May 8, 2024

Project Cargo Weekly: interview with COLI managing director Felix Peinemann

We’re proud to be featured in Project Cargo Weekly (PCW)!

For starters Felix, I always allow my interviewees to explain a bit about their background. What is your background and why did you get into shipping and logistics in the first place?

Well, I started my career with Panalpina where I did my apprenticeship and worked for the Panprojects Division for approximately 10 years holding various positions and my last one was at the Chartering Desk in charge for all chartering activities of the group. After 10 years I decided to expand my portfolio and joined Coli Shipping in Bremen where I was in charge for renewables for a major US client, I also became MD of Coli in Bremen.

Together with my colleague Alain Akavi. 2011 we also made an agreement with Jumbo Shipping to become their Booking Agent for Germany, Austria as well as Switzerland and had good success which resulted in the fact that after 10 years I decided to start a new journey and opened up Jumbo Germany to represent Jumbo Shipping directly. After some time I was promoted as Director Shipping and took care of the commercial activities together with the worldwide team. In 2023 I was contacted by Alain Akavi & Herbert Lösing and we had good talks so I decided to go back to Coli.

Coli Shipping has a proud history. Can you elaborate a bit on the background of Coli leading up to the present day?

The cornerstone was laid in 1974 with the foundation of the company in Hamburg and Bremen. At that time we started as Liner Agency under the name of Contimar Linienagentur for a carrier handling breakbulk cargo to the Eastern Mediterranean. during the 2nd oil crisis in the early 80’s and the trend of globalization the cargo streams of goods drastically changed. As a result we realigned ourselves and shifted our business focus from pure liner agency services more towards becoming an independent ship and cargo broker for worldwide trading. Today cargo brokerage is still one of our main trading activities but we are also, together with our daughter companies ABB & CPC, active on the operating side with mainly F-360 Class vessels and next to this to serve our clients also offering some logistical services in certain areas where we have a strong local presence. Lastly we also have a Bulk Division (Coli Bulk) who have their focus on Handy Size Vessels on TCT as well as longer TC.

Coli Shipping has several activities nowadays. What can you briefly tell our readers on your main sectors in shipping & logistics?

For a long time and this goes back more than a decade we have been very active in the renewables and serving more or less all major producers on a regular basis, not only as brokers but also as consultants due to our vast experience is this segment. We know what the botlenecks are and which risks as well as opportunities should be considered. We are also quite active in LNG as well as typical breakbulk cargoes. On the logistics side we have also established 4 main hubs for our activities which are Sao Paulo – Brasil, Hamburg – Germany, Istanbul – Turky as well as Shanghai, China where we are serving a lot of direct clients in the meantime and our service portfolio is not limited, it all depends on our clients’ needs.

In your own words why would you say that Coli Shipping is a good choice in shipping? what makes you stand out in a competitive environment?

Clients do not want a so called QUOTE/UNQUOTE broker anymore as they are seeking for advice, consultancy and a team approach for their projects which we can deliver. Due to our experience in all sectors we understand their problems and fears and do our utmost to delivery as promised. Meaning meeting their expectations. as we have backgrounds as brokers, carriers as well as in logistics, we are benefiting from the experience within the group and can offer our clients the solution they need.

Wise people have said that shipping is all about people and it more about who you know than what you know. How do you go about in Coli Shipping to expand your global reach and your global network?

We are very active and always seeking for possibilities to grow, not only in the standard regions but also beyond this. We have good teams around the globe who are very active in their local market but also markets around them. Next to this we have learned that social media is becoming more and more dominant and since the start of 2024 we are also more active which is a nice tool for us to illustrate our portfolio.

As you know the undersigned editor shall be traveling as a passenger onboard your chartered vessel mv ABB Vanessa to Japan. I understand that Coli Shipping has had links to Japan for many many years. Can you tell our readers more? As many find Japan a very difficult market which obviously Coli Shipping has succeeded in.

Our founder Mr. Lösing has been active in japan since the early 80’s so you can imagine that after such a long time we have established excellent relationships with our clients there. Japan for sure is not the easiest market to enter but once you have shown your clients what you can offer them and work in a close partnership they will respect and honor that.

The shipping market has been in turmoil in the last couple of years both due to COVID but also due to politics, canal closures and so on. How do you view the situation going forward in 2024 for shipping business?

We think that the market will remain a bit weaker at least until summer but there are some signs that later this year there will be some positive effects with some nice projects starting which will automatically absorb some capacity which on the other hand means that regular rates should move up as well.

How to reach you? And whom to speak to globally depending on activity in your organisation?

As stated we like the personal approach and as MD’s we are still vary active in the day to day business meaning I can get approached and I will either take care of the inquiry myself or one of our team members will. We like to provide a personal touch.

This interview is published on Project Cargo Weekly (PCW);