Logistics & Beyond: Interview With Oren Cohen04. July 2022
Israel has a highly developed infrastructure even though a considerable part of its territory is desert. The government is also continually increasing its budgetary allocation for the infrastructure sector, which will reduce the cost of transportation and freight. With freight companies increasingly focusing on digitization to improve efficiency, which is reshaping the marketplace, Israel has been a leading smart logistics solutions provider.
We speak to Mr Oren Cohen, International Business Development Manager at Caspi Freight Forwarding and Customs Clearance Agents in Israel, to understand the logistics market and how the Israeli innovations have redefined the supply chain and logistics sector.
In conversation with Oren…
PL-Alliance: You are the business development manager for one of the biggest logistics companies in Israel. How did you start working in Caspi, and what has the journey been like so far?
Oren Cohen: I started my career as a medical device engineer. After that, I studied Business ad Economics in Europe and lived there for a few years. I then returned to Israel and started looking for opportunities. When Caspi offered me a job, it took me less than a minute to say yes looking at the company reputation and the good vibes Caspi offered. It was my first job offer.
Being a part of the Caspi team for almost 14 years now, I can say that I am only delighted. The Board of Directors at Caspi are very open-minded to exploring new options. This trust and backing by the management is key to our success. During my time, I have had many milestones which have uplifted me not only in my professional life but also in my personal life.
PL-Alliance: Can you please give our readers a brief insight into Caspi’s working and forwarding capabilities?
Oren Cohen: Caspi Freight Forwarding and Customs Clearance Agents has a long and rich history. Caspi started its operations in 1968 and is now owned by Mr Eyal Caspi. We have completed five decades in the industry and are headquartered in Haifa. We have three other strategic offices in Ashdod, Tel Aviv Port and a clearance station on the Jordan River.
Over the years, we have started working on many industry verticals to diversify our offerings. We are involved in groupage operations and air consolidation from all major airports in the country. Project cargo forwarding, ISO tanks and livestock transportation are also our strong suits. We have our own customs clearing department for both inbound and outbound sales, and we can assist clients with all classical forwarding activities.
Today, I can very proudly say that Caspi is one of the finest companies in the country, offering high-quality services in the Israeli market.
PL-Alliance: The Ukraine - Russian war has dramatically affected the global supply chain. How has it affected freight forwarders in Israel? How has Caspi maintained a high service level in these tumultuous times?
Oren Cohen: The effects of the Ukraine-Russian war are seen globally. In the beginning, we faced some obstacles. But our projects and forwarding team were innovative and found different ways to service both Ukraine and Russia. They chose different locations while switching both airlines and shipping lines.
Caspi has also sent humanitarian aid shipments to Ukraine via Poland. We can only hope that this conflict is resolved quickly and that both nations return to living in peace and harmony.
PL-Alliance: Last year, Israel joined the World Logistics Passport. What implications do you foresee of such initiatives? How would it benefit small players in the Israeli logistics industry?
Oren Cohen: As a global initiative involving theprivate sector, being part of the WLP will allow a smooth flow in global trade. Since this is done by creating new trade routes and economically affordable solutions, it is designed to help small players in the market.
Apart from reducing costs, it will also offer non-financial benefits like fast-tracking cargo movement, advancing cargo information and facilitating trade across borders. That’s why I think WLP will bring in a new wave in the market.
PL-Alliance: Recently, Israel and Middle Eastern relations have been steadily improving. Do you see increased avenues for new business?
Oren Cohen: Absolutely! This was one of the main ideas and the driving force to normalize our relations with certain countries in the Middle East. International trade wasn’t an option until recently, but in recent years we have seen a good development, especially in previously inactive sectors.
PL-Alliance: Israel is seen as a country with access to very advanced technologies. What are your takeaways from the logistics industry in Israel that you would like to see in other countries?
Oren Cohen: The technology in Israel is very advanced overall, and of course, this is also seen in the transport industry. If we all have the same interface, communication will be faster. The benefits of this will be visible in all aspects of forwarding. If other countries also adopt a similar model, communication and cargo movement between Israel and other countries will be expedited and less complex.
PL-Alliance: Israel has a complex customs clearance procedure which requires comprehensive documentation. Since Caspi also has a customs clearance license, can you please shed some light on the process in Israel?
Oren Cohen: The customs procedure in Israel requires a detailed and accurate approach. Most of the formalities for the import and the export processes must be completed beforehand. Customs agents need to be professional and seasoned. Apart from preliminary inspections, agents need to be thorough in the classification of the cargo all while matching the correctness of the paperwork.
Once the cargo is in the process of customs clearance, it is necessary to guide the importer in line with the requirements of the customs authorities. At Caspi, I can say our rich history has taught us to adhere to a very controlled process for our customers and ensure smooth, fast and efficient release.
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