Tunisia. “In most cases, the goods are not pre-sorted according to destination – the colleagues from Militzer & Münch France do the sorting”, says Alex Sandalcidis. “Then begins the last leg of the transport. We deliver shipments destined for Morocco via Algeciras, Spain, to the colleagues in Tangiers and Casablanca; they then deliver them to their final destinations in Rabat, Meknes, Fes and other Moroccan cities.”

Via RoRo to Tunisia

Tunisia-bound shipments reach the ports of Radès and Sousse via RoRo (cf. info box). “From there, we transport them door-to-door to their destinations”, Alex Sandalcidis says. “Customs clearance is done by the consignees.” The transports usually only take ten days. On their return trip, the trucks deliver goods to France.

RoRo in a Nutshell

RoRo is short for the English logistics term roll on – roll off, where the loaded trucks / trailers and railway cars roll on board the vessel. This transport option is relatively fast and flexible. Moreover, it goes easy on the freight as there is no trans-loading at the port.

Classic RoRo vessels are specifically designed as ferries for rolling goods. Their loading decks comprise the entire length of the vessel; for loading and unloading, trucks or train cars can be driven directly on or off board via the bow, side and stern portholes. So-called ConRo vessels transport not only trucks and train wagons, but also containers.

Sweets for Uzbekistan

Yulduz Babajanova, Head of Project Management, Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan, ensured the smooth transport.

Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan has handled a first big project for Crafers, a sweets manufacturer. The order comprised 56 full truck loads (FTL) – machinery from Europe worth about USD ten million. For the export, the Uzbekistan team cooperated with partners in Lithuania.

“The transports included, among others, measuring instruments and candy molds”, says Yulduz Babajanova, Head of Projects at Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan. “We also transported out-of-gauge shipments for the production of sweets, such as conveyors or big-dimensioned cooking and tempering stations.”

The team collected the parts in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands; the freight was then exported from EU in cooperation with Lithuanian partners. “We managed to reduce the number of trucks – with optimal loading and stacking – from initially 60 to 56”, says Yulduz Babajanova. In Lithuania, Militzer & Münch handled the customs management for all shippers.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage and Coordination

“We optimally insured and coordinated the transport of the fragile equipment”, says Yulduz Babajanova. “But even so, I was in regular contact until late at night with our customer and the shipper of the goods. During the 16-day transit time, I controlled every trans-shipment process. My colleague Mirodil Khamzaev from the projects department supported me in coordinating the drivers; he was also in charge of everything connected with the insurance. Thus, everything went smoothly – the production of candies can begin.”

This year, Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan is also handling other projects for the AKFA Group, which Crafers is part of, such as for the International Business Center Tashkent.

Raring To Go For E-Commerce

Shenzhen in China – once a fishing village, today one of the main trading hubs worldwide for the electronics and telecommunications industries. From here, Militzer & Münch China starts its regular exports to Great Britain for an international online retailer – customs clearance included. The demand for transports for the online market keeps growing and offers Militzer & Münch the possibility to tap additional markets.

With its status as Special Economic Zone, Shenzhen is regarded as an important location for foreign investments; the city is one of the world’s fastest growing metropoles. The economy in the region is booming; there is demand from European countries especially for consumer electronics products such as power banks, chargers, USB cables, loudspeakers and keyboards. The Militzer & Münch customers profit from this demand, too.

In May 2017, Militzer & Münch began cooperating with the international online retailer. “This is a perfect order for us and the big opportunity to further develop our expertise in the e-commerce sector”, says Glenn Bai, Managing Director Militzer & Münch China. “We have expanded our services for this customer step by step. Now, we deliver products to Great Britain every week.”

The services comprise:

• Picking up goods for different shippers

• Order picking and packing at customs warehouse in Shenzhen

• Consolidating goods as FCL

• Sea transport from Shenzhen/Hong Kong to Great Britain

• Import customs clearance/customs clearance and taxes

• Order picking and packaging

• Labeling and kitting

• Returns management

• Delivery to the customer’s warehouse in Great Britain via FTL / LTL / courier service

New Challenges and Solutions

From China to Great Britain the goods go by vessel, with overland transport to the customer’s warehouse by truck. But the transport comes with some challenges. “There are usually over 30 sets of customs declarations per container”, says Glenn Bai. “To check the customs declarations of e-commerce business, the British customs authority has implemented stricter regulations, which often leads to delays.” Moreover, there are congestions again and again at the port of Felixstowe, Great Britain’s largest container port, and transit times become longer. “In view of the Brexit, the situation may deteriorate even further”, Glenn Bai says. “It is all the more essential for us to do a perfect job especially when it comes to customs declarations, and to provide optimal advice to our customers.”

At this time, Glenn Bai and his team are focusing on optimizing their logistics solutions for the e-commerce business. “In the long term, we will also offer rail and air freight solutions for online trade”, says Glenn Bai. “Beside the China – Great Britain trade lane, we are also concentrating on transports to Central Asia and Russia. We look forward to handling more e-commerce projects in the future.”

Next stop: Chicago

For a customer from Bavaria, Militzer & Münch Germany is handling a project – the volume of the order: 200 to 250 containers. Over several months, the team is transporting façade components and construction material from Bavaria to an American chemical plant near Chicago. In January, an extreme cold wave caused a state of absolute emergency in the USA – and posed quite some challenges to the team.

A chemical plant in Chicago is being expanded at this time. In late 2018, a Bavarian manufacturer contracted Militzer & Münch to deliver the necessary façade components and building material from Germany to the USA. The project is scheduled to be finished by spring 2020.

Up To Seven Containers Per Week

So how do over 200 heavy-weight containers get from Bavaria to Chicago? “This is of course a big project”, says Walter Weissig, Manager Ocean Freight and Deputy Branch Manager at M&M air sea cargo GmbH in Munich. “First of all, we negotiated the tariffs, the potential routes and dates with the shipping line and their trucker, and closely coordinated with our Hamburg colleagues and our partner in Chicago.”

The freight for the American customer consists mainly of 40’ HC containers and some 20’ standard boxes. All in all, the team prepares five to seven containers for transport each week, some of them weighing up to 19 tons.

“After we have loaded the containers at the exporter’s location in Lower Bavaria, the first leg of the transport is via rail to Bremerhaven”, says Walter Weissig. “From there, we ship the cargo to New York or Norfolk. The shipping line is then in charge of rail transport to the destination hub at Chicago / Norfolk Southern Landers. The last leg to consignee is done by truck.”

Icy Cold Winters and Extreme Situations

In January, a sudden cold wave hit the United States. “The polar winds caused temperatures last winter to drop as far as minus 30°C”, says Walter Weissig. “That was the second lowest value ever registered in the USA.”

Between New York and Chicago, there reigned an absolute state of emergency. “Containers were stuck up to two weeks at the port, before they were trucked to New Jerseys where they were put on rails”, says Walter Weissig. “What’s more, there is this lack of drivers in the USA. The customer of course insists on exact delivery times with the appropriate advance notice. This is not always easy to manage, as on the day the container reaches Chicago, we don’t yet know which driver is assigned for the last mile.”

Going For It, With Full Commitment

Daily reconciliation of all shipments via tracking and tracing and via mail is indispensable. “With up to 30 containers at the same time with different status reports – loaded at shipper’s warehouse, shipped on board, vessel arrival New York / Norfolk, discharged, transit to rail, rail departure, train arrival, picked up for delivery, delivery – this is extremely time-consuming”, Walter Weissig says.  “In the meantime, the transport chain has become established. Due to good cooperation between the shipping line, our agent and the customer, everything runs smoothly. Overall transit time is 30 days maximum.”

The Militzer & Münch team is already working on a follow-up project. The Bavarian shipper has enquired about the transport of another sixty to seventy 40’ containers. The consignee: another company, also in the United States.

M&M Poland Transports Grain Silos to Tanzania

Militzer & Münch Poland was awarded an extraordinary contract last winter. As part of a government project, the Polish M&M team is working on a very large order to deliver grain silos to Tanzania. The intensive contract negotiations with the customer took almost one year. The logistic and statutory requirements were a challenge to the expertise of the entire team.

In November 2018, the team of Militzer & Münch in Poland was contracted to deliver about 200 containers with grain silos to Tanzania. The grain silos protect harvests against pests and putrefaction – and can thus, in the long run, prevent hunger and malnutrition in the East African country.

“The customer had never before handled sea freight – and of course never on this trade lane”, says Artur Wojtczak, Sales Director, M&M air sea cargo S.A. “As this was a large project, he got several quotes and then took a lot of time to consider. In the end, our consulting and expertise convinced him – and he awarded the contract for the project to our team.”


Business Development Manager Anna Kiczak was responsible for the contract negotiations.


New Destination and Strict Requirements

Artur Wojtczak and his colleagues in Wrocław, Poland, demonstrated their full commitment to win the tender.  “Our Business Development Manager Anna Kiczak presented our service portfolio to the customer”, says Artur Wojtczak. “She was in charge of the negotiations that took almost one whole year.” Among others, the strict government regulations and requirements prolonged negotiations. The team had to review them in detail so as not to overlook anything. “Tanzania is a totally new destination for Militzer & Münch”, Artur Wojtczak says. “This means a valuable new experience for the whole team. Already in preparing the project we learned a lot.”

A Strong Team

The members of the team familiarized themselves intensively with the local standards. “Then, our colleague Arkadiusz Kant negotiated with the African agents the best possible conditions for the cooperation”, says Artur Wojtczak. “He has spent several years in Kenya and was thus the perfect contact person.”

The participation of Senior Business Development Manager and sea freight expert Paweł Szelest was also absolutely essential. “Together with Anna Kiczak, he worked on the contract details. Our lawyer supported us in legal matters.”

In December, the first five containers were dispatched. In the meantime, the team has already successfully delivered an essential part of the project volume, with the help of Oksana Deveterykova, operations agent at Militzer & Münch Poland.

The project is expected to last until the first quarter of 2020 – until the circa 200 containers have reached Tanzania. The project benefits from the professionality and expertise of all colleagues involved. “The destination is totally new territory for the team – and the colleagues are doing a brilliant job. From the start, they were open to the new challenge. And our customer can reach them 24/7. This untiring commitment of course generates interest among customers from similar sectors or with similar export destinations.”


Development Cooperation in Tanzania

Beside droughts and poor harvests, the improper storage of grains such as millet and corn is among the root causes of hunger in Tanzania. The so-called post-harvest losses often amount to almost 50 percent. This forces Tanzanian families and farmers to bridge the time until the next harvest with food they pay high prices for; as a consequence, they get into debt.

Some governments and organizations are currently committed to improve the grain farming and economic strategies in Tanzania. In the course of these projects, grain silos are sent to Tanzania, and Tanzanian craftsmen are learning to build silos from zinc sheet. Such measures allow families and farmers to better subsist on their own grain products and to sell surplus stock at a profit in the long term. This again allows them to invest in the education of their children.

Strong in Sea Freight

Just over a year ago, the Sri Lankan organization of Militzer & Münch took up operations at the port of Colombo. Despite the country’s difficult internal situation, the company keeps growing, with especially sea freight developing very well. In order to offer even better service to their customers, the team optimized the company’s IT. What’s more, Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka is now a member of FFSI, the global transportation network.

Militzer & Münch has been operating in the island nation in the Indian Ocean since 2015 – initially via a delegation office. The growing importance of Sri Lanka as a logistics hub on the Maritime Silk Road in South Asia and the expansion of the port of Colombo led to Militzer & Münch founding its own logistics company there in June 2018.

Successful in The Sea Freight Segment

Operating from the office at the port of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, the team works for a wide range of industry sectors. “Beside tea and coconut fibers, also air plane tires, raw material for textiles, electronic devices and laboratory equipment are among the goods we mainly transport”, says Dilum Stembo, Managing Director M&M Militzer & Münch (Pvt) Ltd. “In 2018, sea freight accounted for far more than half our transports.”

First Multimodal Transport

Most shipments are sent to Europe or the CIS countries. A CIS country was also the destination of Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka’s first multimodal transport. In July the team in Colombo handled a shipment from Thailand via the Russian port of Vostochny to Uzbekistan, in cooperation with sister company InterRail. The freight: about 23 tons of steam activated carbon, which Militzer & Münch transported in a 40’ high cube container. The transit time was 55 days. Additionally the team handled the transport of another two 40’ high cube containers with about 56 tons of coco fiber from Colombo to Tashkent – this could turn into a regular order for the Militzer & Münch team.

Part of The Network

In May 2019, Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka joined FFSI (Feta Freight Systems International), a transportation network within the Far East Transportation Association (FETA). “The FFSI membership offers us vast opportunities to cooperate with qualified transport companies”, says Dilum Stembo. “As part of the network, we hope to be able to further develop our business. Moreover, we and also our customers profit from a wider geographic coverage. Apart from the advantages that come with the membership, being part of FFSI also constitutes a high distinction for us, as the network only accepts the best transport companies as members.”

Customers Benefit From New IT

Continuous improvement of processes is part of the growth strategy of Militzer & Münch Sri Lanka. “It motivates us to always define new potential for optimization”, Dilum Stembo says. Recently, the team replaced the TA (transport administration) system. “The new system is much better adapted to Sri Lankan standards – it allows us to work in a more efficient way, to offer our customers even better service, and to continue growing in the market”, Dilum Stembo explains.


M&M Poland Now Regulated Agent

With the new status as Regulated Agent, Militzer & Münch Poland can offer its customers faster, cheaper and more secure transport of cargo by air.

Airfreight is subject to comprehensive and complex security regulations, from which shipments forwarded by a Regulated Agent are exempt. To acquire this status, companies need to undergo an accreditation audit with the responsible aviation authority and to train their staff accordingly.

The Regulated Agent status comes with advantages for logistics companies and their customers:

• Exemption from cargo security control;

• Reduction of operating costs
(no additional cargo security control at the airport needed);

• Acceleration of the cargo handling process;

• Increased credibility on the air freight market.

The New Status Motivates The Team

In late February 2019, M&M air sea cargo S.A., the air and sea freight segment of Militzer & Münch in Poland, was accorded Regulated Agent status. This is another step forward on the company’s path to further optimize and expand its customer service.

“We are happy to be able to act as Regulated Agent in line with the EU regulation for our customers”, says Artur Wojtczak, Director Sales M&M air sea cargo S.A. “This holds a big advantage for our customers, yet at the same time for us as a company it means big responsibility.” Thus, the Regulated Agent has to declare shipments as secure or not secure, among others; he has to guarantee that no prohibited items get on board with airfreight shipments, and issue the necessary accompanying documents.

Paweł Iwaniuk, Manager of the Export Department at Militzer & Münch Poland: “In view of the good development of airfreight exports – especially in the foodstuff and cosmetics sector – the Regulated Agent status is of great support to us in our everyday jobs. We can now handle export orders smoothly and much faster than before. Working within a secure supply chain will also help us win as new customers such companies that want to grow with us.”

Faster Processes and Greater Security

Smooth processes and wide geographic coverage are decisive factors for the success of an international logistics services provider. Militzer & Münch Morocco’s AEO certification helps the company to further strengthen its market position – also to the benefit of the customers.

Continuous development is part of everyday business for the Moroccan organization of Militzer & Münch; the logistics company under Managing Director Olivier Antoniotti keeps expanding at regular intervals. Among the expansions are the opening of the country’s first bonded customs warehouse in 2000, the founding of subsidiary Spedimex in 2001, and the construction of new locations in Casablanca (2003), Tangiers (2008 and 2016) and Sapino Nouaceur (2012).

Improving The Supply Chain

The foundation of this growth is the smooth supply chain, which is continuously optimized by Militzer & Münch Morocco. Since May for instance, the company has been acting as an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO, Full certificate) – which means the company was granted AEO status in Morocco. ‘Authorized Economic Operator’ is an internationally recognized certificate that simplifies customs processes and guarantees appropriate safety and security standards along the supply chain.

Headed by Olivier Antoniotti and his deputy Ahmed Zouhair, the Militzer & Münch Morocco team worked for two years to upgrade the organization to the requirements of AEO Full certificate standards. In order to receive the full certificate of Security and Safety (AEO S), the company had to meet all applicable customs and tax regulations and provide appropriate security measures and proper accounting. It was well worth the effort, and in May, Olivier Antoniotti signed the contract.

“The AEO status allows us to speed up international goods transports”, says Olivier Antoniotti. “That way, we can offer our customers simplified and more efficient transport services. We are especially proud to be the first company to have been granted AEO Full certificate status in Morocco.”

As a next step, the company is working on a full EDI connection (Electronic Data Interchange) with the Moroccan customs. This data interchange allows paperless transfer of customs declaration delivery notes and other business documents from system to system without manual intervention. As a result, processes run even faster and more effectively.


Ever watchful

New services, increasing export activities, and challenging projects in sight – Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan is growing rapidly and has many big plans. Khurshid Kasimdzhanov, since 2006 Managing Director of the Uzbek M&M organization, gives an insight into the current developments.

Mr. Kasimdzhanov, in how far have the logistics services Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan offers changed in the course of the past few years?

Khurshid Kasimdzhanov:
 As Militzer & Münch has a strong presence in Europe, in the past, we mainly offered import services from Europe. Two years ago, we entered new terrain by opening our own export department. We are very successful in this field. We have regular truck transports to CIS countries and to Europe. This step was of major importance for the development of our business.



Where do you see the challenges and opportunities for Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan at this time?

Khurshid Kasimdzhanov:
 Lately, many foreign logistics companies have appeared on the Uzbek market, and many new Uzbek companies have been founded. This leads to stronger competition in the logistics sector. On the other hand, there are many positive changes at this time in Uzbekistan, changes that we benefit from. Developments like the growth of e-commerce require fast and professional transport and logistics solutions. For us, this is a great opportunity, and we grow with these challenges. With the support of the Militzer & Münch Regional Management, we are continuously expanding our business. We recently moved to a big new office and took on additional staff – currently, there are twenty experts on my team.

Which change is the most advantageous for you?

Khurshid Kasimdzhanov:
 The main business of Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan is the import of equipment and machinery for textile production. Increasingly, the Uzbek government is selling cotton to local manufacturers for further processing, instead of just exporting raw cotton abroad as in the past. Thus, many new textile factories are taking up operations in Uzbekistan, and export their products. For our customer Uztex , we are at this time transporting 50 containers from India to the customer’s production plant in Uchkurgan, Uzbekistan.

Are you registering any future trends that might be interesting for Militzer & Münch Uzbekistan?

Khurshid Kasimdzhanov:
 Yes indeed; the construction sector is showing rapid growth at the moment. New hotels, office buildings and sports centers are being built everywhere. It is our strength to always be alert and keep a watchful eye on such developments. We are currently preparing for new customers from this sector, and expanding our service portfolio specifically for this industry.