Singapore: A relatively new Singapore-based shipmanager is well on the way to looking after more than 50 vessels as well as carving itself a considerable niche in managing VLCCs.
Capt AR Sabnis is the managing director of Goodwood Ship Management, a company whose current fleet under full technical management stands at 32, but should be passing the 50 mark by mid-2016, by which time it will have more than 10m dwt on its books.
Goodwood has positioned itself primarily as a tanker manager. Explains Sabnis: “The regulatory aspect of tanker management is becoming more onerous and the cost of compliance is rising so the number of managers who can truly meet these standards will decrease.”
Sabnis served at sea until 1982 at which point he came ashore and worked for a number of shipping and shipmanagement firms.
While he believes shipmanagement is “ripe” for consolidation, the sticking point for Sabnis is that the culture of shipmanagement remains personal and private. Most if not all shipmanagement companies are privately held and run by owners and managers with strong individual business cultures and beliefs, Sabnis points out. “That is an attraction of shipmanagement but also one of its weaknesses,” he says, adding: “It is always hard to get two totally different companies to merge: the cultures and ways of doing business are often too distinct and separate, so I believe that while there is scope for merger and maybe even acquisition in this business, there are strong factors that will prevent such a trend.” [28/10/14]