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ANALYSISTRAINING


Rickmers Linie offers its cargo know-how for heavy lift and project cargo training courses.


Keeping up to standard


“No one runs courses for anything we do,” says one heavy lift and project forwarder. So how do these companies train their staff to handle complex jobs? Marcia MacLeod investigates.


s global projects continue to grow, the forwarding industry is trying hard to match the increased demand for its specialised services. Unfortunately, though, newcomers to the industry – many of whom think there is quick money to be made – do not realise how complex project forwarding is compared with ordinary freight forwarding; they lack the skills necessary to plan or execute a five-year project or move a wind turbine or generator. Even established project forwarders are sometimes finding it hard to identify and attract skilled, experienced, knowledgeable people to join their teams.


A www.heavyliftpfi.com


An ageing workforce does not help. Where are forwarders going to get the right people to replace retiring experts? And a lack of experienced candidates is not the only problem. The launch of new equipment, such as the latest types of cranes, leads to a requirement for further training on how to set up, use and dismantle the equipment on site.


New developments


“There are new developments every year,” pointed out Richard Krabbendam, who founded the Heavy Lift Specialist training company. “Over the last four years, we have seen new cranes from ALE and Mammoet,


for example. People have to adapt to them and learn how to use them. Project companies are even changing the way they work in order to be able to use the new equipment.”


He added: “Bigger, heavier pieces are being moved, too, which means people need additional training. Health and safety and compliance, which increases with the size and weight of the cargo, are extremely important in project freight.” Health and safety, together with compliance, bring a whole new set of problems. For a start, there is no harmonisation of rules and regulations. Every region, every country has its own requirements. Learning all of these is difficult, if not impossible; forwarders have to ensure they have staff with the right knowledge in each region.


“Export compliance has to come first,” emphasised Pam Holdrup, one of the


July/August 2013 133


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