Elisabeth Cosmatos      Fri, 11/12/2020






this week we speak with


Juan Turner, Managing Director, Rowners, Argentina




Borned in 1969, Juan has a degree in International Trade and over 30 years of experience in shipping and freight forwarding. Before opening his own firm he worked as Latin America director for a European freight forwarder and during this last employment he gained knowledge of the region.



Tell us about Rowners. Who owns the company?

Rowners is a family business in which my wife Andrea Rodriguez and I are shareholders and directors playing an executive role. Andrea is in charge of Administration & Finance and I am the Managing Director.

Where are your offices located?

Our main office is located in Pilar which is a neighbourhood 50 kms north of Buenos Aires downtown. Our associate Pablo Palicio leads conventional freight from this office.

In Buenos Aires downtown we have a base where documents are handled to customers, since still a lot of procedures are done with hard copies. 

Federico Alemandi which is our engineer partner is based in Rosario, some 300 kms north of Buenos Aires.

What is Rowners' specialty and service range?

We are working in the general freight forwarding business with a focus in import traffic. In that specific field we are specialized in project cargo and serving industrial customers.

Tell us about projects that you have handled recently.

During recent years we handled several power generation projects delivering many 300 tons engines, turbines and generators onto bases. In some cases service started from port of loading and in other cases from port of discharge onwards. We have also worked with paper, cellulose, hardboard and tyre machineries, plus some cranes relocations.

Are there any tricky points one should consider when planning a project cargo movement in Argentina?

A proper customs formalities procedure and a financial planning are key to the success. Nothing must be shipped before all paperwork is done in advance and permits granted. Inflation, devaluation of local currency and limits to transfer abroad also demand a specific knowledge and expertise.

What is your advantage against competition? Why do you stand out?

Once we are chosen as supplier we immediately partner with our customer and sub-contractors to jointly execute the logistics in the best and most professional manner. This means for us to conclude the project with no fatalities, no injuries, with zero significant damage to the cargo, the least possible extra costs such as storage, detentions, demurrages, and within the schedule. If the services symphony sounds good, it means that we did a good job and we expect that our customer enjoys the experience of hiring us.

Guess this is how we stand out, by providing satisfying experiences not only to customers but also to the rest of the parties such as stevedores, port operators, truckers, riggers, ship owners, crew, banks, customs brokers, etc.

What made you join the industry?

My great grandfather is responsible for that, my grandfather and of course my father too. I’m the 4th generation in the industry, since my great grandfather, John Ebenezer Turner, started a ship agency back in 1878.

In 1988, one month after completing my school I started working in the business, and I still feel I’m learning.

What was the impact that COVID-19 brought to your business?

Argentina suffered a financial sovereign debt crisis a few months before entering the pandemic; projects freezed from that time, smashed by both causes. We believe that 2021 will bring new breezes, and investments will restart slowly to regain a proper rhythm by 2022.

Who should be approached in Rowners for inquiries?

Pablo Palicio (pablo.palicio@rowners.com) for conventional freight forwarding and Federico Alemendi (federico.almendi@rowners.com) for project cargoes. In both cases copying juan.turner@rowners.com