Thome Group, Singapore’s leading ship manager and marine services company, is set to expand its agency business with the setting up of its first overseasThome Ship Agency office in Bangkok, Thailand.
The new Bangkok office, which formally started operations on December 1 2012, is the first agency office Thome has opened outside of Singapore and is intended to be one of a series of offices, leading to Thome becoming a regional agency organisation.
Thome decided to embark on the expansion of its agency operations, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of its establishment as an agent in Singapore.
Thome Ship Agency Thailand is wholly owned by Thome Group, and is independent of other partners in the Thome Ship Management Thailand venture. The office is located in the same building in Bangkok as Thome Ship Management Thailand and the agency will maintain close relations with colleagues and partners there.
The staff and offices have been taken over from Westext Enterprise, which had been operating as an agent in Thailand for the past three years.
Thome Group President Claes Eek Thorstensen, said: “I am pleased to announce the launch of our first ever overseas ship agency offices. We believe high quality agency services, the kind of which we have been offering in Singapore for many years, are a significant complement to our ship management services.
“Owners with vessels calling at the major ports in Thailand can now use the high quality and cost effective services of Thome Agency and I believe our agency business will grow further to become a strong part of our cornerstone activities in Asia and further afield.”
Taking over an existing agency means Thome gains a head start and managers there have an operating track record in the key shipping locations in Thailand. The office at Bangna, to the south-east of Bangkok, is ideally located to cover not only the port of Bangkok, but the main concentration of shipping activity at LaemChabang/Sriracha/Koh Sichang within easy reach.
The existing customer base draws on the tanker expertise of the Thome Group and its Thai ship management partners, Nathalin and Thai Oil Marine.
The target market in the immediate future will also be dry cargo owners and charterers having vessels calling at ports on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard.
Alan Mehew, general manager of Thome Ship Agency, said: “Thome has taken the decision to develop its ship agency operations outside of its traditional home base of Singapore. The first phase strategy is to open offices in locations where there is business potential, but also an existing Thome company, to provide office space and administration support.
“In this way, costs can be kept to a minimum and we are able to benefit from Thome’s existing local expertise, business contacts and infrastructure in each location.
Thome is also finalising plans to open other offices in the Asia region in the near future.