V. Group: Reliability is essential

If shipmanagement companies can prove themselves a viable alternative to an owner managing a vessel themselves, the model is absolutely sustainable, says René Kofod-Olsen, chief executive officer at V.Group, a shipmanagement and services giant with more than 60 offices across the world.

He sees huge opportunities for shipmanagers. When he joined V.Group two years ago from Topaz, Kofod-Olsen was surprised at the low level of outsourcing.

“Only 16% of vessel management is outsourced today. If you look at comparable sectors, this is very low,” he tells Maritime CEO.

Nevertheless, he observes that a growing number of shipowners are recognising the benefits that V. Group’s global scale can bring in a way that would be difficult to achieve without a third-party partner.

For him, several factors affecting the industry make it even more sensible to use shipmanagers.

“There are a raft of regulations to navigate to ensure vessels are operated within the law. Technology is another area where a ship management company can bring a competitive advantage. The general scarcity of crew is also a major challenge, where we have access to over 44,000,” he says.

Kofod-Olsen recognises clear benefits of digitalising the global fleet in terms of enhancing operational efficiencies, bringing cost benefits and helping the industry on its journey towards net zero.

To keep up with this trend, V. has invested heavily in its platform ShipSure, which, among many other ERP features, can monitor a range of complex data including routing, safety records, fuel efficiencies and weather, helping owners achieve ESG benchmarks.

“V. has set out to lead the way in the environmental and sustainability arena, investing time, money and resources to achieve this, Kofod-Olsen asserts, adding: “Today, and increasingly in the future, we will be relied upon by our customers to lower carbon emissions through technical and operational optimisation of vessels as well as the adoption of pioneering and transitionary fuels, new technologies and digital practices, adhering to regulatory framework.”

Being digitally savvy is a requirement for all V. employees, Kofod-Olsen adds, but reminds that recognising transferable skills is also important. “It may be that someone has limited maritime experience but excellent digital skills. It’s important not to overlook these candidates when it comes to recruitment,” he says.

In terms of crew welfare, V., which claims the largest pool of seafarers in the industry, is moving towards a more comprehensive offering to the benefit of both the crew and owners. According to Kofod-Olsen, most owners recognise the correlation between happy and healthy crew and a well-run vessel and managers and owners need to work together to achieve the best outcome for both parties.

In today’s market, Kofod-Olsen reckons owners look for a proactive partner that keeps them regularly updated and suggests ways they can improve their operations.

“Reliability, in every sense, is essential, whether this is returning a call or ensuring all regulations are adhered to. Sustainability is becoming more important, with vessel owners actively asking about our ESG commitment and how this will impact the running of their fleet. Of course, the sums need to add up, so a sensible cost is always required.”

Forging ahead, Kofod-Olsen sees the range of ship management services expanding into a true one stop shop for every vessel requirement. “The partnership model will continue to gain strength, allowing owners to sleep well at night, knowing they have handed the running of their vessels to a trusted partner.”

“We need shipowners to see us as an alternative to managing their own vessels and we must earn their trust and become a solid partner offering total ship management or support services,” he concludes.


source: https://splash247.com/v-group-reliability-is-essential/



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