Author Archives: kingstar

How to build a truly great organization ?

How to build a truly great organization ?


How to build a truly great organization ?

The way I see it – An Organization is a focused group of people setting out to offer a service to the customer.

I have put down some of my thoughts on the factors that I think builds a great organization.

1.      Committed and Loyal Team

There are many departments at work in organizations. They may be good individually but finally it is the culmination of the teams that provides an outstanding service to customers. The challenge is to be able to bring all individuals, all teams to work towards the single goal of Customer Delight.  Organizations need to focus on building teams – Committed to the customer and Loyal to the company. That’s the winning formula.

2.      Efficient I.T System

Offering a great service to the customer requires a great I.T system to ensure that the quality of the service is consistent and error free. Investment in I.T and upgradations are an important tool to develop a great organization.

3.      Employee Empowerment

A lot has been said about employee empowerment. All team mates must be given the space to make decisions that will benefit the customer. That said, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Employees must be made aware of the impact of the decisions that they are taking on behalf of the company. Regular training must be imparted to the team so that they are better equipped to make empowered decisions to improve customer experience.

4.      Organization Culture

Organization can be made great place to work when the organization’s culture is built around sound value systems. Fair and ethical business practices, open communication channels, team spirit, respect for all, gender / religious neutrality are the basic foundations that must be inculcated into the Company Culture.

5.      Strong Finance team

The lifeline of every organization is prudent financial practices and systems. Accurate accounting, timely receipts and payments, statutory compliances are the cornerstones of every successful organization.

6.      Consultants and Experts

There are many facets of conducting the business which require inputs from experts. Employing consultants to take care of such matters is a pre requisite to build great companies. Consultants bring in new perspectives and domain knowledge.

7.      Training and Development

Continuous improvement is an integral part of life. Organizations committed to training and development of their teams will reap benefits in terms of better employee and customer retention, better Return on Investment and raising the bar of the industry in which they operate. Business must not be about making profits alone.

ISO Tank Cleaning Process , Issues and some common spare parts

ISO Tank Cleaning Process , Issues and some common spare parts


Attached is a presentation by Mr. Kevin D’souza of Invictus Services on ISO Tank Cleaning and some of the common issues that are encountered during the cleaning.  For the benefit of some of our new joinees, some of the commonly used spare parts in ISO tanks was also explained during this session.  This session was imparted in the year 2020 but the contents remain relevant.

Its a great refresher course for iso tank professionals.  Kevin is a highly experienced professional in the field of iso tank cleaning with hands on experience of running a depot in India.

Click the link below to take a look at the presentation.  Feel free to connect with us for any information on ISO Tank business in India.  Always happy to help.



Marketing of Haz Cargo logistics services in ISO Tanks – Tips and Tricks

Marketing of Haz Cargo logistics services in ISO Tanks – Tips and Tricks


We had the opportunity to recently collaborate with Mr. Shashi Kallada ( for a webinar on the sales and marketing of Logistics services for Hazardous Cargo shipments in ISO Tanks and other CTUs. The objective of the webinar was to bring about awareness of the need for sales and marketing professionals from the logistics industry to be aware of some of the key points to consider while pitching customers who are involved with Hazardous Cargo shipments.

Attached is a brief of the presentation that may be an interesting read for young professionals trying to make a career in Shipping and Logistics.

We have attempted to offer pointers on what customers look for when they are approached by Logistics Service Providers and the importance of basic training in Hazardous Cargo as per IMDG Code for all professionals dealing with Hazardous Cargo Shipments.

Please feel free to send us your queries at and we will try our best to respond to it.


Dangerous Goods Misdeclaration – A Hazard waiting to happen …

Dangerous Goods Misdeclaration – A Hazard waiting to happen …


Is the current process of Dangerous Goods acceptance by shipping lines a fool proof way to ensure that there is no misdeclaration ?

Why do shipping lines and vessel operators allow shippers to give the final verdict on the declaration or classification of cargo on the cargo declaration form as Dangerous Goods or not ?

In January 2019 while she was sailing in North Atlantic a fire broke out on Yantian Express. 

Investigators considered the declaration of the cargo as coconut pellets was incorrect while the actual cargo was coconut shell charcoal.


Current process of DG cargo acceptance followed by shipping lines is as follows :

Shipper will provide the MSDS and the Dangerous Goods declaration to the carrier.

Carriers will assess the declaration and MSDS and give the approval for the carriage of the cargo on the vessel.

The problem with this process is that the entire onus of the declaration of the cargo to the shipping line rests with the shipper.  An unscrupulous shipper can decide to declare a potentially dangerous cargo as Non Dangerous Goods in order to shave a few pennies off the freight costs.

This would cause risks to the shipping lines and vessel operators.  Risks of loss of life at sea due to accidents or  improper handling of hazardous cargo due to misdeclaration. Risks of fire on board vessels causing loss to other cargo on board and the vessel itself.

IMDG Code is the mandatory regulations for carriage of dangerous goods and marine pollutants in packaged form. The Code places the responsibilities of classification, packaging, consignment procedures, etc on Shippers. However, the Code cannot verify or enforce compliance. It is left to the member countries to enforce or verify through random inspections.

Shipping Lines faced similar problems of misdeclaration of weights by shippers for general cargo in containers.  Several mishaps later, the VGM regulation was put into place to ensure that the shipper declares the correct weight on all shipping documents.  This step has been fairly successful to reduce untoward incidents at sea.

Why don’t shipping lines take a similar stand for regulating the acceptance of Dangerous Goods ?


Implementing a process to regulate the DG cargo acceptance can be done quite easily. Instead of following a system of self declaration by shippers and punitive measures for incorrect declaration, it is quite possible to ask shippers to carry out container wise inspection by third party inspection companies and the acceptance of the cargo for shipment can be done based on the certificates issued by the inspection companies.

Large chemicals manufacturing companies can be asked to provide self declaration of the cargo as usual but with a one time (perhaps annual) audit of the loading stations to ensure adherence to the cargo declaration.

The shipping industry still operates based on the inherent positive values of trust and self responsibility.  This trait is being misused by a few shippers to mislead shipping lines to accept cargoes that may not be “NON DG” as declared.

The outcome of such shady practices may be huge accidents and claims.

There is an imminent need to correct the cargo acceptance process by shipping lines for a safer method of carriage of Dangerous Goods by Sea.

ISO Tank returned to depot

ISO Tank returned to depot

This is a problem that continues to be a thorn in the side for ISO Tank operators / agents and cleaning depots in India.

Every month there are a few cases of ISO tanks failing QC criteria at the factories after the ISO tank have reported to the plant for export stuffing.

In India, some of the reasons why this happens are as under :

  1. ISO Tank still has some impurities at the time of steam cleaning at factory. A probable cause could be an improper cleaning process.
  2. Water residue in the ISO Tank. A probable cause could be condensation or rain water splashing when the man lid is opened.
  3. Not able to operate the bottom discharge handle at factory. A probable cause could be unskilled workers handling the ISO Tank.

In India, ISO Tank is surveyed for cleanliness by third party survey companies on behalf of tank operators to mitigate the risks related to unclean tanks.  However, there are several conditions that survey companies cite in their defense.

For instance.

  1. Tanks were cleaned some time ago.
  2. Tanks were not sealed immediately after cleaning.
  3. Tanks were clean at the time of actual physical verification by surveyor, don’t know what happened after.

The return of tanks to the depot has various impact on the customer relationship.

  • It undermines the processes set by the tank operator in the choice of cleaning vendor and there on the brand value of the Tank Operator.
  • Vessel is missed. Destination arrival deadlines as well.
  • Production process is hampered.
  • Additional labor costs as many factories hire temporary labor to assist the stuffing process.
  • Cost of transportation to the plant is debited back to agent / cleaning depot resulting in unforeseen costs for stake holders.
  • Disgruntled customers.

The best solution would be for a higher level of checks and supervision before the tank is gated out from the depot.  A strong process set by cleaning stations to set up a standard that ensure zero returns will help this problem to be ruled out.

All stake holders must work on fixing the problem, than fixing the blame.

ISO Tanks – Case of the upside down Hazardous Placards

ISO Tanks – Case of the upside down Hazardous Placards

I wished to share with you a case that we encountered a few years ago.

One of our regular shippers booked a shipment with us from Mundra (India) to Rotterdam with Hazardous Cargo – Ethyl Alcohol in ISO Tanks.

The shipment went off without a hitch until the time that the cargo reached the destination. The Rotterdam Port – Hazardous Inspection authority levied a penalty on the Ocean Carrier for placards being placed on the tank upside down !

The penalty was passed on by the carrier to the ISO Tank Operator and onwards to the Shipper.  The penalty for this mistake was around USD 2000 (if I can recall correctly).

Upon further investigation, it was found that the shipper had instructed their transporter to affix the placards on the ISO Tank and someone in a tearing hurry did a shoddy job of it.  Something as easy as affixing placards on the ISO Tank was not done correctly and it cost the shipper a huge amount of money.

Such additional costs can easily be saved if sufficient attention is given to the training of unskilled labour.  Exporters must invest time and effort to develop checklists to ensure that all required steps are taken to ensure safe transportation of cargo by sea.

Points to Ponder :

Whose responsibility is it to ensure that the placards are placed correctly on the ISO Tanks ?

Are Shippers educating their vendors and subcontractors enough ?

Is there a checklist provided to the subcontractor to ensure that the shippers interest is taken care of ?

Take care to ensure that such unforeseen costs do not affect your shipments profitability.

Connect with us to learn more about shipments in ISO Tanks.

Warm Regards, 


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Sales as a Profession – What all sales professionals need to know

Sales as a Profession – What all sales professionals need to know

Sales as a Profession

This is my first blog post @King Star Freight Pvt Ltd and I thought it relevant to start off with sharing what I love most – Sales !

Being a sales professional has been a passion for me …

Wonderful as it is to be a Salesperson, what exactly is selling ?

Sales is the creation of a relationship. 

It is the building of a bond between two individuals first and then two companies. We hear of large deals struck between XYZ Logistics and ABC Manufacturing Co. Deals of the magnitude of carrying shipments by air, sea and surface transport for large and small parcels, across various countries.  What is at the very basic level of such deals ? It is the first and every other contact that the sales person makes with the Buyer to create a bond that leads to a trusted relationship.  Once you trust me to solve your problems, you will open up to me and the relationship blossoms into sales for me and solutions for you.

Sales is the creation of value.

Creation of value seems like a difficult term to grasp. Simply put, ask yourself what I am able to give to  the customer today that he is not already getting from his existing vendor. That extra input is the value that you have created for your customer. Remember value creation does not have to be a tangible benefit. Your response, response time, knowledge, skill, experience are all reserves that you need to dig into to create that value for your customer.

What you really sell is a Solution, not a price.

Usual trap that the salesperson gets into is the price war. A salesperson has to be a thinker.  Ask yourself what is the solution that the customer is looking for, is your product or service answering that need ? Give your customer a sustainable solution to his need, the sale will happen on its own and that too at a price point that you will be comfortable with.

Good sales numbers come from good communication with your customer.

The more you talk to your customers, the more pointers you will get about the challenges and pain areas that he has to deal with. The trick is to be able to pick out these cues that are thrown up during casual conversations and work towards solving those issues for your customer. Talk and Listen to your customer, it pays off…

So young salespersons, don’t go after the numbers or targets. Chasing targets means that you are concentrating on short term achievements. Develop relationships with your prospects and genuinely care for them in a manner that it shows…. This is a no short cut approach, no doubt. It takes a lot of time, patience and perseverance. But the outcome is always a deal that stays with you.

Warm Regards,


Follow us on Linkedin @King Star Freight Pvt Ltd