BSM Hellas managing director Theophanis Theophanous explains the developments that are taking place within BSM and the Greek shipping community as a whole
Tanker Shipping & Trade: What have changes have taken place at BSM Cyprus and Hellas in the last twelve months?
Theophanis Theophanous: The last twelve months in tanker shipping have been driven by the demands for digital automation, regulations and more efficient vessels operations. This presents a real challenge for smaller companies and perhaps thus provides an increase in need for the services of a professional ship manager and focused maritime software provider. BSM are very proactive in this respect, with our own dedicated maritime specialised software company, MariApps Marine Solutions, as well as a fast-developing Corporate Fleet Performance division
Tanker Shipping & Trade: What is MariApps?
Theophanis Theophanous: MariApps is an enterprise digital solutions company offering state-of-the-art software applications for the marine industry. Its flagship product PAL is built with the latest Microsoft technology and, based on direct feedback from functional market experts, is a fully web-based piece of enterprise resource-planning (ERP) software for ship managers and ship owners.
Tanker Shipping & Trade: How does PAL aid the role of shipmanager?
Theophanis Theophanous: PAL is implemented throughout our Ship Management and Crew Service Centres as well as on our fleet of managed ships. It allows us to attain ever-faster centralised data access and work processes and lessen the possibility of error as well as further improve transparency between ship to shore and concurrently with our clients. It provides a better understanding of vessels performance and availability of critical vessel-related information anytime, anywhere via the web or a mobile device.
Tanker Shipping & Trade: How has the tanker market of the last 12 months impacted the business?
Theophanis Theophanous: From a shipmanagement perspective the tanker market has remained stable, there has been very little change in the proportion of tanker vessels entrusted to BSM. However, what can be expected is some industry turmoil in the next twelve months, as engineering and innovative technologies for fuels and emission control are trying to be ready for the new regulatory framework
Tanker Shipping & Trade: How is BSM tackling this issue with owners?
Theophanis Theophanous: Presently, BSM, along with the ship owners that we support, are in the dry-docking and installation-planning phase as the 2020 deadline approaches. One of the main issues that can be expected will be a lack of practical experience with the fitting of such equipment. As part of the Schulte Group we can draw on Schulte Marine Concept (SMC), our newbuilding and conversion specialists, which has a comprehensive spectrum of project tailored technical and management services as well as value added end-to-end solutions for newbuilding, conversion and retrofit projects. Drawing on our in-house expertise, we are confident that we will be able to assist in meeting the expectations of our clients in this respect.
One final point worth mentioning for this matter is in relation to the crew training and familiarisation that will be necessary with the array of new scrubber and BWTS equipment. It will be well worth ensuring that respective planning is actioned in time to allow for crew to be fully acquainted with operational requirements, with a focus on the corresponding industrial regulations to safeguard themselves, their principals and efficient ship operations.
Theophanis Theophanous has worked in shipping for more than 30 years. A graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy of Hydra, Greece, he started his career as a seafarer and eventually obtaining the rank of Master. His personal sailing experience ranges across ship types including bulk carriers and VLCCs as well as acting as Loading Master in Cyprus for BP and Shell cargoes.
While fleet personnel manager for BSM in Cyprus, he also established the BSM Hellas office in 2005 and expanded the fleet under management to include all types of vessels, including dry cargo ships, oil, chemical and gas tankers as well as LNG vessels.