Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) has fired the starting gun on its most ambitious industry collaboration project yet, that will see ship owners, oil majors, classification societies, cargo interests and technology experts all working together to drive excellence into the Greek tanker owning sector.
Announcing the launch of the CSM Hellas Tanker Management Centre of Excellence, CSM President and CEO, Mark O’Neil (pictured), said partners in the Centre of Excellence, including clients, future clients and collaborators, would work together on a variety of projects; on optimisation, digitalisation, processes, training, safety, preventative maintenance, technology, IT and best practice. They will share information and learning and “learn together and improve together.”
Addressing invited guests in Athens last night, at what was billed as the first event of this year’s Posidonia show, Mr O’Neil said the CSM Hellas Tanker Management Centre of Excellence would be the most advanced, optimised, digitalised, people-focused tanker management service provider available anywhere worldwide.
“It will start planning tomorrow morning (Friday) and will set an unrivalled standard in the tanker industry. We will also use it as a networking exercise for those of our partners who are part of this Centre of Excellence, who can network with each other, swap ideas and sit together and work on new projects together.
“Greece is at the very heart of tanker operation, and we think it is appropriate that an international centre of excellence, with partners, should be based here in Athens,” he said.
The CSM Hellas Tanker Management Centre of Excellence will be a subsidiary of CSM’s newly opened CSM Greece, with 50% of the shareholding open to project partners, to existing CSM clients, and to any future clients as well as to collaborators. Such shareholding will be proportionate to the partner’s commitment and will involve board and management representation. It will be open to all CSM’s clients and service providers and will attract the input of major energy partners such as Total Energy, Saudi Aramco and Shell.
Mr O’Neil added: “Shipping has proven itself over the last couple of years to be incredibly flexible, adaptable and dynamic as well as resilient, and I think Greece typifies all of that. Greece continues to prove itself to be the beating heart of international shipping. It leads the way in maritime operations and maritime technology, IT, in science, in processes and it is only getting stronger.”
The idea of a commoditised, divested, detached small scale third party shipmanagement model is now dead, he told invited guests, “but long live the alternative which we have always tried to adopt, which is a tailored offering, a scaled offering, a “second party” shipmanagement operation, an integrated maritime services platform providing management, logistics, procurement, technology, IT, crewing, catering and people.
“That is the future of second party shipmanagement. Third party shipmanagement as a proposition is long gone. Ours is the new model. A model that fits in so well with the Greek shipping community,” he stressed.