Moving Mountains – Fulfilling deep demand for freight forwarding
Undeniably, shipping and freight are a crucial component of the Qatari economy. Nearly all the equipment and technology required for Oil and Gas exploration comes from abroad, while the state still imports over 90 percent of its food and other fast moving consumable goods intake. With such a strong demand in place, room for a strong supplier of freight forwarding services has arisen, and Gulf Warehousing Company has proven itself an exceptional leader in this vital sector. As an asset-based freight forwarding solutions player, complemented by strong warehousing and transportation infrastructure, the company has been able to offer better options and service levels to our clients.
This strong domain knowledge and capabilities in the oil, gas and petrochemicals sectors have enabled the company to sign new contracts with industry giants such as RasGas, Woqood and QAFCO. The company has worked to establish a long-term, profitable presence by strategically leveraging its cost advantages, trucking assets, specialized knowledge, warehousing capabilities and superior service levels. Additionally, the company has the benefit of preferential rates with many air carriers owing to the huge volumes that it handles, to and from Qatar. This advantage, along with its global network covering over 125 countries and with warehousing and trucking under its own control, keeps GWC in good stead in the face of stiff competition.
Expanding beyond traditional land, air, and sea freight, the company has also been able to distinguish itself through a variety of projects and expansions in the year 2015 alone. Earlier in the year, for example, the company broke several personal records for super-heavy lifts in the State of Qatar, first for heavy lift and second for longest item delivered.
The production and exploration of liquid natural gas, crude oil and other liquids rely heavily on the structures and supports established for the off-shore and on-shore facilities by the major energy companies, for which they have invested millions. None of these structures are produced within the State of Qatar and must be carefully shipped from their countries of origin then transported to the operation site. In order to accomplish this, these operations must be handled with the utmost care and precision.
To this end, the company completed the transport of a nearly 500-ton distillation tower from the Ras Laffan Sea Port to a refinery expansion project site in Ras Laffan. more officially known as Item #82-C1201, and performs one of the most common industrial processes in the oil and gas industry, separating the chemical constituents of crude oil, heating the crude oil stream to separate it in specific subsets of carbon molecules. This requires a high degree of delicacy despite the extremely large size of the equipment used, and therefore required a special degree of care in the transportation of the components.
For the longest delivery, GWC completed the delivery of two separation columns necessary for a solar technology project, which at 52 and 54 meters long each became the longest objects the company had ever transported. Weighing in at 28 and 47 tons respectively, the company was tasked with transporting the columns from the Ras Laffan Industrial City Port to the project site in Ras Laffan.
A lot of preparation and planning goes into such projects, including the drafting of a method statement to be referred to in any contingency, which provide various plans of actions, accounting for the cases of major or minor deviations from the plan. A hierarchy followed on site is set, and the risk assessment and safe job analysis is reviewed before performing any operation, as well as go over the minimum personnel protective equipment to be worn on site.
After agreeing to all of these details, an operational procedure is laid out. This can include work plans and drawings, review of safety items such as weather concerns or plant activity, the completion of all appropriate checklists and safety permits from all the relevant authorities, a check of the placement for all banners and barricades that define the safety boundaries of the work areas, as well as other considerations. Subsequently, the company coordinates with the customs, traffic and sea port authorities to plot a course to be followed by the transportation trailers following the site.
Beyond its oil and gas industries, Qatar seeks to distinguish itself as the best possible venue for sports activities, and once again this requires strong freight forwarding practices to get the job done. Most recently, GWC Sports department delivered the logistical requirements for a local international touranment. As the sole appointed logistics contractor for the event, the company performed a wide variety of services, including freight forwarding, customs clearance, venue management, warehousing, work force provision, and equipment handling. GWC took every measure to ensure that the world championship was a rousing success.
The company dedicated 165 people on a 24 hours basis to this project, keeping stock of the movement of items coming into the venue and within the venue itself, with 29 trucks, trolleys, pallet jacks and forklifts distributing and moving the items related to the event around. The company employees were equally equipped with strong experience on how to run such events and how to prioritize under any circumstance, including emergencies, and were capable of mobilizing within 30 minutes under any condition that may have arisen at the event.
The company shipped nearly 4 tons of materials to the venues, and coordinated with the other forwarding agents for the venue, introducing them to the Material Delivery Schedule (MDS) system that managed and tracked all items entering into the arenas, which the company also established. The company also guided shippers, agents and the other forwarders on the proper documentation required for the events, how to achieve clearance, and how to use the venues various equipment. At the end of the event, the company performed all reverse logistics operations, returning the shipped items and performing all documentation and clearance work required.
The company’s extensive planning, procurement and logistics experience combined with its strong local expertise has made it the front-runner in the turnkey management of such freight forwarding projects. With innovative solutions and creative routing options to deliver and receive cargo anywhere in the world, the company has taken every consideration to provide for a freight forwarding market that seems set to only grow further and further within the State of Qatar.