Tankers for everything

International Tanker Management (ITM) is a third-party ship and crew management firm based in the Dubai, UAE, with offices in Germany and the US as well. Currently under the ownership of world’s largest maritime services provider V.Ships, ITM is independently run and offers a wide range of services including ship and crew management, survey and analysis, newbuild supervision, lay-up management, and insurance and claims handling. In-depth expertise and initiative has seen ITM grow significantly in recent times, with the next few years for the company looking equally prosperous.

The roots of ITM stretch back to a company called Barber Ship Management (UAE), itself founded in June 1991 as a regional office of Barber International. It was, at that point, one of the first ship management companies in the UAE and was responsible initially for a fleet of ten tankers but also a further eight Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) vessels soon after. Ongoing success saw Barber International establish ITM first under the name International Tanker Management Holding in 1998 as a holdings company that acquired Barber Ship Management (UAE) in 1999, following which it adopted the name by which it still operates today. In 2009, V.Ships bought ITM from former owners Wilhelmsen Ship Management.

ITM is comprised of four offices, each handling its own selection of vessels. ITM Dubai, which is the company’s central office and headquarters, currently manages a fleet of 37 oil, chemical and product tankers and a single bulk carrier that range in size between 8800 deadweight tonnes (DWT) to almost 320,000 DWT. Its newest ships include: four very large crude carriers (VLCCs) that were obtained after an agreement with Oman Ship Management Company was signed in March 2011; two tankers owned by OSC named Saiq and Fida taken over on 16th May 2011; and the 50,000 DWT product tanker Yusuf I. Al Ghanim owned by D&K Shipping that transferred into ITM Dubai’s hands on 8th June 2011.

ITM Germany, which is based in Hamburg, manages three tankers between 26,000 and 37,000 DWT whilst the third division, ITM Houston, manages just the MT Sonangol Namibe 158,000 DWT Suezmax tanker. The fourth office, located in Singapore, focuses entirely on non-ship management related activities. The success of ITM means it is now looking to significantly increase its fleet over the next 12 months to a total of 60 ships.

The primary service ITM provides these assets is a total lifecycle approach to ship management in which the company makes decisions based on and maximising the safety, reliability and efficiency of a tanker from its design and construction to service and disposal. It has held ISO 9002 and 14001 accreditation since 2000 but consistently operates according to ‘beyond compliance’ principles to ensure the best service in the areas of full technical, commercial, vetting and pre-vetting management, ISM compliance verification, pre-charter and pre-purchase inspections, cargo operation consultancy, tank cleaning and coating support, general condition surveys and assistance with newbuilds, upgrades and refurbishments. Technical management staff are all highly qualified and extensively experienced in their roles to provide the beyond compliance guarantee.

The other key service provided by ITM is crew management. The company has cast its net wide in looking for the best seafarers available, setting up a network of agencies throughout all the major crewing markets in the world including India, Russia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Norway. Such a diverse collection of personalities, cultures and languages immediately puts ITM a step ahead of the competition in being able to fit its clients needs but it also gives the company a global outlook that is important for successful managing. ITM takes full responsibility for the service provided to clients by its crew so it puts potential candidates through a rigorous interview process before putting them in the capable hands of experienced captains for training. Whilst seafarers gain onboard experience, ITM also makes sure they receive regular training reinforce the high stands its clients expect.

ITM openly welcomed the recent introduction of the Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) protocol introduced by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum’s (OCIMF). This evaluation asks tanker owners to rate their own performance measured against the ISM Code in 12 areas including management, leadership and accountability, shore-based personnel, ships’ personnel, reliability and maintenance and navigational safety. The self-assessment is then compared to the same criteria filled out by the client. If discrepancies appear between the two, the wider they are the more likely an investigation of the two parties will be undertaken. Appreciating the assurance this system offers clients, ITM has committed itself to the TMSA and made it an integral part of its management services. Furthermore stringent environmental, health and safety standards and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are implemented at every stage of its activity.

ITM has built a reputation of honesty, reliability, operational transparency and value for money that has seen it grow to become one of the world’s foremost ship management entities. V.Ships, whose own extensive experience in the sector meant a symbiotic relationship between the two organisations, further reinforced this with its acquisition. ITM gained V.Ships’ global network and resources whilst V.Ships gained ITM’s strong Middle Eastern presence.

With this renewed vigour, the future for ITM looks exciting indeed. The company already has systems in place to offer clients some of the best management services in the market and its current strategy to grow its fleet to 60 ships will simply reinforce the ITM name as an important player on the Middle Eastern and global stage.

In the process of expanding fleet
Complete vessel and crewing sevices
Part of the V.Ships Group