Anyone for a holiday?

A story of transporting goods

It was an early-summer afternoon and we were daydreaming about holidays (though August was still a long way off) when a phone rang in our cargo department. On the other end of the line was the manager of the Import Office of a shipping company we’d been working with for some years. He was probably daydreaming about holidays too, judging by his voice. Gabriele (not his real name, -Ed.) always has to take his holidays at the end of August, because his wife runs a clothing store in the town centre, and in July she’s busy with the sales: or the dreaded sales, as he calls them.

As is often the case, he was struggling with an absentminded importer who hadn’t realised she would have to take care of all the local expenses, customs clearance and transportation because she bought the goods with CIF sales terms. “Can you take care of it?” he asked. “Of course,” we replied.

On the third ring, the receptionist of a hotel in Lecce in southern Italy answered the phone. At that point we thought that our holiday daydreams had got the better of us. But in actual fact, after a few minutes on hold, listening to “Here comes the sun” by the Beatles, we found ourselves talking to Elena (again, not her real name -Ed.). 

We were instantly catapulted into her story: she and her husband had managed to fulfil the dream of a lifetime and open a five-star hotel in the centre of Lecce, the Florence of Southern Italy. All the furniture for their beautiful reception areas was arriving from China; all their perfect chairs, sofas and coffee tables, just like the ones you see in interior design magazines, were about to arrive in Genoa, in a shipping container.
Elena only had occasional experience of importing, and at that moment in time she was bewildered: she had no idea who to ask to arrange transportation from the north of Italy to the south. She didn’t even know where to begin where the Customs declarations were concerned, and she had no idea how much it would end up costing. The grand opening of the hotel was in just two weeks, but without the furniture in the lounges, it would be a flop. We could hear how anxious she was, everything was piling up on top of her. When you’re just moments away from making a dream come true, things get very stressful. 

By that point we were part of her dream, so we rolled up our sleeves. We asked Elena to try to keep calm and send us the technical specifications of her new furnishings. With her authorisation to proceed, we sent them to our customs office for the classification and declaration process.
Customs gave us the green light! So everything was in order, and no inspections were needed. Once the fees had been paid, we started organising the transportation, contacting many of our most trusted suppliers. Finding a free vehicle for such a long trip, and at such short notice, is no easy matter. But once again our Group came up trumps, and a truck owned by SILT, Finsea’s haulage company, was placed at Elena’s disposal. 

All’s well that ends well, I hear you say. Well, not quite. Problems are like buses: they tend to come along at once. And virtually every historical city centre is now off-limits to traffic. The SILT driver wouldn’t be able to reach the beautiful front door of Elena’s hotel. No need to fret, though: this time the solution was proffered by our client, who had been galvanised into action by the events. The container was unloaded in a warehouse just outside the city centre, and a removals company authorised to enter the centre was able to deliver the beautiful chairs and comfortable sofas to Elena.

Mission accomplished, and we’d found a holiday destination: see you in Lecce at Elena’s hotel next summer!

Customers Reviews

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Franco Cozzolino Operation manager Yang Ming Italy

Sat is a cohesive group with sound leadership. Its people are always willing to help, and over the last two years they have increased their competences, particularly where “ship assistance” is concerned. As for freight, they have always been, and still remain, at the cutting edge.

I often turn to them for consultation regarding the “cargo” sector, and their answers are always precise, reliable and professional.

The nature of our ties makes Sat more of a partner than a supplier to us.

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Paolo Arcidiacono Operations manager Cosco Shipping Lines Italy

Sat combines its knowhow and professional approach with a relationship built on trust. This allows us to work with peace-of-mind, knowing we are dealing with people capable of tackling the situations that crop up in our line of work each day. The team has a kind, helpful approach which enables them to run the business successfully.

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Michele Alverdi Responsabile Logistica Italia Holcim (Italia)

At Holcim Italiam we see SAT- Ship assistance and transit – as a competent and reliable partner, whose prompt, can-do attitude when it comes to operations makes them stand out.

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Matteo Delucchi Port and terminal operation manager Hapag Lloyd (Italy)

An outstanding team and impeccable organisation, featuring professionalism, reliability and skill. But what really counts is the passion they all put into their work, ensuring we do not encounter obstacles in our work.

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Giampaolo Botta Direttore generale Spediporto

When it comes to Spediporto’s sea freight companies, the knowhow of Sat Vice Chairman Giulio Baer has long provided a crucial benchmark. Their extensive work on issues such as preclearing, PMIS, VGM and much more comes to mind. The sector is highly technical and calls for outstanding skill. Sat has always proven it is up-to-date with technological developments and regulatory evolutions; so much so it is a reference point, not just on a local level, but for Italy as a whole.

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Marco Ghia Customer service manager PSA Sech

Sat has always stood for knowhow, promptness and a can-do attitude, with the “plus point” of the human touch which has evolved over the many years we have worked together.

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