Dry bulk operator Norvic Shipping is ramping up its organisation in line with the increasing fortunes finally seen in the sector.
Mudit Paliwal joined the company in November last year as president and COO, based in Copenhagen. Paliwal is a protégé of Harry Banga, the famous Hong Kong-based commodities tycoon. Paliwal’s career includes time at Noble Group and Caravel Group, both under the tutelage of Banga, as well as an interim stint at Panacore in Dubai.
Toronto-based Norvic was formed in 2006 and is active in the handysize, supramax, panamax, post-panamax and baby cape sectors. For the last 18 months it has been gearing up to make the most of the recovery seen in the dry bulk sector that has taken it well beyond its traditional sub-continent trading focus.
“Instead of going long and buying ships, we decided to remain asset light and invest into people and began to implement our strategy by hiring teams in Copenhagen, Houston, Dubai and Singapore,” Paliwal tells Maritime CEO, adding to the company’s existing presence in Toronto and India. We already had a presence in Toronto and India. A new York office is also about to open.
“If you have a product to sell the market has to support your cost structure, in order to cement our place in the industry, we have timed our expansion perfectly,” Paliwal says, adding: “Our expansion plans have immediately borne fruit. Having no legacy contracts to hold us back, the team has been quick in their execution.”
As of today Norvic has 97 ships on a variety of contracts from TCT, short period and even up to two years. It seldom works on voyage relets. It is on course to ship close to 40m tonnes this year, a very sizeable figure for a non-cape player.
“We are a very busy shop,” Paliwal says, outling plans to grow the fleet to 130 ships soon.
On the markets, Paliwal concedes politics could throw a curveball dry bulk’s way.
“There is posturing going on between nations and that has added caution in how people expect dry bulk markets to look like in the near term,” he says, adding: “That is why our asset light approach and nimbleness with the ability to switch the book from long to short or vice versa in a matter of days yields results despite the massive volumes we are handling. We think the idiosyncrasies, a bit of opaqueness combined with the fragmented nature of the handy through to panamax gives us the ability to position ourselves to stay one step ahead.”