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November 2018
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Monday, 22 October 2018 12:58

Our company has many advantages – Rashad Abbasov Featured

Our company has many advantages – Rashad Abbasov

Caspian Energy (CE): Mr. Abbasov, how would you sum up a 24-year operation of the Company in the freight market of Azerbaijan?

Rashad Abbasov, General Director of the Baku office of ASE EXPRESS & OCS, DSV: A lot has changed since the date (1994) of establishment of the Company. The company was growing, developing and extending its business every 2-3 years, giving preference to its integration internationally. In this way we not only opened representative offices in all the CIS states but also developed our business in such countries as Germany, Italy, Greece and USA by opening our own warehouses there.

There were only 6 people working in the Baku office in 1994 while today the number of employees exceeds 45. In the beginning, we offered only international courier services. Since 1999 we have started air-transportation of large-scale cargoes. Transportation of personal items started since 2002. From 2005, we started offering our customers services on customs warehousing and customs registration. In 2006 we commenced cargo transportation by road (in trucks). In 2009 we started container transportation. In this way, nowadays, we are offering a full range of logistics services, including air transportation, courier express deliveries, container transportation, group vehicular transport, fully-loaded vehicular transportation from all the countries of Europe, CIS, Russia, Turkey, China and USA. In parallel to this, given the market trends observed in recent years when people put emphasis on certain types of courier services, throughout the whole country we started delivering items purchased through online shopping. These services also include delivery of things bought online in other countries.

CE:  In your opinion, why shall a client make a choice in favor of your company when it comes to courier services? Which advantages do you offer?

Rashad Abbasov: There are about 30 companies offering transport services in the market of Azerbaijan now. Every company has its priorities and advantages. We also have our own priorities in certain directions and have many advantages, given all this.

Very many transport companies usually offer a standard package of services. We are one of the few companies capable of delivering cargoes in 24 hours or even in 16 hours from such neighbor countries as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia and several more European states. In parallel to this, we are offering “purchase” services in such countries as Germany, Italy, Turkey and Russia. That is to say, if a client applies to us with a request to purchase any certain item in one of these countries, we find, purchase and deliver it to the country.

There are also countries where we have our own regular-route trucks.  South Europe is serviced in Italy while North Europe is serviced through Germany. A certain consignment of goods is accumulated in both countries every week. But unlike other companies, we do not wait for trucks to get fully loaded and make deliveries by regular-route trucks. We have a certain portfolio of partners-clients to whom we have obligations on timely delivery and sorting of required cargoes. On certain days of a week our regular-route trucks departure regardless of their load. Many companies deliver cargoes from Europe in 20-25 days, while we do it in two weeks. Thus, these aspects chain many clients to our company in which they see a coherent and clearly defined work scheme.

Our client can track a location of its cargo online and very few logistics companies are offering such service. It is also possible to track the location of air cargoes, courier express-cargoes and movement of trucks. Besides, every day our company’s clients get notifications about location of cargoes and if necessary, information about preparation of relevant documents. There is one more type of service called “on board courier” which implies delivery of urgent cargoes by a courier regardless of the location. Only our company is offering this service. For instance, depending on the remoteness of the country, it is possible to deliver such cargoes even in 5 hours but not in 24 hours as it usually takes. We have employees possessing multi-visas, who can deliver and accompany cargoes at any time and almost in any direction. Another positive moment is that Azerbaijan is located in CIS and has close relations with such countries as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Russia, as well as neighbor Turkey. Thus, there is no need to ship cargoes first to Europe for sorting and then to another country. We deliver cargoes directly to these countries and that substantially reduces transportation period down to one day. As far as Turkey is concerned, Azerbaijan has a big turnover with this brother country. The planes we use are making 5 flights a day, what helps us to deliver cargoes as soon as possible. Especially as we have warehouses in Turkey for making group and ground transportation. 

CE:  To what extent does the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway contribute to your business activity?

Rashad Abbasov: After the launch of this large transportation line, we started working over railway projects as well. This line was activated and serves as an important transport corridor linking not only Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey but also Asia with Europe. We also want to activate our work in this direction and make short-term delivery of cargoes between two continents.

CE:  In your opinion, what is the situation on freight transportation in Azerbaijan? Should there be any changes in order to make this system more improved?

Rashad Abbasov: We are pleased that the state has created all conditions to cooperate and work in this area. But there are certain nuances which shall be observed by companies providing logistics services. Not every company follows these principles. A problem of dummy companies offering cheap services emerged after the state has simplified a system of licensing, registering one or another organization. These shell companies are organized by one person and without possessing an office, employees and partner relations, and paying no taxes, they offer cheap services and bear no responsibility for security of cargoes. These companies close right after these problems arouse and leave a client without a cargo. Such type of activity is broadly practiced in the country. This eventually tells on the reputation and operation of serious and well known transport companies which have their own brand and history in the field of freight transportation.

That phenomenon should be tackled and we think of suggestions that we can make to the state for the solution of the problem. This phenomenon can be avoided if Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies puts forward much tougher requirements and conditions, which takes place in many countries of the world. It will protect the rights of normal transport companies which pay taxes, perform proper transportation and are not involved in smuggling.

CE:  Could you please describe a process of cargo insurance? Do you bear responsibility for security of cargoes?

Rashad Abbasov:  Yes, of course.  We have our automatic insurance worth up to $100 and indicated in contracts for small-scale cargoes (express or postal deliveries). If a cargo is not of special value, has no insurance and gets lost, then, according to the international conventions, if a cargo value is more than $100, we pay a certain sum for each kg, for instance $10.

Parallel to this, we have an insurance line. That is to say, insurance companies with which we are cooperating. And there are several types of insurance services depending on value and size of cargoes. If a client insures an item which gets lost, regardless of a country where it happened, compensation shall be paid after analysis of a situation.

CE:  With which countries do you maintain more intensive freight transportation? Which cargoes are transported most of all?

 Rashad Abbasov:  As I mentioned earlier, we have the largest turnover with Turkey. Along with it, there are many cargoes delivered from Italy, China and Germany.

All types of cargoes are transported – starting from clothes and household appliances right up to spare parts and equipment. There is no limit here – everything, which is produced or not produced in Azerbaijan, is imported.

CE:  Which organizations do you find priority for cooperation?

Rashad Abbasov: Of course, we find priority to cooperate with commercial companies and organizations which are engaged both in import and export of goods. Public institutions are also applying to our company. Some of them take part in exhibitions, cultural or other events.

Nevertheless, we set ourselves a goal not to get hung up on public institutions and firms. The population of the country is also in need of services of transport companies and we are open for cooperation.

CE:  Which trends of the transportation services market do you see in the near future?

Rashad Abbasov:  Prospects in the field of transport are prosperous enough for Azerbaijan. Projects, aimed at restoring Great Silk Way which is the shortest way for linking Europe with China, are being developed actively now. Being in the center of this route, Azerbaijan is implementing large scale transport projects due to its favorable geographic position. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is playing an important role among them. According to the forecast of analysts, this route will prove itself in the near year and a half and will be in great demand. We are now actively offering our foreign partners services within the framework of this corridor.

On the other hand, the North-South vehicular and rail route which links Russia and Iran through Azerbaijan have serious prospects. Logistics experts see good prospects associated with this route.

In parallel, there are many transport projects which will be implemented by the state in 2019. And we intend to be actively engaged in them as we see a big potential in them.

CE:  Which innovations does ASE EXPRESS & OCS, DSV plan to introduce in Azerbaijan?

Rashad Abbasov: In recent years, the number of goods ordered at foreign internet stores by Azerbaijani consumers has increased. Given this trend, we have already been working actively within the framework of “ASE shop” project which helps citizens of Azerbaijan to make shopping via our website at different online-aggregators, after which we deliver this product. Soon, we will present a new product registered in Turkey and called “ASE boutique”.

Through this “marketplace” platform, a consumer can directly purchase goods of over 200 factories-producers with which direct contracts have been signed. Thus, at “ASE boutique” website one can find goods produced in many countries, including Turkey, Italy and Germany. Not only clothes, textile but also household appliances and many other things will be provided. Thus, we will be the first company selling goods online within the framework of own platform.

 

 

 

Thank you for the interview

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