Greater ChinaMaritime CEOOperations

Wallem Group: ‘Seafarers are still the challenge’

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.



Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. You are right Mr Doughty, it is not size, it is the quality matters the most. You are on right course for expansion with 25-40 vsls per year. Wish you all the best.

Back to top button