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OSM Asia is the name given to the OSM Group’s crew and vessel management activities in Asia. Its two key offices are in Hong Kong, where it specialises in crew management (part of OSM Maritime Services), and Singapore where it handles technical management of vessels (part of OSM Ship Management). In the Norwegian town of Arendal, Bjørn Tore Larsen established the OSM Group in 1989 and the success it has achieved over more than 20 years has seen it spread to more than 26 offices worldwide. Globally, the group employs over 7000 people from over 30 nations and counts more than 430 vessels in its management portfolio.

President of OSM Asia, Shun On Lam, talks more about the Group’s Asian activities: “Today we manage 42 vessels including anchor handling tug supply vessels (AHTSs), aframax tankers, very large crude carriers (VLCCs), chemical tankers and bulk carriers for 12 different customers. These clients are headquartered in Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. When looking at new clients, we always like to have a partner that has the same management philosophy as us. Specifically we place utmost importance on implementing our zero vision policy on health, safety and environmental (HSE) matters, which means reduction of all adverse impacts to zero on all our vessels.”

One new area that OSM Asia has recently begun exploring is the offshore supply vessel (OSV) market. Following the success of the Group’s Norwegian head office in this sector, the knowledge and skills gained in the North Sea were exported to OSM across the world. This includes management services for drilling rigs, accommodation units, FPSOs, OSVs and other related vessels as well as offshore construction projects. One of OSM Asia’s own clients diversified into offshore projects and, always keen to offer the best service possible, the company’s Singapore office has taken on this new responsibility. With offshore projects growing in number throughout Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia, the Hong Kong and China region are fertile for similar expansion and OSM Asia will be at the forefront of this market.

OSM Group is driven by several key desires including improving the life and experiences of both its customers. With the former in mind, a second area that OSM Asia has been strengthening recently is its newbuilding supervision service. “It’s no secret that the newbuild market today is at a low point and, because the yards are short of orders, to survive they must compete on price,” explains Shun. “A compromise must be found somewhere and often this is in the quality of the work, cutting corners to reduce overall material and labour costs. What OSM Asia tries to do is provide ship owners with a competent newbuild supervisory team to ensure the yard delivers on what they promised.

“This is particularly important because, if we take on vessel management once it is delivered, then it is us who will suffer due to poor quality and cut corners. Although we have offered this in the past, we’ve never really promoted it as a concept. With it an even more significant service today than ever before, we decided to promote this A to Z solution to ship owners so they could be sure to receive high quality service from design to delivery.”

Quality runs throughout the OSM Group and OSM Asia has underlined this through its membership of the Hong Kong Ship Owner’s Association (HKSOA), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that represents the interests of its member companies throughout Hong Kong. OSM Maritime Services is part of HKSOA’s Manning Sub-Committee, which takes on the organisation’s seafarer, crewing and personnel management issues; currently such issues include a shortage of mariners and onshore staff as well as international piracy. The HKSOA then hosts seminars and discussions on these topics as well as voices the concerns of its members on the international stage. OSM Maritime Services has found this to be particularly helpful in reaching goals and attaining assurances in an often-turbulent industry.

Over the last 18 months, OSM Asia has performed well on all fronts. A sharp growth in business is attributed to the increasing activities of its clients, and with the maritime industry in East Asia this upward trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. “In particular the very impressive growth of Chinese and Indonesia seafarers, and their improving quality in terms of skills, means our clients employ them not because they are cheap but because of their competence,” explains Shun, highlighting that having a positive impact on staff is just as important as a positive impact on clients. “Whilst the Philippines will continue to be the most poplar source of seafarers, today seafarers from the two other countries are not too much different from other major international seafaring sources and we consider this very encouraging.”

He goes on to conclude that the future for OSM Asia is full of exciting prospects: “We especially want to see our Singapore office to be a major ship management office in the Group, including business volume figures. We believe our ability to provide our clients the usually very high Norwegian ship management attitude and standards, in combination with the competitive management cost in Asia, will make us stand out in the market. Our mission is to make our customers successful and we see this is of even of higher importance today than ever before.”

New offshore division
Newbuild supervision services
Manage 42 vessels