AVega Bros Integrated Shipping Corporation : Brotherly Cargo Brokerage

Taylor GreenLauren Kania
Taylor Green - Project Manager Lauren Kania - Junior Editor

Alec Vega, Chairman of AVega Bros Integrated Shipping Corporation, discusses catering for the logistical needs of the flourishing Philippine market.

BROTHERLY CARGO BROKERAGE

The AVega Bros Integrated Shipping Corporation (AVega Bros) name is a nod to Alec, Alison, and Alexander Vega, whose father founded the company in 1981 as a cargo broker servicing the shipping requirements of the Philippines. 

Alec Vega, Chairman, was the first of the three brothers to join AVega Bros, having previously worked for a barging business. 

Alison and Alexander, graduates in engineering and law, respectively, would soon follow suit as AVega Bros started out by chartering ships and acting as a shipping agent. 

“We tried to own a ship, but at the time, nobody from the family was knowledgeable on the technical side of running them, so our father said that we should just concentrate on marketing vessels because that was our forte,” Alec opens. 

“We found out that there are a lot of ship owners using one or two vessels for their own trading purposes. After ferrying their products, these vessels are idled most of the time, so we gathered all these smaller shipping companies and started booking them; that way, we were able to compete with the bigger shipping firms.”   

As the economy improved, these smaller fleets, and subsequently their client bases, were able to grow. 

This eventually motivated AVega Bros to acquire its own vessel, realising its early ambition to become a ship owner, as it could no longer rely on smaller shipping companies that were now able to develop their own market.   

“Economically speaking, it was better for them to go straight to their clientele rather than passing through an agent,” explains Alec. 

“We therefore purchased a ship as cargo owners felt that they could get cheaper freight by dealing directly with ship owners.” 

Today, the company’s fleet has expanded to include a large number of vessels, tugboats, and barges. This growing fleet is the youngest in the country and is kept in excellent shape, ensuring cargo remains in good condition. 

Along with maintaining its own fleet, AVega Bros has comprehensive agreements with a complementary network of terminals, silos, arrastre and stevedoring operators, and trucking companies operating all over the Philippines. 

This enables AVega Bros to provide its clients with the complete services they require at any time of day across the country.

Sugar in a Warehouse.

INTEGRATED SYSTEM

Thanks to its decades of service, AVega Bros has acquired a vast knowledge of the Philippine logistics system, from ships and inland marine to port and terminal facilities, as well as various other elements related to cargo handling and delivery. 

Through its tried and tested integrated cargo handling services (ICHS), a nationwide warehouse-to-warehouse delivery system for bulk and break cargo, the company lessens impediments and enables a smoother delivery process across the country. 

Able to ship cargo to any part of the Philippines, AVega Bros’ ICHS follows a five-phase procedure that transports goods from initial storage to the destination warehouse and is flexible and easily adaptable to clients’ logistical needs. 

“We deliver cargo anywhere the client wants. We provide door-to-door services for big clients that want cargo sent directly to their warehouse, whilst small clients settle for delivery on a pier-to-pier basis,” Alec outlines. 

“Some shippers prefer their cargoes to be delivered directly to their warehouse because that way, they feel there’s less risk.” 

Through door-to-door, AVega Bros has extended its services and therefore added value to the company’s offering. 

“Why would a client choose pier-to-pier when there is another company that offers door-to-door service for almost the same cost?” questions Alec.

“We want to be competitive, and we feel that having a dry dock will be advantageous for us with the number of vessels we now have”

Alec Vega, Chairman, AVega Bros Integrated Shipping Corporation
Cranes at port of Rotterdam, Netherlands.

DRY DOCK PLANS

Having introduced door-to-door shipping, the next plan for AVega Bros is to have its own dry dock for ship repairs. 

“We want to be competitive, and we feel that having a dry dock will be advantageous for us with the number of vessels we now have,” Alec states. 

By having its own dry dock, AVega Bros will not only be more competitive, but also more efficient, as it means the company will no longer be dependent on the repair schedules of shipyards.  

“We will be able to schedule our own repairs and maximise the use of the vessel because we can programme it ourselves, so that’s the next goal.” 

The important role of AVega Bros’ suppliers will be even greater once the dry dock project is complete, especially when it comes to spare parts. 

“Even if the ship has already been dry docked and is ready to set sail, without spare parts, we cannot trade if there is a problem with our machinery,” notes Alec. 

As the Philippines doesn’t produce steel plates, AVega Bros imports around 500 tonnes (t) of this vital product per annum from China. 

This ensures that the company receives the quality it requires, as the steel plates must be able to withstand the harsh conditions encountered at sea, including high-impact forces, corrosion, and exposure to saltwater. 

Going forward with quality at the fore, the main goal for AVega Bros is to expand its market and offer clients the best possible service. 

“We always try to look for ways that shippers can minimise expenses on their cargo transport, because that way, we keep them longer,” Alec concludes.

Tanker vessel repair in dry dock Shipyard
REPUBLISHED ON:Supply Chain Outlook
PUBLISHED BY:Outlook Publishing
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Taylor Green is Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Taylor is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Taylor is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Taylor to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.