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PROFILECOLIN CHARNOCK


they could have some equity in the business. They chose to set up a project division


for Trans Global Group, based at offices in south London, taking a 40 percent stake in the company. They were than able to take over some key accounts and staff from Hudsons when it went out of business four months later.


“One of those key clients was


McDermott, which was active in the North Sea; today, 30 years later, it continues to be a client, so we must be doing something right,” said Colin.


It took another 18 months before the first large-scale project was won – the Mossel Bay refinery in South Africa. “We had established a strategic tie-up with one heavy lift carrier and that was a decisive point in us winning the contract.”


TGP established its first overseas presence during 1989 in Antwerp. Today the company has offices around the globe. The company’s newest addition to its extensive network is a presence in Turkey, which it established in March 2018.


TGP has been active in Azerbaijan for 24 years after initially supporting McDermott there on a project for BP. “We have been actively involved in every major capital project in the country since we arrived.”


First ‘world-scale project’ Colin said the company’s first ‘world-scale project’ was the Karachaganak development in Kazakhstan in 1999, when it moved 1.6 million tonnes of cargo during a four-and-a-half-year project. “We called it ‘total logistics’ as it included moving everything including construction materials, such as aggregates, and sewage from the camp, as well as the project freight. We even chartered passenger jets to run twice a week to move people in and out of the area.” For Colin, there are three questions to ask when considering tendering for any job: 1) Can we do it?


2) Are we going to make money? 3) Will we get paid?


He admitted that TGP does not always get it right. For instance, it worked for a client that was the subject of a scam in Gabon; once TGP did not get paid for a project in Australia. “You think you can walk on water sometimes. Evidently you cannot.” In 2007, the TGP management team bought out the Trans Global Group share of the company. “We were anxious to grow our network as that was the key to our progress. They had a different agency network model, so it was a very amicable parting of the ways.” Colin believes the new ownership


30 May/June 2018


Colin helped create Cellar Head Brewery in East Sussex which produces four core brews and some seasonal beers.


structure helped to concentrate his focus. “There is no hiding. We are absolutely responsible for our own actions in every respect.”


TGP has grown organically, except for the acquisition of Swiss company NATCO in 2015, which is helping it establish a base in Central Europe. It has been so successful that Colin says they would consider other acquisitions in the future.


Almost by definition, project logistics often occurs in countries that are still in the process of developing industrial, economic and political systems. Working conditions can be challenging in terms of both comfort and safety.


“It sounds a bit corny, but it is true that I would not ask someone to work in a country if I was not willing to go there myself.” Colin has worked in Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Libya, Sierra Leone and Yemen, sometimes when westerners were regularly being targeted. Would he recommend that any of his three


It sounds a bit corny but I would not ask someone to work in a country if I was not willing to go there myself.


– Colin Charnock


children go into project logistics? “It can be difficult for children of the owners to come into a company, but there is no reason why not – even better after some prior experience and qualifications gained in other companies.” Maybe the other business he helped create would be more congenial? Cellar Head Brewery in East Sussex produces four core brews and some seasonal beers, which it sells to more than 100 pubs and clubs in the area.


“It is tremendous fun and I get a real buzz when I walk into a pub and see our beer being enjoyed by the British public,” said Colin. His other passions are Manchester United (his family roots are there), although he loved to play rugby before giving it up for squash and skiing. “I love my job and have no intention of retiring any time soon, but you have to make sure there is always time to get involved in other things you are passionate about,” he said.


And, to prove it, he has recently acquired a Chevrolet Corvette in need of some restoration. “Although I am British and proud of it, I surprised myself by buying an American car, but why not?”


No doubt all the years of travelling and working abroad have given him a much wider international outlook – though British beer is obviously always the best.


HLPFI www.heavyliftpfi.com


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