Fleet Man­age­ment to ex­pand Cyprus base

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Hong Kong-based Fleet Man­age­ment Ltd., the fourth big­gest ship­man­age­ment company in the world, plans to ex­pand its Cyprus op­er­a­tions by en­hanc­ing its Cyprus sub­sidiary FML Ship Man­age­ment.

In an in­ter­view with the Fi­nan­cial Mir­ror, the company’s lo­cal Di­rec­tor and Gen­eral Man­ager, Su­nil Kapoor, said that the Cyprus of­fice was set up seven years ago to serve the Group’s U.S. and Euro­pean clients, in par­tic­u­lar those based on the Medit­ter­anean.

“To­day, around 8-9% of the Group turnover is gen­er­ated by the Cyprus op­er­a­tions,” Kapoor said.

How­ever, de­spite Cyprus be­ing a lead­ing global cen­tre in ship man­age­ment, with ri­val com­pa­nies al­ready based on the is­land, he said that the Group’s plans are to en­hance its pres­ence and ser­vices pro­vided here.

“We are fo­cused on ex­pand­ing our core ship-man­age­ment business in Cyprus,” Kapoor said.

He ex­plained that Fleet Man­age­ment Ltd. man­ages more than 358 ships – 288 of which un­der full tech­ni­cal man­age­ment and 70 ships un­der new-build­ing su­per­vi­sion.

“Some 190 of th­ese ships are bulk car­ri­ers, 100 are tankers and the rest are con­tainer and RO/RO ves­sels. Th­ese ships be­long to more than 80 first class prin­ci­pals around the globe in­clud­ing ADM, Western Bulk, Spar Shipping, Vroon, UACC, MOL and K-Line. The port­fo­lio of ships that the Fleet Group man­ages is val­ued at more than USD 13 bln.”

Fol­low­ing on is­sues fre­quently dis­cussed at the bi-an­nual Mar­itime Cyprus con­fer­ence, Kapoor said that Fleet’s big­gest cur­rent and fu­ture con­cerns are the short­age of ex­pe­ri­enced sea­far­ers and the sol­vency of ship-own­ers in the present shipping slump.

That is why, he said, Fleet Man­age­ment is also in­volved in de­vel­op­ing cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity, train­ing academy and re­search.

“Our award win­ning ERP sys­tem is called PARIS – Plan­ning And Re­port­ing in­fra­struc­ture Sys­tem – which is a web-based on­line plat­form to pro­vide real time in­for­ma­tion on the ves­sel data, main­te­nance, safety, re­ports, ac­count­ing and crew mon­i­tor­ing.

“Another unique prod­uct is SafeR+, a pro­gramme that aims to en­hance the safety cul­ture thereby re­duc­ing in­ci­dents on board. In 2014, some USD 250,000 was spent on SafeR+, in­clud­ing in­cen­tives which are part of the pro­gramme.

The third in the se­ries, ex­plained Kapoor, is called TO­LAS – “Train­ing On Land and Sea”.

“This is a web-based train­ing plat­form to train sea­far­ers from the var­i­ous lo­ca­tions closer to their home town. This year alone, some 75 ad­di­tional train­ing mod­ules were added to the 1,000 ex­ist­ing mod­ules of this award win­ning train­ing por­tal.”

Kapoor said that it’s not just about train­ing and tech­ni­cal pro­grammes, but also help­ing with com­mu­nity projects.

“As part of our so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity the Fleet Group has pro­vided as­sis­tance by donat­ing INR 90,000,000 (USD 150,000) to re­de­vel­op­ment projects in Ut­tark­hand, In­dia. In the last three years, our TO­LAS pro­gramme was also do­nated to three lead­ing mar­itime train­ing in­sti­tutes in In­dia,” he said.

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