Continuing to execute its gasification strategy and successfully complete base business projects around the world, as well as increasing its dividend for the 37th consecutive year, were the top three highlights of 2019 for Air Products, the US industrial gas giant told gasworld yesterday.
Today we hear from Albatross Tank-Leasing – the Hong Kong registered subsidiary of Shanghai-based Gentco Logistics.
With a vision of being not just a rental company for transporting assets and moving liquid products, but a strategic link between producers and logistic service providers, Albatross operates a fleet of more than 20,000 containers in worldwide services.
The company has a European head office in Mönchengladbach, Germany, as well as regional offices in the US, Europe and China.
It offers individual rental and leasing services based on a value-added concept for its customers.
In addition to the traditional rental and leasing activities, Albatross proposes a variety of service modules as per its customers’ requirements, which could even be extended to the full-service package of a comprehensive fleet management.
Its concept offers innovative technology to address the future challenges of both the local and global market, meeting the constantly growing requirement for efficiency, legislative change, cost saving and real time information flow.
In the next instalment of our 2019 in Review Series, Albatross CEO Christoph Schoeler highlights three milestones from the last 12 months, the most important markets for Albatross’ products and the company’s goals for 2020.
Gasworld (GW): As a relatively new company to us here at gasworld, could you tell us about Albatross and its role in the industrial gas industry?
Christoph Schoeler (CS): Albatross has got a long history in gas tank leasing since all the previous activities started by Sinochem International have been incorporated into the Albatross portfolio.
A substantial part of our Chinese business is in the local gas market, originally focussed on the refrigerant gas, but then extended to other air gases in the recent years.
The global gas tank fleet of approximately 2,500 units offers a large variety of medium and high-pressure gas tanks as well as T75 units.
GW: What have been the most important markets for your products and services this year?
CS: The most important market certainly was still the Chinese, but progress has been made to develop the US and European markets based on combined fleet management and transport offered by local and global services partners.
With the entry into the global leasing market, the focus is now more on expanding the customer base to India, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
GW: What business trends are you seeing?
CS: Value added services are finding more interest than only leasing of the tanks, a concept we followed from the very begging since the global structure of Albatross became operational by end of 2016.
Real time information of logistic services plays nowadays a very important role, proving that better fleet management in reducing the asset costs.
GW: Tell us about three milestones from this year?
Number one – Implementation of the Strategic Move service package, a comprehensive tool for fleet control and technical maintenance.
Albatross Strategic Move is the ultimate fleet management system for tank containers being employed in dedicated round trip operation in the local, European or global trade.
All relevant technical information of the containers are being populated in the management system and are accessible 24/7 for producers, transport and shipping companies, as well as the receiver of the cargo.
Based on the planned transportation dates, a detailed comparison with the actual performance will not only provide an accurate estimated arrival time at the receiver, but also a realistic forecast for the availability dates of units for reloading.
This is going to eliminate the time-consuming investigation about the current location with costs and effort associated to the process.
The technical maintenance and repair module of the system allows the supervision, authorisation and control of in-service and testing costs based on the agreed parameters.
All data of the various transport and service providers is being consolidated according to the requirements of the users.
In combination with the Albatross Ground Control and the Albatross Sky application any kind of information can be provided in the customer required configuration in real time.
Number two – Expansion of the T75 fleet and entry into the global cryogenic market – creating availability in the local European market and setting up strategic partnership with transport companies and manufacturers, offering a flexible service structure tailormade to specific requirements of the customer base.
Number three – Launching the domestic tank container leasing division in Russia – expanding the fleet to T50 and T75 gas tanks for the domestic transportation within Russia which does require specific approvals and administration.
We see this market as long term growth potential for tank containers, offering much more flexible applications for transport and storage.
GW: What are Albatross’ goals for 2020?
CS: Proving to the market that the service package we can offer is pretty unique and convincing customer to support us based on very flexible and dynamic service and lease agreements.
Further expanding our network to India and the Middle East with a focus on the gas market for which we believe a global and global service platform including transport arrangements offered by our service partners will add value to our customer relationship.
The 2019 in Review Series continues tomorrow with Michael Evans, CEO of Cambridge Carbon Capture.