AHA’s logistics coordinators keep shipments under control even at the shipyard

The logistics coordinators at AHA Logistics were involved in eight different shipyard projects last year. The yards were in Marseille, France; Cadiz, Spain; Trieste, Italy and Dubai.

Dock periods are short and schedules are tight, leaving no extra time for the site manager to search for tools or dispatched goods and organise logistics. AHA’s logistics coordinator sorts out the working stages and schedule, locates the customer’s goods and checks the shipping notes. Jonna Ahkila-Niemi, an experienced expert in shipyard projects at AHA Logistics, explains that, on arrival at a shipyard, it is important to get to know the key people involved in the ship’s logistics too, as soon as possible.

Experience and a wide network of partners give AHA a competitive edge in the shipyard

At the shipyard, it is common for schedules to change. This results in additional costs for the customer, which can be minimised by a rapid response from the logistics coordinator. Their initiative, experience and extensive network of partners play a crucial role in sorting things out.

“If you have to wait several days for a spare part, a phone call to the right person may well resolve the issue, with the spare part delivered to the site as soon as the next day. Resourcefulness, experience and the ability to react quickly, as well as a wide network of partners are extremely useful in situations like these,” says Riikka Harju, who was involved in the shipyard process in Trieste, Italy, among others.

A good eye for the game ensures schedules are kept

The logistics coordinator works closely with the site manager and reports regularly to the customer. They guard, monitor, direct and anticipate situations on the ground. Excellent interpersonal skills when dealing with various parties are crucial for success. At a shipyard, you must be able to stand up for yourself and demand that your work gets done, because everyone is just as busy. You save time by knowing exactly who to talk to when you need a forklift or even a crane to move your goods.

“The work goes smoothly when you have good relations with the staff working at the shipyard. By being active and having a good eye for the game, you can make a big difference in keeping the whole system under control,” says Ella Haapala, who has been involved in various shipyard projects.

Shipments are monitored all the time

A logistics coordinator is an invaluable asset, especially for projects with tight deadlines or in the event of an emergency docking, for example. Assistance is particularly needed at the start and end of a dock operation – or when a lack of spare parts brings work to a standstill. The start of a shipyard process can sometimes be quite chaotic, with all the subcontractors arriving at the yard and starting their own projects at the same time. The challenges at the end of the shipyard process, on the other hand, include making sure that all the tools used in the yard are recovered and transferred back to the customer or to the next yard.

“Our customers praise us the most when we have been able to act quickly to find a new spare part or arrange unexpected transport. Work at the shipyard runs smoothly because we always keep track of where shipments are and where goods and tools can be found. We keep an eye on shipments in real time to make sure that the goods arrive on time and don’t get stuck anywhere. Often we even go to the shipyard ourselves to make sure that the consignment gets there,” says Ahkila-Niemi.

Even though dock projects are hectic, AHA Logistics employees enjoy the atmosphere of shipyards. The arrival of a logistics coordinator is always good news for a contractor.

“They are always happy to see us! Although the work is hectic, shipyard projects have their own charm and working in a shipyard is a bit like working in a bubble, where you need to know the rules and the right way of doing things. The first day always has its thrilling moments that I never get tired of,” says Ahkila-Niemi.

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