DAKO eyes ‘high quantity’ of projects in West Africa
West African region is providing a plethora of firm contract opportunities for the German freight forwarding specialist DAKO Worldwide Transport. Speaking to Project Cargo Journal, the company’s managing director Julian Slusarek notes that there are significant signs of recovery in the markets the company is involved in.
“With our DAKO LTW Africa Logistic joint venture, we could already participate in some important projects like the 120 MW Malicounda power plant project where we handled heavy lifts up to 290 tons unit weights up to foundations,” notes Slusarek. “We expect to see more and more growth and demand for renewable energy solutions. In West Africa we can see a high quantity of firm projects across various sectors, where we are trying to get involved.”
The company is mostly involved in energy projects, which include power plants, onshore wind projects but is no stranger to the mining and cement industry.
DAKO has recently been involved in delivering project cargo for the Tripoli West power project in Libya. The company has already completed a couple of deliveries with more to come. Libya has been one of the major focuses of DAKO, where, following the political turmoil, investment in infrastructure is picking up. Slusarek noted that traditionally, the company has been active in Central- and Southamerica, the Caribbean and Russia, however, over the past few years, DAKO based its assets in Senegal for the West African market.
DAKO booking tonnage in advance to keep project on track
Keeping up with the deadlines in the current market environment is one of the major challenges freight forwarders are facing currently. It is no different for DAKO Worldwide Transport and the company is focusing its efforts on finding suitable tonnage to keep the projects it is involved in right on track.
The company has traditionally booked tonnage on the spot market, but freight forwarders are now pushed to book capacity well in advance to make sure that the cargo gets to the destination on time. “We are already looking into options to book capacity for the first two quarter of 2022, to make sure we have secured the capacity for the start of projects we are involved in,” Slusarek told Project Cargo Journal.
The lack of capacity has pushed the charter rates up with premiums for vessels available on a short notice jumping above 2008 peaks. The Hamburg-based broker Toepfer Transport added that the MPP market is showing no signs of slowing down, making it hard for forwarders such as DAKO to find available tonnage for their project cargo.
“DAKO Worldwide had the capacity to handle several interesting and demanding projects in 2021, and we have already secured contracts for several projects coming up in 2022. We are involved in a number of interesting RFQs for 2022 across various sectors and regions and are confident of winning at least a couple of these projects, despite tough competition,” said Slusarek.
The early approach
Something that could be heard during the recent Project Cargo Summit is that the clients should approach the forwarders at a very early stage in the project. It is a sentiment Slusarek shares, adding that it allows the company to look into the rates, do route surveys and develop a logistics concept as effectively as possible.
The current cost hike is something that no one anticipated a few years back and is currently having a huge impact on the logistics budget of the company’s clients. But the congestion is also causing delays in deliveries. According to Slusarek, the company is facing the most delays when it comes to delivering project cargo from the Far East and the US west coast.
“However, considering the current market situation we are constantly re-checking and, if necessary, adapting our approach of buying vessel space,” Slusarek said, adding that each project has its own specifics and the company’s approach depends on the project characteristics.
“So we understand our role as a service provider to be as creative as possible in order to support our customer to find the most cost-effective transport solution for their project, taking into account the current market conditions,” he said.