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Glasgow-based KC Liner Agencies has added some fresh new business to its portfolio, says director of business development David Milne. “For example, we were

recently awarded the liner agency for Mariana Express Lines, which specialises not only in general containers but project and heavy liſt cargo to

Australasia and Pacific

Islands ports including Darwin, Dampier, PNG, Anchorage, and Honolulu.” It slot charters from the UK

with Far East carriers, using Hong Kong and Kaoshiung as hubs, and currently serves China, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and islands in the Pacific. “Our experience in these specialist markets has seen KC Liner Agencies awarded the exclusive Liner Agency of Mariana covering the entire UK & Ireland, not just Scotland,” David Milne points out. Another representation

covering the whole country is for Russian-owned FESCO through a joint venture between KC Group and Global Liner

Issue 5 2015 - Freight Business Journal

KC carves itself some niches

Agencies. FESCO operates frequent container services from UK ports, via the north- west Continent, to Russia and the CIS countries. The service hasn`t received as high a profile as one may have considered in this country. FESCO Transportation Group is the largest integrated private company within Russia, providing expansive transportation services via FESCO owned asset`s including various types of modern vessels, railway rolling stock, main-line diesel-locomotive shunters, container equipment, water surface and on-land terminal complexes. “KC has just opened an office in Antwerp, Belgium so this brand fits perfectly,” says David Milne,

“especially as it

comes at a time when we think the Russian market is showing signs of strengthening once again.”

Whisky is certainly flowing

to Russia, and there are plenty of other cargoes too; Scottish manufacturing is more diverse than is oſten realised. “Until now, FESCO has been a bit of an unknown, under-sold brand

Plenty of freight and frustration

On paper, Edinburgh has more airfreight capacity than ever before.

Along with long-term

transatlantic carriers United and American, Qatar Airways and, now, Etihad are offering flights to their respective hubs and onward connections to virtually all parts of the world. However, practical difficulties oſten prevent freight forwarders accessing that capacity, says owner of local forwarder Extrordinair, Sylvia Fleming. The Edinburgh airport- based forwarder does a lot of animal transport, inbound and outbound, and sometimes has to book peoples’ pets on flights out of Glasgow, rather than Edinburgh, because the local airline handling agent, although operating at weekends, refuses to accept live animals at that time. Some carriers refuse to carry

dangerous goods, or certain categories of dangerous goods, “so we oſten end up using KLM or Luſthansa via their

hubs in

Europe, as we have always done.” Other cargo gets trucked south to

Manchester to join the Singapore Airlines flight; only as a last resort does Sylvia Fleming send it all the way south to Heathrow: “You’d always be on the phone, checking that it had been delivered to the right terminal and had actually caught the flight.” Edinburgh has a fair selection of

European services too, though not all of them carry cargo. Aer Lingus no longer does, for example. Grumbles about capacity apart,

business is actually very good. Extrordinair is an animal specialist and was approved as a Border Inspection Post in 2012, allowing pets to fly direct into Scotland instead of an English airport. The BIP now also services animals other than pets, such as reptiles and tropical fish. Birds of prey are also big business. The Middle East is renowned for its falconry and Scottish birds are particularly prized for their breeding qualities, so there is the potential to develop the trade between the two countries – provided that the airlines let them fly, of course.

in the UK, so this is a fantastic opportunity for both KC and our principals,” states David Milne. “Initially, we will offer a service to Russia from Grangemouth, but if things develop, who knows? A direct call in Scotland is certainly something that FESCO would consider if the business was there,” David Milne suggests. Another new brand that KC Liner is representing is literally a

niche product. Niche Container Lines is an NVOCC that specialises in the places where other operators fear to tread, sending full container-loads of aid cargo to Iran and North Korea. Niche operates its own containers – understandably, shipping lines are unwilling to commit their own equipment – and also handles the very exacting paperwork

requirements. The logistics division of KC

Group, KC Shipping has had an office in Bolivia for 4-5 years – managing food exports amongst other specialist trades – but now it is embarking on a continental European expansion plan. “We were already doing substantial volumes of cargo within continental Europe, so this was the next logical development,”


logistics team leader John Hepburn adds. There are currently four members of staff in Antwerp, led by Luc Dumon, who has a very long-standing relationship with the group. New offices in Spain or Denmark are likely to be open soon, “so awareness of the KC brand is definitely being spread across Europe,” says John Hepburn.

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