Fugro Shipment Case Study

‘Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours’, sang Stevie Wonder back in 1970. Unfortunately, not all shipment stories are this straightforward. Take a recent case we solved for Fugro, for example.

On the 15th of December 2016, our UK agent All Seas Global Logistics informed us that a 40-foot container full of seismic and geological surveying equipment had been stuck in Malta since March 2016. The total value of the items was around €600,000. In other words, it was a big deal. O&S Shipping stepped in, and managed to crack the case by the 3rd of January.

Here’s how it all happened.

Week 1 – The Beginning

When we received the request for assistance from All Seas Global Logistic, we didn’t dillydally. We had all the necessary documents and information pertaining to the consignment by the very next day. We determined that the consignment was off-hired and returned from a Floating Storage and Offloading (FSO) on March 2016. The consignment was due to depart from Malta in April, but it got stuck here because of insufficient export licences.


As always, the first action is discussion. After thorough talks with the cargo owners and the agent, we turned to the local Trade Department about this shipment, and we were asked to submit an application for each and every item in the container. This is normal procedure, but since the processing of these licenses usually takes months, this was a problematic option as the customer was meant to ship another job as soon as possible. Once we coupled this with the fact that the container had increasing storage charges and couldn’t be used for new consignments, it became obvious that a speedier option was needed.

We later found that the cargo owner usually operates under an OGEL licence, which covers Oil and Gas Exploration Dual use items. This license is supposed to replace the need to apply for a standard individual export licence, and should be valid for movement of dual-use items with European territory. After getting the necessary information and documentation about the OGEL licence, we contacted the Trade Department again to see if we could operate under it. They agreed that the items would be eligible, but further confirmation from EC offices was required for approval.

Week 2 –  The Turnaround

Things were looking up. After daily contact with the authorities, we finally received the OK from the Trade Department to move consignment under the current OGEL license without the need to re-apply for each and every item in the container.

We could finally start operation, so we released an empty container and collected the consignment from Malta Freeport under a transhipment bill. This was transferred to our A-class bonded facility, where it was loaded and lashed in a 40-foot container and re-delivered to port under customs control to meet the vessel Swansea. Success! The container was loaded aboard Swansea, and finally left Malta.


This case was certainly an ultimate success for All Seas Global Logistics and Fugro, and we’re also very content to write this down as a personal success for numerous reasons.

This case is a clear example of the drive towards efficiency that O&S Shipping always upholds in its work. The container had been stuck in Malta since March – solving the challenge in under three weeks is quite the achievement. It’s also a strong reminder of how constant communication and looking for all possible solutions is always the way forward in these tricky situations.

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