Singapore: As he looks back on the incredibly fast trajectory his flag has had, from far-flung South Pacific nothingness to the world’s third largest registry, there’s a little glee in Bill Gallagher’s eyes.
The head of International Registries, Inc (IRI) recalls the time at the start of the 21st century when he relinquished control of the Liberian flag and started out with the Marshall Islands. At the time of the handover, Liberia had some 63m grt on its books, the Marshall Islands less than 10m grt. Today, the Marshall Islands has 92m grt to its name. “We’ve never been bigger,” Gallagher says, grinning.
Moreover, he reveals IRI is anticipating cracking the 100m grt mark by the end of this year.
The trick has been to go global, and importantly, to offer services globally that many others would only handle from hq.
“Full service with local staff around the world has made a big difference,” says the IRI boss.
“Shipping is all about being face-to-face,” Gallagher explains. “You have to show people you are in for the long haul, keep knocking on doors.”
Asia is the fastest growth area for IRI tonnage, accounting for 25% of tonnage today, up from 10% just a few years ago. [16/04/13]
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