Fleet Management to expand Cyprus base
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.