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Logistically viable
Rafeeq KK (Managing Director), Vinnay Panicker (Director) and Binu Thomas (Director) of Three Lines Shipping

Three Lines Shipping is the region's trusted logistics company and is a market leader in Over Dimensional cargo and Heavy Lift transportation


Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

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Published: Mon 10 Dec 2018, 11:36 AM

Last updated: Mon 10 Dec 2018, 7:26 PM

Established in 2001 with the motto of 'Meeting the Distance on Time' for its customers as LTL service provider, Three Lines Shipping has transformed into end-to-end logistics service provider within a short span of 15 years.
This has become possible with the vision and guidance of their Chairman Abdul Shukkur Puthalath and the efforts of executive troika comprising of Rafeeq KK (Managing Director), Vinnay Panicker (Director) and Binu Thomas (Director).
As quoted by Rafeeq, "TLS strength lies in the hands of our ever-growing team of industry professionals who have worked day in and day out to create this success story. He added that the staff turnover in the last 16 years is less than 2% and he feels proud in having this family of more than 200 people across the region, as the company revenue turnover swells to Dh200 million.
Team (TLS), as they address themselves, has mastered the art of understanding customers' logistics needs locally and internationally, adapts and implements to the delight of their customers. Its operations are ordained and come with value-added services such as warehousing and customs clearance, as well as ensuring end-to-end delivery for turnkey projects. TLS is headquartered in Dubai with offices in all GCC countries under the same umbrella to provide seamless experience to customers in the region. It is rightly acclaimed as the market leader in surface transportation, with unique offerings such as Over Dimensional Cargo, Heavy Lift and Break Bulk services, and caters to air and sea freight forwarding.

With the Middle East being an oil run economy, the chairman always had a vision in creating an enterprise that would specialise in catering to this specialised sector. Having made its mark in surface transportation and Oil/Gas/Industrial sector, TLS added verticals such an Air/Sea/Custom clearance and other value-add services. Having become an end-to-end service provider has helped TLS grow its customer base to include numerous small, medium and large multinational businesses in the region and beyond.

In a panel interview with Khaleej Times, Managing Director Rafeeq K K, Director (projects) Vinnay Panicker, and Director (Overland) Binu Thomas took pride in the fact that TLS has become a preferred freight forwarder and is scaling new heights of success. They especially mentioned the services of TLS Chairman Abdul Shukkur Puthalath who had acted as a beacon of light in laying a culture of competence, professionalism and excellence.

The Managing director, who humbly attributes the success of his company to his directors and teamwork, while explaining the logistics modus operandi said, "We operate on a asset light Model". TLS has an accessible data base of over 5000 individual operators who play a major role in providing services to the transport industry. Track & Trace system designed by TLS itself can locate this wide fleet at any given point which helps the transporters get regular business and in turn the customers benefiting from better, quicker solutions with a benefit of better pricing. This model of operations gives TLS a upper hand over it's competitors. "We will soon introduce state-of-the-art technology to make consignment shipment data available on fingertips," Rafeeq added.

Vinnay believes that in-land logistics is one of the prime focus of the company, and Project Forwarding is its specialisation. The chartering division provides cost effective solutions to many major clients and forwarders. He said that as far as Heavy Lifting is concerned, TLS has its own fleet and is in great demand.

TLS has also taken bet on growing on E-commerce business in the region by launching its own last mile logistics company, Tawseelah, which provides last mile delivery services to food and ecommerce sector. Rafeeq says that with a combined professional expertise of more than 100 years in logistics, TLS has solutions to the needs and expectations of its clients worldwide. "Our specialty is to give and take, and are accustomed to the concerns and requirement of clients. As a 'B' category company dealing in logistics, we are second to none," the Managing Director remarked.
Rafeeq said, "We cater to all big names in the industry, including MNCs and freight forwarders." TLS is an accredited entity under ISO 9001:2008, and OHSAS/18001 by the UKAS-quality management system, and has a secure network of agency offices worldwide.

Moreover, TLS also has an active call center, and a tracking system of its own that keeps the customers in the loop concerning their freight movement and delivery schedule.

Binu Thomas quipped that more than 120 trucks are on the move per day, and heavy lift remains his primary focus. He said: "This is why big business firms are our clients, as we move their heavy projects on the wheels. TLS is the only transporter moving heavy cargoes on multi axels cross border and we are proud to say that we are a Freight forwaders' forwader which is very unlikely in other parts of the world."

Talking about market share, Binu remarked that around 20 to 25 per cent of business is with TLS. "This underscores the confidence that industry has on our services," he added.

"We are the youngest team operating the freight business with articulation," Rafeeq asserted. "Our tariffs are most competitive. We offer stability and day to day operations are negotiated."

TLS is quite hopeful of a robust future for the UAE in the field of logistics. "Without logistics' there is no economic life. And the UAE while being the hub for trade and businesses will always have a booming market," Binu observed, forecasting buoyancy in years to come.

Rafeeq made it a point to say that TLS, apart from GCC operations, is planning offices in Delhi and Mumbai, and are eyeing for a major role in India. Likewise, China and Turkey are also on the TLS radar.

Vinnay also pointed out that his company is planning to attract investment from the private sector to broaden its operations and accelerate its growth.

Likewise, Binu was optimistic that TLS would be the top road freight carrier in the years to come and hoped that it would be among the top five heavy lift carriers in the Middle East.

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