TEC CONTAINER INTERVIEW – General Manager

TEC CONTAINER INTERVIEW – General Manager

We continue a series of interviews with our people. A way to get acquainted with the persons who stay behind each and every solution TEC offers. In our next interview we have the pleasure to present you Rafael Moragón – General Manager at TEC CONTAINER, S.A.

Question:

TEC Container has been a benchmark for port cargo and lifting equipment for 40 years. Which two or three milestones do you believe have led to disruptive change within the sector at this time?

Answer:

In recent history we can mention very relevant milestones, but if we must mention the on disruptive change in the sector, that was containerisation. From the 60s, the tasks involving loading and unloading a ship went from approximately 10 days to 24 hours.

Beyond this fact, there have been other milestones that have changed the rules of the game, both geographically with the appearance of shipyards and large Korean companies, and technologically with the introduction of several Wi-Fi sensors and applications that make machines smarter and more integrated with all the port operations. The next great milestone is the complete automation of container terminals.

Q.

Although TEC Container supplies globally and is considered a multinational, its internal operation still maintains a close family business identity. What advantages do you think this operation has in relation to the competition?

A.

The advantages are many. On the workers side, the reassurance that the company will always do everything in its hand to improve the working conditions of all employees and to make them feel that TEC Container is their home. On the management side, to rely on committed people who love the company and who do their best to make TEC Container a better company every day. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff for their involvement, effort and talent, from the first engineer to the last workshop assistant. They have made it possible for TEC to become the benchmark company it is today.

Q.

Speaking of families, TEC Container is made up of product “families”. We are talking about LashingCages, OHFrames and ContainerSpreaders. How does this division help customers?

A.

It helps customers to differentiate very well the needs covered by each family, and the possibilities existing in each one of them. They are three different worlds, covering very different needs. For example, LashingCages was defined as a strategic project, and at TEC Container, we set out to provide safety mechanisms to ensure that stevedores’ operations were safe. As you may see, this product is quite different to other items more aimed at loading and unloading like OHFrames or ContainerSpreaders.

Q.

Tell me more about LashingCages and why it can help safety.

A.

Very easy. At present, in many ports in the world, we have people climbing up containers to hook or unhook them, with the risk involved. We are sure that safety is and will remain one of the priorities of the sector. That is why we have created baskets that allow stevedores to do all these operations safely and without losing operability. Additionally we are leading the first NTP (technical prevention note) along with many other renowned players in the sector such as Paceco Spain, to help standardise these safety baskets.

Q.

A company like TEC Container, which has collaborators in the strongest markets, will be in constant pursuit of new partnerships to reinforce its positioning and make the company grow. Apart from Europe, where TEC is a benchmark, in which markets is its presence increasing?

A.

We have a network of highly reliable local partners, but our current alliance policy is to look for global rather than local partners. We are a company that sells highly complex machinery in more than 90 countries, and this makes us see the world as something global, requiring global services and global responses. As examples of this new policy, we can mention agreements with companies such as RAM Spreaders or Portek in South-east Asia. However, we are focusing on some geographical areas such as Africa and Latin America, these being more emerging markets with medium-sized terminals, where TEC is especially strong.

Q.

The port loading and lifting sector remains a stranger to the world. The classic image of cranes and machinery with much staff is far from the new automated terminals where robotics plays an important role. How does TEC Container adapt to this modernisation?

A.

TEC knows that the only way to continue leading the sector and moving away from a struggle where only cost reduction and relocation are decisive, is innovation. So we have a department that is continuously thinking and designing new developments. From machines that also weigh the load, to solar panels that make them totally autonomous, being the first to introduce the Wi-Fi in certain sensors or in designing lighter and safer baskets than those of our competitors. We will shortly announce a new breakthrough that we hope will bring standards even higher and increase the sector’s digitisation.

Q.

Within this modernisation in the sector, what do you think the trend will be and what position does TEC Container intend to play within those changes?

A.

We identify three trends that, in our view, will mark the coming years. First, safety. We believe that there is much to be done, not only at the regulatory level, but also at certification levels (certificate requirements often vary by country and that is a serious risk). The sector’s complexity is growing to such an extent that we need to stop and think about whether we are focusing only on efficiency and not on safety, which is why we are promoting safety baskets, among other measures.

Secondly, I think “green” has come to stay. The sector will be increasingly demanding, not only in requiring manufacturing standards, but also in ensuring the future recycling of machines, and minimising the environmental footprint. Those who are not sustainable, will not be.

And finally, digitisation. We will soon stop talking about sensors, and we will talk about machines that talk with machines. More than ever, the role of people will be key, since we will have to make sure that these machines have the safety maintenance, instructions and mechanisms that ensure that we move forward without endangering the integrity or the jobs of people. Innovating without helping people adapt to these innovations is not very intelligent commercially, and also unethical.

Q.

And finally, what is the product, solution or innovation that you have been part of at TEC that you feel most proud of?

A.

Of the things I feel most proud of was probably when we designed the platform for a Russian space port (cosmodrome) or when we designed the machinery required to transport wind blades for Gamesa, as this exceeded any imaginable scope. But if there is one thing I am proud of, among all,  is having managed to transform a company that originally focused on lashing, into a leading company in its product segments and with technology that is sought after in the five continents. We have achieved a lot, and this is precisely why we know that it is time to do more. We are convinced that with the team we have, there is no challenge that we cannot face.

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