Singapore: This week sees the venerable Thome Ship Management celebrate 25 years of presence in Manila, a precursor to the company’s own grand 50th anniversary celebrations coming up shortly.
There is plenty going on at the Singapore shipmanager. Carsten Brix Ostenfeldt, ceo for the past 18 months, says the company will grow “in a controlled manner”. There’s “good mixed growth” coming up for Thome, says Ostenfeldt, noting a raft of product carriers set to join the managed fleet.
Currently Thome has 170 ships and a further 26 offshore vessels under management.
More ships are vital as fees in the downturn are not going up. “Management fees have not developed much in the last three years,” admits Ostenfeldt, “so we have to get more ships.”
Thome has been one of shipmanagement’s pioneers in terms of shifting back office work to cheaper climes, in this case Manila, a move rivals are now copying.
“We are trying to centralize functions, and make efficiencies,” says Ostenfeldt, stressing, “Owners want lean budgets.”
“The trend of managers and owners to shift back office operations to Manila is growing,” he notes, adding, “It is something that cannot be reversed.”
In a hectic month for Thome, April 23 sees the company open a new office in Mumbai, a joint venture with Thome’s former manning agent in India.
There’s also a new office in Copenhagen, and a push to source crew from Myanmar, while plans are afoot to expand Thome’s Croatian office so that it is capable of offering full management.
Ostenfeldt has been with Thome for three and a half years. Prior to the shipmanager he was with engine maker MAN B&W, and before that was with AP Moller Maersk, mainly on the Danish giant’s shipyard operations. [17/04/13]