Singapore today is one of the world’s leading maritime centres. Its shipping ecosystem comprises of more than 5,000 companies, which employ over 170,000 people, contributing about seven percent to the Republic’s gross domestic product.
The island Republic often comes out in international surveys as the world’s leading international maritime cluster. For BSM, Singapore has been a key Ship Management Centre for more than two decades, and with good reason.
The Centre has reached the key milestone of over 100 vessels under full management, a cornerstone of the entire Group.
Capt. Raymond Peter was appointed as Managing Director of BSM Singapore earlier this year and he is quick to point out the vital importance of Singapore as BSM’s largest Centre.
“Bernhard Schulte has been in Singapore since 2000 and BSM has had a ship management presence since 2008. Singapore is a very important location for us for several reasons. It is a place where the industry works closely with the government to great effect.”
Raymond notes that Singapore has seen a steady increase in the number of major owners relocating to the Republic, which is critical for BSM’s role as a manager. He highlights that, because Singapore is such a large and diverse maritime cluster, it is important for BSM to demonstrate its capability as a provider of a range of shipping related services.
BSM sees its employees as the key asset across the Group, Singapore not being different.
“We have a diverse fleet, with a team that has varied experience. This gives our team members the ability to move from fleet to fleet,” Raymond noted.
This has enabled BSM Singapore to diversify its skills set in recent times and the Group now caters to the needs of varying owners, including an assortment of operators of chemical and asphalt tankers.
The global gas market is one such sector that BSM has invested time and resources over the decades, also reflected in the Singapore business unit.
Raymond said, “Gas carrier management is the bloodline of BSM and we go back 50 years in this market. We are on the SIGTTO and Intertanko gas panels and it’s true to say we have very senior people in this sector, who are on top of the major changes in this specified market.”
Raymond is confident in facing the challenges of managing one of BSM’s key strategic offices in Asia.
“Everyone understands what our values and goals are, we are one unified team. There are both individual goals and team goals and we have the ability to make changes quickly and be responsive,” he said.
Raymond believes that there is scope for further expansion in Singapore, but it must be measured to ensure the maintenance of quality management.
He said, “In today’s market environment, owners have very different sets of expectations from their manager. Some are with us for 20 to 30 years and some are brand new; we have both European and Asian owners with different cultures. It’s important to ensure they are all satisfied with our performance.”
One way of delivering this is with the provision of uniformly quality service. With 75 out of the 100 managed vessels being tankers, Raymond believes, a uniform standard of safety and crew quality has been achieved.
BSM Singapore today manages vessels for some of the world’s leading tanker owners, including Koyo Kaiun, PERTAMINA, JX Ocean and Xin Yuan Enterprises Group (XYG); this year XYG has successfully completed their public listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange with the close support of BSM.
In addition to the Centre’s expertise in tankers, an Offshore team was established in 2015, broadening its capability to support offshore unit management from Singapore.
It is an exciting time for this new leader and his dedicated team, but as an experienced shipping professional, Raymond knows that BSM’s top priority is operational excellence and safety to ensure customer satisfaction at all times.