Shipmanagers share their views on maritime growth areas
The southeast Asian offshore market is showing increasing signs of health, Wootz Global managing director Vivek Khabya told Singapore Solutions.
The company is active in several fields, including leasing, chartering, trading and brokerage of bulkers, tankers and offshore support vessels, and Mr Khabya explained that he has observed several forward indicators signifying a return to health for the offshore market, including a move away from decommissioning work and toward moving assets to new projects.
“This is the first time we are seeing projects go right into the monsoon,” he said, citing the example of a contract to move an FPSO from a dead field in East Malaysia to a new field in West Malaysia.
The work scope of such a job involves flow line management, installation, removal and heavy lifting of the FPSO, followed by towing, escort towing and standby, he explained, with an estimated duration of four to five weeks. What is unusual about this particular job is that the client requested it during the height of the monsoon season – during which such tasks would not normally be undertaken – to take advantage of the stronger market as soon as practicable.
Another indicator Mr Khabya has observed is a decrease in vessel availability, resulting in higher utilisation and owners feeling comfortable in pushing for higher rates. “We are seeing 20%-40% higher quotations,” he said, noting that as budgets from charterers are yet to catch up with increased rates from owners, negotiation skills are required. This is a reality the industry needs to be aware of, he added.
Union Marine Management Services (UMMS) has spread to the other side of the world, opening an office in Norway, its first outside Asia.
The Norway office allows UMMS to offer operations between the Middle East and US east coast, while UMMS Singapore offers the company’s services from the Middle East to the US west coast, giving effective global coverage and allowing for more efficient allocation of resources. UMMS’ was established in Singapore in 2012, and also has offices in the Philippines, India and Vietnam.
As well as ship management, the company offers newbuild supervision and other technical services. It manages more than 30 vessels, mostly bulk carriers with some pure car/truck carriers, for owners from Japan, Singapore, Greece, the Isle of Man and Croatia. Its crews are largely from the Philippines and Vietnam, where the company has training centres. It was the first company in Singapore to receive ISO 9001:2015 quality management certification from DNV GL, under Norwegian accreditation.
Interorient Shipmanagment is continuing to grow following establishing its Singapore office in 2016.
While initially opened as a representative office, following Interorient acquiring a document of compliance for both wet and dry tonnage, the profile has changed to a management office for the company’s full range of management services.
These include full management, crew management, technical management, newbuild supervision, ship survey, marine consultancy and International Safety Management Code and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code auditing.
Speaking to Singapore Solutions, Captain Sandip Mirchandani, who heads up the Singapore office, outlined the company’s growth priorities and areas he sees as important in shipmanagement.
“An openness to new ideas is essential,” he said, adding “You can’t have ‘I, me, my,’ in ship management […] ideas have to come from all sides.”
The Singapore office’s growth priority lies in increasing critical mass, he said, noting that Greece and Japan are strong growth areas for the company and it is particularly interested in hearing from Japanese owners.