In good hands
Formed in 1984, V.Ships is the leading supplier of independent ship management and related marine services to the global shipping industry. These activities are managed by Ship Management, Crew Management, Offshore Marine Services and Ship Supply Chain teams.
At present the V.Ships group supplies services to over 1000 vessels with a crew roster of 24,000 staff. Clients enjoy the choice of a wide range of office locations fromwhich their vessels can be managed. In the case of cargo and offshore vessels, this encompasses 17 offices, which are able to offer local expertise within an international network.
As one such local entity of this group, V.Ships Cyprus manages 55 ships from its office, including specialised vessels working in the offshore sector. Furthermore the company acts as a central purchasing location for the wider group. By contracting on this basis as opposed to as individual offices, V.Ships is able to benefit from economies of scale in order to achieve the best ukpossible prices.
Likewise, one of V.Ships Cyprus’ greatest strengths is the worldwide coverage afforded to it as part of this group with the ability to draw on resources from the four corners of the globe. On the ground the company maintains a stable and loyal workforce that is committed to delivering a good quality of service to its clients.
“The service that we offer is primarily driven by the people in the office so we have a big focus on the human element,” confirms Captain David Price, managing director of V.Ships Cyprus. “It is a tough time in the world economy, so we’re working to make sure that our people are happy and understand that working with the biggest ship manager in the world comes with a degree of security. It’s important that both sea and shore staff understand that we’re all part of the same team and that no one entity can survive without the other.”
Crewing in general is an issue that remains on the agenda for much of the maritime industry. “Getting crew remains critical as there is still a shortage in the sector, so we spend a lot of time working with our crewing offices and training departments within the group to make sure that the people onboard our ships are qualified, trained, and fit for purpose,” notes Captain Price. “We are very active in recruiting and are growing our network for that, but at the same time recognise that for there to be more people the quantity of supply needs to be better. As such we maintain a very big and active cadet programme in order to train new individuals coming into the industry.”
Another major challenge faced by the industry is the upcoming introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention, which comes into force in August. This regulation provides comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world’s seafarers. It aims to achieve both decent conditions of work for seafarers and secure economic interests in fair competition for quality ship-owners. “We have a team of people making sure that we have everything in place ahead of the compliance inspections for this, so we are well ahead of the curve on that,” adds Captain Price.
At present V.Ships Cyprus benefits from a largely stable customer base, working with clients that it has had a relationship with for a number of years. This includes owners of offshore vessels, including subsea construction ships. The offshore sector is an area that V.Ships was keen to expand its presence in. Even so, V.Ships Cyprus has been able to add yet another new client to its list this year, as Captain Price explains: “We were very fortunate to secure management of six tankers for a Greek client at the start of the year. My target now is to get these vessels bedded in and make sure that they are operating successfully. I’m also looking for some further expansion in the offshore sector, but expect that to start materialising later in the year.
“I think the balance of 2013 will be difficult, and potentially the start of 2014 as well, but I am optimistic for the longer term,” he continues. “I can see a lot of movement in ship acquisition so I believe some ship owners are starting to see some light on the horizon. As V.Ships Cyprus I would like to see controlled growth with both new and existing customers, but ensuring that this doesn’t come at the expense of compromising on the level of service we offer.”
Expert ship managers
Focus on service quality
Taking on new vessels