May 9 - In what has been a successful year for Geodis' Industrial Projects division, Igor Muniz, Industrial Projects director Europe, said the investments being made at the company would provide a solid foundation for future growth.

"We are trying to add value, to be niche and listen to our customers," said Muñiz, speaking with HLPFI at the Breakbulk Europe 2017 conference and exhibition. "The two segments we are focusing on primarily are the super-heavy lift and the power sectors."

At the end of 2016, Geodis' Industrial Projects team coordinated the delivery of 24 modules from China, South Korea and Singapore to Abu Dhabi on board semi-submersible vessels - the largest of which has a 63 m beam and deadweight of 72,000 tonnes. The contract was for the transportation of oil production modules weighing up to 4,500 tonnes each.

"We have put in a global team that will focus on the delivery of super-heavy modules, bringing engineering expertise and technical skills to the table…we also have good alignment with the main super-heavy carriers," said Muñiz, adding that this combination is vital to building trust with customers.

Oil and gas is, of course, a key driver of project cargo transportation opportunities for Geodis, despite challenging market conditions. A programme creating integrated oil and gas hubs around the world is well under way, with facilities up and running in Houston, Singapore, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Dubai and Aberdeen.

"We are currently building a hub in Marseilles, linking the European regional hubs with Houston and Dubai," says Muniz. "We have been able to consolidate our growth with the development of the hubs, which is important for our customers. Now, we just need to bring in the business to 'feed the machine'."

Muñiz said that as a global company, Geodis is not looking at any one specific region to spark market recovery. "We have to look at the project pipeline drivers and listen to our customers. With this alignment, we will make the required investments. All regions are important."