Challenge: turnkey everything. A more than $20 million production line from Italy to Shanghai, in the midst of a pandemic.

“Before starting this interview, I just want to say that we are going to talk about a challenge. Not an average one as Alisped international shipping company faces many times a day. We are going to talk about a turnkey project from Italy to Shanghai in the worst possible moment ever, about handling a more than $20-million-worth huge and fragile production line. Now if that’s clear, just fire away”.

The interview with one of the toughest Alisped’s sales executives ever can start. She’s Giulia Baroncelli and the challenge she’s talking about seems to have changed her perspective on both work and time. In fact, Alisped got a very special order from a client in December 2019, that included disassembly, packing with specific packaging material, shipping by sea and re-assembly of a 100-metre long, expensive, innovative, delicate line for the production of electric motors.

“The concept was: turnkey everything. Which means that once the client approves the project, we handle it all, they don’t have to worry about a single thing. In addition to that, we had to coordinate an expanded team composed of various indispensable partners. I have to say that the coordination and communication part provided a personal and professional enrichment I’ll never forget. It was the 4th of March 2020 when the client approved the project. The 8th of March, the world stopped because of the pandemic. But we necessarily had to move forward.”

The business world has changed a lot since then, but Alisped has never stopped providing its services.

“We were pretty determined not to give up but in order to do that, in order to put the turnkey project into practice, we had to reinvent the whole model. The so-called firm points in our job were not that firm anymore: people didn’t answer the phone, we couldn’t be sure about sticking to schedules and planning. Sadly, we also had to change couple of partners during the work – which means starting from the beginning every time, because of pandemic and restrictions. But all partners have been just fundamental and helpful and patient. You always have to add the human element to projects.”

Talking about the human element, once in China, Giulia had to go through an apocalyptic situation and quarantine while keeping it all under control: shipping by sea, unloading and so on.

“I was the one who had taken care of the project since the beginning and my presence on the spot was necessary. In these cases, when you are handling a 20-million-worth delicate production line you cannot afford not to have everything under control, h24. Again, the human element has proven to be key: me and our colleagues in Shanghai have worked side by side both during quarantine and then in Shanghai. Especially during reassembling, it was a game of millimeters. Yes, it was definitely an adventure!”

Giulia is particularly proud of being part of “something good”, as she describes the project. “Of course you do your job at your best because you’re a professional employee working for a high-level company, and that’s good. But it’s even better when the project you’re taking care of is something good itself. In this case, the  line is meant to produce electric motors, so we are talking about sustainability and care for the environment, a cause Alispedis committed to as other companies. It was sort of a plus: I felt like I contributed to a better green future.”


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