Strength in numbers

With its third anniversary in operation coming up in January 2016, Ionic Shipping (Mgt) Inc. has already made its vision of establishing a ship management company with a difference a reality. Focused on its mission statement of always remaining committed to service excellence, while also providing value-added maritime transportation solutions to all of its charterers and carriers, the company has grown to manage a fleet of ten vessels in service.

From its base in Glyfada, Athens, Ionic’s team of competent professionals provides a comprehensive package of services; these include full technical management, operations and supply management, commercial management, crewing, insurance, financial & accounting management in addition to new-build projects which includes supervision. Although Ionic is still in its infancy in comparison to other ship management firms, the three directors of the company have a total of 80 years experience in the shipping industry alone and they have worked to build a full and professional service team of both shore-based and seafaring employees. Their expertise in tanker management practice has enabled the company to differentiate itself from its competitors in the dry bulk market.

Elaborating on these strengths to Shipping & Marine in May 2014, managing director of Ionic Spyros Vlassopoulos said: “The quality of the way the ships are run in addition to the tonnage itself is something that we are very proud of. Moreover, there are several extras that we continue to put on our new build vessels that are useful to our clients, such as CO2 in the cargo tanks, A60 steel bulkheads, fuel efficiency devices and super low friction paints. We want to define ourselves as a quality ship manager. We try to ensure that the ships that we run are of the highest specification whilst we recommend to owners the highest quality equipment that we would think it beneficial to include. This is to make the vessels as ‘bullet proof’ as possible and preferable for our clients because we know what our head charters require.”

When previously featured in Shipping & Marine magazine in May 2014, Ionic had reached a major milestone in its history with the arrival of the newbuilding Kamsarmax bulk carrier Ionic Kleos. Built at the Tsuneishi’s Tadotsu shipyard in Japan and delivered to Ionic on March 7th 2014, the Ionic Kleos enabled the company to enter the Kamsarmax segment of the dry bulk market. Since then the company has further expanded its fleet with the arrival of a sister ship for Ionic Kleos in September 2014 and two further new vessels in the first quarter of 2015, as Mr Vlassopoulos highlights: “The sister ship of Ionic Kleos, namely the Ionic Katana, was a second hand vessel, and much like the Ionic Kleos we arranged a time charter for her and both vessels are performing well.

“Meanwhile, in January 2015 and March 2015 we took delivery of two additional Kamsarmax vessels, the Ionic Kizuna and the Ionic Kibou, from Tsuneishi’s Numakuma shipyard in Japan where both commenced their long-term charters; these additions to our fleet ensure our different segments continue to grow and also strengthen the relationships we have with the end users.”

Virtually identical in features, the two newest additions to the fleet are the latest evolution of the successful Tess82 design focusing on fuel efficiency. Both are 229 metres LOA, 225,10 metres LBP and have a beam of 32.26 metres with a summer deadweight of 81,889 DWT and 81,868 respectively; they also have a depth of 20 metres, a draft of 14.40 metres, with a service speed of 14.0 knots. The two ships each have 97.157 cubic metres for cargo, have improved stream-lined hulls and an electronically controlled B&W MAN 6S60ME-C8.1 Mark 7 main engine.

Keen to continue growing organically, Ionic’s Shipping’s management has several newbuild projects in the pipeline, including the construction of two sister ships at Mitsui Shipbuilding in Japan.

“These two vessels are essentially the new design of Mitsui’s popular 56,000 DWT design, of which we currently manage three, namely the Ionic Smyrni, the Ionic Spirit and the Ionic Storm. The new vessels will be 60,000 DWT, with the first due for delivery in January 2016 and the other due in March 2016,” explains Mr Vlassopoulos. “This is a continuous development with a shipyard that we are proud to have an ongoing relationship with. It is also worth mentioning that for this contract too, we are conducting in-house supervision at the shipyard in Japan; this not only emphasises our commitment to quality, but also strengthens the relationship Ionic has with Japanese ship builders. “We care a lot about quality and want to get to know the ship, what better way to do this than when its being constructed? Moreover, our project manager in Japan will be superintendent of these particular vessels, so it is a win-win situation in our eyes,” he adds.

Despite the challenges in the bulk carrier market, the company is cementing its role within this business segment through high operating standards, exceptional quality ships and strong client relationships. “We will ensure that our house flag continues to fly high in all corners of the world. We will also continue to focus on our number one strategy, to build upon the relationships that we are very happy and proud to be associated with,” concludes Mr Vlassopoulos.

Ionic Group

Fleet of ten bulk carriers in service

Young, modern ships

Focused on quality tonnage