A number of changes are taking place in Guam’s shipping and freight forwarding industry with new players opening doors and existing businesses expanding operations.

• Shipping agent Norton Lilly International officially opened for business on Guam on Feb. 1.   

Donald “Bill” Thayer III director South Pacific for Norton Lilly International Inc.; told the Journal the company would now service customers of American President Lines. “We’re going to make a smooth transition between Matson to Norton Lilly. APL is changing agency and we’re looking at maintaining the book of business and stabilizing service ” he said.

During the first days of officially doing business Thayer said “I am working my way through the files just trying to determine who were customers and re-establishing relationships and making new ones.”

Thayer has prior experience in the shipping industry in the Pacific and set up the Waldron NLI office in Honolulu. In 2005 Waldron Steamship Co. Ltd. and Norton Lilly formed an alliance. “I will apply the same successful principles and work ethic that I used in Hawaii to make this new agency a success ” Thayer said.

Hawaii Carnival Cruise Line’s port agency was the former Waldron Steamship Co. In 2000 Waldron handled about 80% of the cruise ship market and calls. The Journal asked Thayer if Norton Lilly might consider building up a local cruise line industry. “I will be happy to lend a hand in helping to establish a robust cruise line industry on Guam. Guam is beautiful. I think there is some definite possibilities but I am going to be concentrating on freight for now. The first order of business is to stabilize business for APL and achieve a successful transition ” he said.

However as part of Norton Lilly’s relationship building Thayer said “I would like to help in bringing all the expertise together to see what we could do to improve the port. It’s something I did while I was in Hawaii when I was working alongside the transportation department under the harbors division and the Army Corps of Engineers. I was part of the harbor planning committee.”

Thayer said he is looking forward to doing work with the domestic and military markets locally. Thayer told the Journal “There is a lot of business for every agent. There are a lot of really good agents out there and I hope to be considered among that group.”

Thayer said he hopes to establish and grow relationships on Guam. “I really enjoy Guam and it’s been great so far. Not only I am thankful but humbled by the outpouring of help and assistance I have received setting up here ” he said. The Guam office is located at Cabras Island in the United Warehouse.

In  1841 John Norton founded Norton Lilly International in New York Harbor and  in 1994 the group expanded through the acquisition of Kerr Steamship. Norton Lilly and Strachan Shipping Agency joined forces in 2002 to become the largest provider of agency services in North America.

According to its Web site Norton Lilly International describes itself as “an integrated and diversified service provider within shipping logistics and marines services in North America Canada Panama and Caribbean ports handling all types of vessels from sophisticated gas and chemical carriers to dry bulk carriers and cruise vessels as well as more specialized products such as break-bulk and heavy lift.”

— Jay Baza Pascua

• Cargonet Guam Inc recently began operations on-island. The company met the required guidelines for a military freight forwarding server and received the necessary approval to service the military for both relocation to and from Guam on Dec. 20 2006 but has been in preparation since September.

Owned by Henry Sohn a Korea-based businessman; the company expects to see a large clientele base. Malcolm J. Duenas is general manager for Cargonet. He is a longtime worker in Guam’s moving community and was previously employed with the Personal Property Shipping Office at Naval Forces Marianas.

He told the Journal “Henry saw the opportunity what with the upcoming military buildup and he figured it was a perfect time to open for business. There are only three companies that cater to the military right now.”

Though Cargonet originally planned to operate solely within the military the company also sees a potential in the private sector and decided to extend services there as well.

“Our primary goal was to stick to servicing the military but we’ve already expanded to include commercial moves also ” Duenas said.

Cargonet is located near Route 16 on East Harmon Industrial Park Drive and employs 18 people.

• Triple B Forwarders referred to by Eric J. Bell vice president and general manager; as “a travel agent for cargo ” is preparing for an upcoming move to a new facility to “consolidate operations and prepare for increased economic activity.” Bell cited the military buildup as a significant part of this increased activity.

The new facility will be leased from  the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport Guam adjacent to the DHL facility and will enable Triple B to terminate its lease with the Harmon facility. The new facility will be developed by Triple B itself and will be both air and sea capable. It will be about 60 000 square feet in size. A construction date has not been set but the $1.7 million project is expected to take 10 months to build.

Though Bell said the military buildup is one reason for the move Triple B has other increased business.

“We are also seeing more and more cargo getting consolidated here and then reconsolidated for other destinations in Micronesia ” he said. “Guam is becoming much more of gateway for all Micronesian [freight] traffic. We’ve been getting more involved in the region.”

While Triple B business is affected by the military he said it is usually not a direct affiliation.

“Yes we do move cargo for the military. We determine the logistics of the move and set it up but the majority of the time we do it for other vendors that deal directly with the military.”

Rolenda Faasumalie airport marketing administrator; said the airport was pleased at the addition of a second transport-related business. “The location earning potential and easy access of the airport’s Tiyan property makes this subject area extremely attractive and marketable for aviation-related businesses.”

• Pacific Island Movers will expand in the near future. The expansion is an attempt to terminate a current lease and move into a self-owned facility though plans are in the “very early stages ” according to the company’s senior executive.

“We’re currently looking for land to open a building of our own ” James F. Coleman president of Pacific Island Movers and chairman of Coven Worldwide Moving; said. Coven is based in Midland City Ala. and acquired Pacific Island Movers on March 7 2005.  “That is the main reason for the expansion plans. Any news of military buildup or anything like that would only emphasize what we have already decided to do.”

The Department of Defense spends more than $1.2 billion annually as a result of the high mobility of its forces.

Coven Worldwide Moving operates more than 40 locations on the U.S. Mainland and Hawaii.

Roy G. Adkerson general manager on Guam; told the Journal “We believe that Guam is the place right now for this type of business. We deal with military growth some government agencies; we even have dealt with some teachers being brought in or leaving under contract. There are some things being put together but at the moment we are still very much at the tentative stages.”

• Isla Trucking trucking services recently opened for business. Journal sources said John G.F. Cristobal owner of Island Waste Management; Michael Gutierrez formerly trucking manager of Ambyth Logistics and Trucking; and Glenn Ongoco are the company’s officers. MBJ