For all the talk of getting more women to work in shipping, especially at board level, few lines are doing more to make this a reality than G2 Ocean, the three-year-old Norwegian joint venture between Gearbulk and Grieg Star.
According to the Maritime HR Association’s 2019 Gender Market Analysis report, which captured data for over 30,000 employees working in shore-based positions around the globe, the number of women working in the sector increased by 7% last year, but still remains far behind most other industries. .
“There has been quite a bit of talk about gender diversity in shipping recently,” concedes Arthur English, the CEO of G2 Ocean, adding: “We are pleased to have ensured a diversified organisation in terms of gender, age and nationalities.”
Currently, 50% of G2 Ocean’s 12-person executive management team, and 40% of its overall workforce, are women.
G2 Ocean’s open hatch pool, at any time, consists of about 95 vessels. The pool is made up of a core fleet of approximately 85 ships, committed via partners Gearbulk and Grieg Star, and a further 10 vessels taken on short term or trip charter from the market.
In its bulk pool, G2 Ocean has approximately 25 vessels, of which 20 are committed long-term to the pool through Gearbulk and Grieg Star, and the remainder chartered in on shorter durations.
“We are looking at bringing a few more ships into the bulk pool, possibly from third party owners,” English says in an exclusive interview with Maritime CEO today.
English stepped up from his role as chief commercial officer to take over from Rune Birkeland as CEO of G2 Ocean in December last year. English has worked for the past 26 years for Gearbulk and G2 Ocean.
Covid-19 is making for a “challenging” second quarter, English admits with disruption likely to continue deep into the third quarter. For open hatch, the company has been exposed to port delays as nearly all voyages call multiple load and discharge ports.
“All of this is leading to ongoing volatility, though we do expect pockets of opportunity through 2020,” English says.
Putting a brave face on the current tricky circumstances brought about by the spread of coronavirus, English says he is seeing some robustness from customers in terms of volume projections.
“If we don’t see significant shutdowns in industrial production, we expect to be able to navigate the uncertainties in the main by substituting cargo types as and when necessary,” English concludes.