A strong group

EMS-Fehn-Group is a leading business that specialises in logistics and ship management services, providing both international and small independent companies with a flexible and highly specialised service. The Group, which owns 24 vessels, comprises of specialised companies in Germany, Albania, Italy and the Baltic region.

“EMS-Fehn-Group today consists of 12 companies in five countries: five logistics companies, two shipping companies, two crewing companies, one agency for yacht transports, one terminal operator, and one stevedoring company,” says Ingo Hesse, managing director of a number of companies within the EMS-Fehn-Group. Together with co- CEO and co-owner Manfred Müller, Ingo directs the daily business of EMS-Fehn-Group.

“While we do not have one ‘main market’ our clients are both big international businesses as well as small, specialised companies. Our big strength lies in our extremely flexible operation, as we are constantly gathering know-how and are thus able adapt to any demand. For example, EMS-Fehn-Group knows how to ship subsea cables, wind turbines, steel coils and grain; we can transport mega-yachts as easily as we can beer tanks; and we are capable of organising the dismantling of a factory, the transportation of components by trucks, barges and sea vessels, and the complete the eventual reconstruction.”

As Ingo explains, through its various companies EMS-Fehn-Group has a true multioperational capability. The various businesses allow the Group to easily take on any operation requested by a client, as he confirms. “EMS Chartering, for example, with its chartering, operations and project departments is a very versatile company that moves pretty much everything that can be moved. Fehnship is a shipping company that is specialised in short sea shipping, and NTO Shipping is a relatively young business that is in the process of building up a fleet that complements that of Fehnship.

“Within the Group we also have Northwest Crewing, which is tasked with recruiting seafarers worldwide for Fehnship, NTO and other shipping companies, and in a similar role we have BTSC, which is specialised in recruiting seafarers from the Baltic States,” Ingo continues. “When it comes to transporting, GBS is responsible for transporting motor and sailing yachts worldwide and ISLA is a logistics company covering the fields of brokerage, transport, forwarding and shipping agency in Italy. ASC is a stevedoring business based in Durres, which is the major port in Albania and is where our company EMS-APO operates the bulk terminal. EMS-GBL is situated in Skopje, which is a place that wefind very compelling due to its location at thejunction of the main north-south and west-east trading routes of the Balkans. Here, the business provides transport, forwarding, transhipment and all forms of warehousing. Lastly, we have EMS Shipping, which is the company that started the EMS business and has today evolved into a logistics provider for road and rail transports including warehousing.”

Clearly, EMS-Fehn-Group’s business is extensive and covers a wide range of industry sectors. Despite this vast network Ingo is keen to highlight that the Group operates very closely: “Under the EMS-Fehn-Group roof we actually have exceptionally short lines of communication, which I consider to be one of our key strengths and a factor that sets us apart from many of our competitors,” he says. “A major asset of our operations is that all stakeholders are acting managing directors and are therefore involved in the daily business – we know what we’re talking about. Our close communication means that if we discuss a project, for example, it is a matter of minutes to call together all the relevant people and reach a very quick and suitable decision. From the managing directors down this extends to our staff, which are the main asset of EMS-Fehn-Group. They are a group of highly motivated, highly skilled and truly multi-cultural individuals dedicated to their work.”

This level of dedication means that EMS-Fehn-Group’s companies are involved in many important industry projects. One example of this is a current major project in Albania at the Port of Durres, where EMS-APO is operator of the East Terminal which under the supervision of Manfred Müller. “This is a key project,” says Ingo. “EMS has been granted the concession for the East Terminal at the beginning of this year, in May the contract was inked, and in mid-July EMS APO started as operator. From the first day the terminal was operational we received regular ship visits, and have recently discharged a large cargo of pitcoke. Parallel to this we have also established new office buildings and are currently in the process of enhancing the existing infra- and superstructure step by step. We have a detailed concept of what we want to achieve over the coming months and years, with the ultimate goal of doubling throughput to two million tonnes per year.”

While this is just one example, EMS-Fehn-Group remains positive about future growth in all areas of its operations. The business currently has a fleet of 24 vessels, which, under the operation of Fehnship consists of ships designed for short sea shipping that are able to utilise a wide scope of ports, including smaller, hard to access ports that other companies are unable to visit. In terms of future growth, Ingo points out this fleet as an important area: “We are actively working to enlarge our fleet,” he confirms. “We are looking at vessels that fit into the existing
fleet and that match our requirements both technically and financially, and while we have some projects in the pipeline it is a little early to confirm specific details.

“Overall though we believe that the market looks good and we remain positive, I’m certain that there are more opportunities than there are challenges. However, at EMS-Fehn-Group, we tend to not think to specifically about this type of thing – we are used to continuous market fluctuations, as they are an inevitable part of our business. Ultimately, markets change and we must change with them. Maintaining this outlook EMS-Fehn-Group has grown rapidly over the last few years resulting in a move to larger office premises, which are planned to accommodate the further expansion that we have planned for 2013 and beyond. We will remain on the strategy that we have adopted in achieving this by growing organically and expanding our fleet to at least 40 vessels,” he concludes.

Specialises in logistics and ship management
Flexible, highly specialised service
Aiming to expand fleet