Inquiries are on the rise from banks looking for shipmanagers to provide services for vessels that have been arrested due to financial problems, according to Graig Ship Management chief executive Ian Morgan.
Graig’s consultancy service has been involved for some time as technical advisers for DVB Bank and Standard Chartered for ships in which they have equity interests, providing services such as technical advice and inspections for about 120 vessels.
But Mr Morgan said that in the last few months Graig was becoming more involved in work for various banks from a debt perspective, offering services for ships that had been arrested. He said that Graig had six active projects. “We are seeing a big increase in this work,” he said.
The work could involve dealing with ships with outstanding debts to various suppliers, to ensuring unpaid crew members were paid, and establishing what was owed to whom for services provided.
“We sometimes have to put our own crews onboard. We can just babysit the vessel while the arrest is cleared and its future is sorted out, or we can operate the vessel.”
Although Graig is relatively small compared with the largest ship management companies, with a managed fleet of nine vessels, Mr Morgan said that the company maintained sufficient resources and expertise to take on more of this type of work.
Graig is looking to expand and diversify its managed fleet. It has taken on its first shipmanagement contract for a Chinese owner — a panamax bulk carrier for Zhong An Shipping — building on its experience of supervising newbuildings in Chinese yards.