Hili’s Mariner Shipping acquires Tubeline


Tubeline - a specialist in airfreight, international and domestic express courier services, customs brokerage and project cargo - has been acquired

by fellow Maltese forwarder, Mariner Shipping Services. Michel Licari, Tubeline’s

founder, and who also originally established DHL in Malta, has

Issue 4 2021 - Freight Business Journal

run the company for over four decades, building strong partnerships with global players in the sector. Tubeline is the local Malta partner for DSV Panalpina’ one of the world’s largest supply chain solutions companies, Luſthansa’s express courier arm time:matters and Pharma Freight, which specialises in

Covid crisis is spur to paperless project at Rabelink

The Covid crisis has been the spur to even greater efficiency, says Julian Naudi, owner of Malta forwarder Rabelink. He explains: “On the positive

side, due to Covid many measures were taken to avoid extra contact and so we created a more virtual system to replace an outdated paper-based system we were using.” That gain has to some extent

offset the problems of having to run the business from home, while at the same time dealing

with domestic affairs, Naudi points out. The crisis has not however

had too detrimental an effect on Rabelink’s core business, he adds. “I don’t know about other companies, but in our case we didn’t lose out too much.” In fact, one of the problems was the large increase in shipments from China. Also,

in 2020 in particular

there was an influx of Individuals moving back home or to more favourable working conditions

abroad so there was an increase in personal export shipments. Malta’s vaccination program

was at the time of writing going quite smoothly, and this might lead to a return to something like business as usual, he adds. “Yes it seems we are doing quite well , but we have now learned not to be overly positive until we are completely out of the woods. But hopefully we will be all safe soon and life and business can go back to some kind of normality.”

express freight of medical

products. Through the acquisition,

Mariner will expand its service portfolio and widen its global network. Managing director, Karl Naudi, said the company would be able to offer more holistic logistics solutions to customers of both companies. In addition, the integration of the business will mean that Mariner’s areas of specialisation will be broader. Naudi commented: “We

are very excited to welcome Tubeline’s customers,

employees and partners to our company and brand. Our two companies will certainly achieve more together, enhancing the value for our clients. This deal is a new milestone for Mariner and through it we shall deliver even wider range of services that our customers deserve and rely on.” Mariner

Shipping is the

shipping and logistics arm of the Hili Company which has been involved in shipping since 1923, originally in commodities trading. It is also the partner in Malta and Libya of DP World’s


short sea arm, Unifeeder Group, including Nile Dutch Lines, a container line specialising in transport in the African continent, as well as yacht transport specialist, Peters and May.

Hili Company will maintain a

strategic focus on the maritime and logistics industries. In parallel, it has built a portfolio of businesses in real estate and renewable energy and operates its terminals and logistics businesses through its Mariner brand.

Attrans keeps its cool in turbulent times

Covid-19 was a major global disruptor, affecting everyone and everything, says Kevin Filletti, sales and business development manager at Attrans, one of Malta’s leading trailer operators. With a decrease in European

and local consumption, Attrans saw lower volume and business in the last year. But he adds: “Yet the company’s resilience was proven and we managed to secure a conservative profit.” When Covid-19 started to

significantly impact the European market, Attrans’ operations had to be redesigned to ensure safe loading of goods at suppliers and customers. Internally the company implemented robust Covid-19 measures to reduce the

risk of contagion without affecting the service to its customers. This included remote working arrangements and appropriate social distancing practices. But, says Filletti: “It is with

great satisfaction that, albeit the huge challenges, Attrans never registered any Covid-19 cases in the last 14 months.” Brexit was the other major

impact on Maltese business, but here Attrans anticipated the effects before the eventual deal was secured. Nevertheless, when Brexit finally materialised at the beginning of the year, the new way of doing things still had an impact. Attrans has experienced a

significant amount of increase in the documentation

Economy set to claw back Covid losses

Malta’s economy will grow by 4.5% in 2021, offsetting the sharp and painful 9% contraction during 2020, says the European Commission’s Winter Forecast. The reasons for the recent fall

are not hard to deduce; the Covid pandemic virtually eliminated

tourism and air travel, while local personal consumption, together with construction, also took a severe hit from containment measures and increased levels of uncertainty. The near double-digit fall in the year occurred immediately aſter

required, there were delays at the border due to Customs controls as well as a reduction in some of the commodities traded with the UK.

Filletti adds that the second-

hand car business has been directly hit due to the increase in taxes paid on imported vehicles, but this of course has been felt by all car carrying companies, not just Attrans. Having a sizeable fleet

demands a constant upgrade of equipment, be it tractor units, trailers or domestic vehicles. Attrans’ latest refrigerated units were deployed on the North Africa business and additional tractor units are also being considered for the whole group.

2019’s robust 5.3% growth, so the reversal in fortunes was, arguably, even greater. The Central Bank of Malta puts

the recent economic contraction at a slightly less severe 8.2% in 2020, but sees a similar growth figure of 5% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022. Malta’s economic decline

is worse than the Eurozone average (-7.6%) and significantly

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