Sea Technology

JUN 2017

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 72

20 st / June 2017 This is largely the result of the more stringent lending en- vironment created under Basel III and the more risk-averse global banking culture. It's a reflection of everyone wanting to know what hand they've been dealt before they sit at the table, which is certainly wise. And the benefits of this approach are beginning to pay dividends for the shipping industry as a whole, as we are beginning to see a renewed interest in maritime industry investments worldwide. Alongside traditional lenders, we are seeing newer entrants, from Chinese leasing companies to U.S. private equity firms and even some local banks that are now wading further into the shipping pool, showing re- newed interest in redeveloping or building their shipping investment portfolios (albeit with much stricter risk man- agement measures in place). The Basel III ruling has had a significant part to play in stabilizing the lending environ- ment and providing greater clarity and better management of shipping debt. The Benefits of Playing the Long Game There has also been a cultural shift across the shipping industry in the intervening years. This is evidenced in the increasing transparency and accountability shown through- out the sector—from how vessels operate to how they are traded. And this is a very important development in regard to understanding the value of shipping assets by all who have a stake in them. As a consequence of increased financial oversight placed upon the banks and finance houses that float our assets, the downward pressure has been absorbed and has influenced the conduct of all. From owners and operators, to managers and brokers, engineers and crew, the industry and its actors are now imbued with a greater sense of shared responsibil- ity over the future of shipping and our ability to respond to financial crises in the future. Importantly, businesses that are leveraging the expertise of their inspection services provider to gain a competitive advantage are also putting important legwork into maintain- ing the lifetime value of these costly assets. Those banks or financial institutions, owners, brokers and charterers work- ing closely with their inspection services provider to ensure that they have comprehensive understanding of the true value of their assets are taking the game to a new level. They benefit from having a clear picture of how each of their ves- sels can operate now and into the future. They have a game plan. They know what cards they hold, and they know how to play them. Our bets are on them. ST Nick Owens is the director of the global ship inspection services provider Id- wal Marine, part of the international shipowner and shipping services provider Graig Group. He is responsible for overseeing the sustained growth of the Car- diff, Wales-headquartered business across its global operations and developing new opportunities for its customers. He has a diploma in ship management from Lloyd's Maritime Academy and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. Based on the Evidence in Hand This brings us back to the earlier point that ship inspec- tion services are an important tool for all who have a stake in a vessel or marine asset. Vessel inspections in all forms are intended to provide impartial assessment and advice. It is our role to be pragmatic, practical and persistent in our ef- forts to provide accurate information that is fair to all parties involved. We are not here to pass judgement on any party or critique their capabilities. We are here to provide an objec- tive translation of facts collected by our highly trained and certified teams of vessel inspectors. These assumptions re- late to the operational condition of the vessel and its history. What separates Idwal Marine is that we work hard to ensure that these complex and highly technical inspection reports are easy to understand—particularly by individuals without significant shipping industry experience who are charged with making high-stakes decisions about the value of an asset. It is also our intention to provide ship inspection services delivered to meet the needs of our clients across various segments of the market. For brokers in the sale and purchase (S&P) market, their key priority is to access reliable inspectors at any time; a prompt and efficient quotation and ordering process allows them to expedite the overall inspec- tion process and get a head start on the market. For them, access to a global network of ISO 9001-certi- fied inspectors who can be deployed at any time is a sig- nificant advantage over trying to get a superintendent to a vessel's location and the associated time and financial costs of doing so. The same is true for owners and charterers, to whom speed and accuracy of inspections provide tangible savings to their operating costs. We can also tailor our re- ports so that they include, or focus on, areas or issues of most importance to each customer. This means that we can benchmark across their asset portfolio and provide consis- tent reporting to meet their internal or customer needs. For example, the evaluation department of the prominent shipping bank NORD/LB along with its sister-unit Bremer Landesbank operate a large global shipping portfolio and have appointed Idwal Marine to undertake condition in- spections of their vessels in various global locations. They are now able to achieve a very accurate and detailed analy- sis of each vessel within their portfolio and, without a tech- nical background, can easily understand the findings of the individual inspections. Keeping Pace with Changing Rules It is for this reason that we are seeing a consistent stream of demand from banks, ship brokers, owners and operators, charters and ship managers, who also require speedy ac- cess to accurate information about the condition of their ship(s). Generally speaking, there has been a move away from a reliance on desktop studies of ships toward compre- hensive nuts-and-bolts analyses, performed repeatedly and efficiently. "Vessel inspections in all forms are intended to provide impartial assessment and advice."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sea Technology - JUN 2017