Going the Extra Mile

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-By George Khera

Trans Pacific Projects was originally launched in April of 2007, as UTM Projects & Logistics Pty Ltd. Formed as a joint venture with a German trucking company, the company’s initial raison d’être was handling part of the logistics portfolio for Brisbane’s Clem 7 project – the largest infrastructure project in Queensland at that time. UTM’s role was to supply water on a daily basis for the production of precast tunnel lining segments and to transport tunnel lining segments from the precast factory to the job site.

The company grew from there, with Mr Peter Schweizer coming on board in 2008. The firm soon took on new projects, including the import of heavy duty locomotives for Queensland Rail and Pacific National. Upon the successful completion of the Clem 7 project in summer of 2009, the German shareholders sold their shares to Messrs Peter Leitner and Peter Schweizer, who then became sole owners, and UTM Projects & Logistics Pty Ltd was renamed into Trans Pacific Projects Pty Ltd.

Since then, the company has continued to develop and grow into a specialised logistics provider for major project works throughout the region. Working on infrastructure, energy and oil and gas projects in Australia and internationally, with a focus on Asia and Papua New Guinea, Trans Pacific Projects (TPP) is specialised in project logistics and therefore able to arrange and manage any requirements for vessel and air charter, customs clearance, handling and storage of cargoes, as well as any haulage requirements, all while remaining proudly 100 per cent Australian owned and operated and conveniently based in Hendra, Brisbane.

What are some of the driving forces that have been behind TPP’s rapid rise in the industry? For one, the company takes pride in dealing with its clients in an “open and honest way.” Taking a forward-thinking approach to every job, TPP treats its clients as true partners, and works with them to assess and manage all elements of a job. As Managing Director Peter Leitner stated in a recent interview, “We communicate all the positive aspects of any given job, and also anticipate and highlight potential problems, informing the client immediately and presenting solutions before they grow and become a bigger obstacle.”

“Our intention,” he continues, “is to build long term relationships.”

These relationships are fostered through TPP’s philosophy of not “overselling” to a customer. TPP is open and transparent about its strengths and what it can deliver to the client, and from there, it aims to over-perform and add value. The company’s size and personalised attention certainly helps: “Our service levels,” says Mr Leitner, “are at the highest possible standard and as a small to medium size company, we are able to offer customer specific solutions on all levels. Our customers deal with one representative of TPP and no matter what the questions, this person is able to satisfy the customer and give the required information at any stage of a project.” Once a job has been quoted and accepted, TPP adheres strictly to its contractual agreements. Any obstacles encountered along the way, Mr Leitner says, “are our challenges and not the problem of our clients.”

TPP is able to back up these claims with its strong emphasis on safety and quality. Being ISO and OH&S accredited, TPP aims to meet the highest standards of its clients, and seeks the same high level of certification from all its subcontractors. All subcontractors are subject to a comprehensive inspection process in order to become an approved supplier to Trans Pacific Projects. Once this high standard has been met, TPP can rest assured that it is capable of providing top quality service to all its clients, both in Australia and internationally. The company is also proud that in over five years of operation, it has not lost any time due to an OH&S issue.

The positive workplace culture at Trans Pacific Projects is another point of difference for the firm. Mr Leitner describes the staff as a “tight team”¦ supported 110 per cent by the management.” Staff members have at least eight to ten years of industry experience each, and continue to learn and refine their skills with every TPP project. They enjoy teambuilding and inter-company events, and enjoy a positive and supportive working environment with opportunities to upskill and learn from one another. As a result, Mr Leitner can proudly claim a “100 per cent commitment from all employees,” and “staff that are experienced in what they do and have fun in performing the jobs.”

“Over the past five years,” he continues, “we have established ourselves as a reliable partner for our customers as well as our suppliers, and due to that reputation and our work ethic we are effective in performing our tasks. We go the extra step and all our employees identify themselves with the job on hand.”

There is an “enormous amount” of project work out there in the market at this time, Mr Leitner says, and a great deal of competition in the industry. TPP benefits from the strong reputation it’s built for itself, and receives a number of word-of-mouth recommendations from clients. “It is a difficult market to work in,” he says, “but our commitment to our clients holds us in high regard within the industry.”

That high regard has led to some very significant projects for TPP. Most recently, the company is proud to have secured the contracts for a major infrastructure project in Brisbane that will span the next three to four years; a project for the movement of transformers from Germany to remote locations in North Queensland; a contract for the movement of a cement grinding plant to NSW in the next year; and contracts for the movement of tunnel boring equipment from China to various destinations in Asia.

Mr Leitner describes some significant projects in the company’s history as well: one such project, projects to last at least another year, is the import of heavy duty locomotives (77 to date) from the manufacturing plant in Germany to their placement onto the rails in Brisbane. This project was secured together with TPP’s German partner Trans Trading (G.P.L.) in Hamburg, and has been performed “to the absolute satisfaction of our customer.” The locomotives in this case are transported on heavy haulage equipment from Munich, Germany to a river port and than transshipped onto barges and transported to Bremerhaven, where they are loaded by a self-propelled multi-axle trailer onto Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ro/Ro vessels and then shipped to Brisbane. Once in Brisbane, TPP moves the locomotives – each weighing 135 tons – with a special trailer from the vessel and, with a 200 tons jacking system from The Lynch Mob, the locomotives are placed onto the rail.

“Another milestone,” Mr Leitner says, was “the logistical coordination and handling of three wind farms in South Australia, NSW and Western Australia, which have all been completed within the given timelines and to the satisfactions of our customers. To manage and handle these projects, we have close relationships with heavy haulage carriers and ensure that the necessary equipment and permits are in place, and all the OH&S requirements are being fulfilled. During each of the projects there was a logistics professional from TPP on site to coordinate all movements and ensure efficient and effective communication in all aspects important to the logistics of the project.”

TPP’s biggest challenge at the moment, says Mr Leitner, is a common one being felt throughout Australia as a result of the ongoing skills shortage. It is a challenge, he says, “to find new staff members that are experienced, have the right working attitude and will fit into our team and working environment.” As a company with international interests, the state of the global economy, too, is always a factor for TPP. Nonetheless, the future for this young firm looks bright; soon to open an office in Shanghai, China, TPP is continuing to grow and evolve to serve its customers on a much broader level. Whatever a client’s particular logistical needs, Mr Leitner is confident that his company can provide a “suitable, safe and economical solution.” TPP truly goes the extra mile, and it is a testament to its exceptional service that in five years, this small company has never lost a single customer.

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February 27, 2020, 3:34 AM AEDT


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