Hong Kong: For all the talk of fast growth among the world’s top shipmanagers, the Achilles’ Heel still lies in sourcing the right numbers of able crew. That’s the view of Simon Doughty, group ceo at Hong Kong-based Wallem Group.
In the wake of the merger between two other Hong Kong shipmanagement giants – Anglo-Eastern and Univan last month – speculation has risen about further consolidation in the sector. For Doughty, however, huge growth in the numbers of ships under technical management at this company is not something he is seeking – seafaring human resources simply do not permit that, he tells Maritime CEO.
While admitting that in today’s shipmanagement sector, “You don’t want to be small because you can’t have economies of scale,” Doughty then adds, “Seafarers are still the challenge.”
Recent data from consultants Drewry shows there is a nominal shortfall of approximately 15,000 officers, which is expected to remain the case until 2019.
A net growth of between 25 and 40 ships a year is plenty for the Wallem boss.
Wallem, which markets itself on its huge range of services beyond just shipmanagement, is looking to grow its technical services side of the business.