Iran – Iraq – Israel – Jordan – Kuwait – Lebanon – Oman – Saudi Arabia.
It has to be admitted that, for a whole variety of reasons, the Middle East is no longer a regular destination for STG. Having said that, several members of the STG were pioneers of the original, overland services in the seventies and eighties.
In those days, Sunderland (Coles Cranes) to Tehran – via Belgium, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Turkey was commonplace – the round trip for the truck taking almost a month. Over time, as sea freight services came on stream, routing via Beirut and Aqaba took over. Forging relationships with reliable partners being one of the most crucial factors – a technique that STG maintains to this day.
Highlighting Beirut for a moment, there was the contract to Baghdad which became trapped during the civil war. Two memories come to mind. Firstly, in view of the fighting, we well remember the warden at the British Embassy insisting that our supervisor (Roy Haywood) was on the next evacuation flight! Secondly, once the cargo had been delivered, the customer volunteered a supplementary payment, in recognition of the unforeseen extra costs and dangers of working in war zones – not an everyday occurrence!
Reverting to more recent times – making best use both direct and connecting, sea freight services – projects have involved Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) and Oman (Muscat).