BSM Singapore continues to grow
Singapore, strategically located at one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, is a significant maritime hub and among the busiest ports in the world.
Being one of the first international shipmanagers to recognise the developing opportunities in the country and wider region, BSM established a base in Singapore in 2000 and is today a key player within the Southeast Asian ship management industry.
Commenting on current shipping market conditions, Bob Maxwell, Managing Director of BSM Singapore, notes that “the shipping industry has been depressed for so long now that today’s conditions, rather than being extraordinary, should be viewed as the new normal. Everyone has been affected immensely by the global downturn since 2008. However, we have to accept that this has been going for a very long time now and take it in our stride as the current reality.”
“We need to take into consideration that many ship owners are operating under severe financial constraints, hence our focus on improving cost efficiency without compromising safety and quality.”
With respect to Asia, Bob underlines that business is generally rising with a lot of owners exploring new opportunities. “We see plenty of activity in Asia, particularly in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and China, and our goal this year is for the Singapore Ship Management Centre to achieve 100 ships under management.”
Increasing the size of the managed fleet, the addition of several new customers in markets where BSM Singapore has not previously been present and expanding business in Indonesia were major high points in 2016. “Gaining a foothold in the offshore market and involvement in several projects in Indonesia, including management of our first Indonesian-flagged Aframax tanker, were major highlights in Southeast Asia during 2016,” he says.
“We increased from 80 to 90 ships under management last year, with more than 50% being tankers. In February this year we exceeded 5 million DWT and if we continue on this positive trend we will hit the 100-ship mark this year.”
On the topic of BSM’s management of high-value vessels and other specialist tonnage, Bob explains that BSM Singapore was working on several projects for small LNG carriers in collaboration with local shipping companies. “In addition, we are managing more high-value vessels, such as VLCCs and ultra large containerships, and expect to see more of this type of tonnage under our management during 2017,” he says.
Bob and his team are now looking forward to Singapore Maritime Week in April, organised by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), of which BSM has always been a strong supporter. “It is an excellent opportunity to meet and network with people from different parts of the industry and participants attending from various parts of the world. The way in which Singapore Maritime Week is promoted by the Government is encouraging for the industry.”
Outlining his priorities for 2017, he stressed that being prudent on cost-control internally and operating expenditure (OPEX) on behalf of owners were key. “We want to control vessel OPEX to ensure that we are as competitive as possible whilst maintaining the high levels of quality and safety that are core to BSM.”
“Our global workforce and diversity is our greatest strength, with 14 different nationalities employed in the Singapore Ship Management Centre. It is truly an international operation with an increasing number of Singaporean personnel and a customer base that ranges from Peru to Japan. This is what makes BSM a truly global company,” he concludes.
*This article first appeared in BSM Highlights Issue 1, 2017.