The access to and availability of well-trained crew is central for a growing and sustainable ship management business in the future, according to Wallem.
“To build this business, and being sustainable in that, I think the key is the crewing side of things,” John-Kaare Aune, Chief Executive Officer of Wallem, tells Seatrade Maritime News in an interview.
“It's where we're going to see a lot of the challenges going forward with being able to have crew available that have the experience and high quality,” he says. This combines with understanding the values and the strategy of the shipowner going forward.
“We all have people ashore that can deal with the different technologies, but actually being able to have the crew that can go on board and look after the high value assets of the shipowners, that's key.”
The switch to alternative fuels brings with it both challenges and opportunities not least ensuring that an owner has enough well-trained crew to operate dual-fuel vessels. This is an area where Aune sees a need for collaboration with owners to partner on the sourcing and training of new crew. This means that when an owner is starting to look at new project with for example dual-fuel capability Wallem can see how it can train and source the crew to operate these high-value assets when they sail out of the shipyard.
For training in operating vessels with alternative fuels Wallem works engine manufacturers and also has its own training programmes at its training institutes in India, the Philippines, and China.
Wallem also ensures it has diverse range of source markets for seafarers and is developing crew pools from countries that are not so well known for providing crew to the international shipping industry .Wallem is also mid-sized ship manager with approximately 200 ships on its books and while keen to keep growing its fleet to 300 - 400 vessels, Aune says they are not looking to join the ranks of those with 700 ships under management.
Looking at the next 12 months Aune says the focus is on managing dual-fuel vessels and newbuildings coming into the company’s fleet.