Dry Bulk & Breakbulk Shipping - Looking at the future
27th November 2013, The Leela Hotel, Near International Airport, Andheri, Mumbai

Dry Bulk and Break-Bulk Experts Hold Forth at Mumbai Conclave

Endeavour Creatives holds 12th meet on commercial shipping in Mumbai

The plush Hotel Leela in Mumbai was the venue for this year's knowledge conclave titled - 'Dry Bulk & Break-bulk Shipping - Looking at the Future'. Held by the Shipping Academic Conferences under the auspices of Endeavour Creatives- this was the 12th in a series of seminars on commercial shipping.

Conducted on 27 November 2013, the seminar hosted many prominent industry personalities with an intimate working knowledge of the sector. Amongst them were the Chief Guest Sajjid Haidar Pasha, MD of the Hong Kong based Shun Shing Group, a major player in Asian manufacturing and investment, and a market leader in dry bulk trading of building materials, with a colossal ship-operating presence.

Capt Kamal Chadha, MD, Endeavour Creatives, and Chief Editor of Marex Media,- he likes to be introduced with the quote 'Cometh the moment, cometh the man'- kick started the proceedings, welcoming the delegates before inviting the Chief Guest and selected delegates to the traditional lighting of the lamp, which, along with a short 'Mohan Veena' recital by S. Swaminathan, MD, Kansa Maritime, set the mood for the educative conference that was to follow.

Capt Chadha was gratified that the delegates attending included many very talented experts from such diverse backgrounds as chartering, ship operating, trading, shipbroking, shipowning, ship management, shipping associations, and the shipping media , from India and abroad.

Mr Pasha, in his address, ran through pertinent statistics of critical parameters of the dry bulk segment of the market- global demand and GDP growth, rates and hire figures, capacity growth versus cargo growth paradigms and production and trading figures. His expertise-particularly on the Asian markets- was evident even as he spoke, with detailed graphs, on the situation in about a dozen countries in Asia, and elaborated on hidden factors at play in each of their markets.

R. Raghunath's presentation on risk management was no less masterful. Speaking in detail about the kinds of risk the trade is exposed to- credit, market and operational- he ran through figures on all the major commodities that constitute the dry bulk trade, comparing freight rates and bunker figures 'then' and 'now' and forecasting trends for the future. He also went into considerable detail explaining the mechanism of freight derivatives and how they could be used as an effective tool to hedge and therefore manage risk in the dry bulk sector.

He did warn the delegates, however, of risk that is associated with the FFA markets- liquidity risk, counterparty risk, basis risk and, of course, the risk of the possibility of market manipulation.

Mr Raghunath is Global Head of Chartering at the Noble Group, Hong Kong. A former ship Captain, 'Raghu' joined Noble in 1995, and is today responsible for the Group's freight and logistics businesses across the world. He recently received the 'Seatrade Young Person of the Year 2013' Award.

CK Sharma- who presented a well-knit and comprehensive brief on 'Perils in Shipping' complete with very apt case studies- is, as Academic Advisor, the guiding light behind many of Endeavour Creative's initiatives.

Mr Sharma is a visionary who is dedicated to both improving his own already considerable knowledge and disseminating his expertise to others.

Ranjit Mathure, GM at Essar Steel and a keen marathoner at that, drew on his two decades of experience in the business to speak on 'Shipping Steel- challenges going forward'.

Following which the President of JM Baxi and Co, RK Ganguly presented an Agency perspective in 'Shipping Agency- achieving perfection'. Mr Ganguly is a well-known logistics, terminal and agency specialist with wide industry experience.

Puneet Oza- VP and Head, Supramax Pacific, Klavennes Asia, Singapore- examined the impact on shipping markets of both coal imports and iron ore exports in India. Mr Oza is an expert with particular knowledge of the Indian and Asian shipping markets.

A shipping quiz in the afternoon saw active participation from the audience, as did the 'Open House' session. Therein, participants shared in the knowledge of eminent panellists- Bansi Jaising, Chairman, Seagate Shipbrokers, who has over fifty years of experience in the business, and Capt SM Divekar, ex-Director, Oriental Insurance and former MD of the Loss Prevention Association of India.

Alok Shirodkar, CEO of 'Krunch Today,' proposed the vote of thanks.

Endeavour Creatives Pvt Ltd, the promoters of this series of seminars, is a brainchild of respected media and shipping professional, Capt Kamal Chadha, who works in close tandem with CK Sharma, the long-standing academic advisor and MD Shipping, OP Power Generation.

The entity's aim is to promote knowledge and expertise in shipping, which it has been relentlessly pursuing since the year 2006.

'Chinese Influence is here to stay'
- R Raghunath, Global Head of Chartering, Noble Group, Hong Kong

A graduate of the Delhi Public School and TS Jawahar, Raghu went out to sea as a cadet with Barber Ship Management and got his Master's certification in Sydney in the mid 80's.

He quit sailing in 1995 and has worked with the Noble Group ever since. He has completed an eMBA course with Insead, Paris and is currently actively involved with the HK Shipowners Association as a Committee member, and with Intercargo, BIMCO, etc. He is a past Chairman of the Freight Market Information Users Group and an active member of the Baltic Exchange, and also a speaker at a number of forums.

Do you think that the Chinese influence on the global economy will increase, or will it wane?
I personally believe that Chinese influence is here to stay. For the next five years, as the new regime makes its presence felt, it is likely to continue as the main driver of global growth.

What should India do to raise its position in the shipping world?
India can do a number of things. Bring in tonnage tax structures and possibly do something similar to Singapore, providing shipping companies with some income tax breaks. More support to the ship building industry allowing US$ financing and encouraging shipping companies to buy from Indian shipbuilders. This can also be incentivised.

What is the Noble Group's India agenda for the next few years?
Currently, Noble Group has extensive involvement in India in shipping, supply of coal, buying of iron ore and investments in grain. We have recently commissioned a vegetable oil refining facility in Gujarat. We intend to expand our presence in all of these sectors further.

Over-tonnaging continues to keep shipping freight at disappointing levels. Is there a solution in sight?
Over-tonnaging is getting worse with many non-industry players also entering the market. In order for the situation to improve, we need to see two things happening. Firstly, we need to see ship building capacity diminish. Secondly, we need to ensure that the authorities enforce new regulations on environmental issues strictly and penalise ships that do not comply.

A Major Presence in Asia

The Chief Guest, Sajjid Haidar Pasha, is shareholder Director of Shun Shing Group, a privately held family-run group of companies operating in major Asian countries.

The group has significant interests in cement manufacturing, producing edible oils, PP Sack/Bag, natural gas fired power plants, hollow bricks, coastal vessels and barges, and real estate development.

While their commodities trade has seen rapid expansion, in 2011 the group set up a dry bulk ship operating company to cater to third party clients by drawing on the over 30 years of rich shipping knowledge gathered from the group's chartering activities. Their ship operating unit has already achieved transportation of six million metric tons of dry bulk cargoes in the current year with over 100 clients worldwide through its subsidiary Pacific World Shipping Pte Ltd based in Singapore, with branch offices in Mumbai, Dubai, Shanghai and Bangkok.

Looking ahead as a Director of the board, Sajjid Pasha and his management team of other directors, have been planning to expand business in all of the above areas to become in the next five years the market leaders in cement manufacturing, trading and dry bulk ship chartering & operating.

The seminar saw the release of a book- Maritime History of India, 1900-1950 , published by Marex Media. The book is authored by Dr (Capt) Sudhir Kumar, ex-Principal Officer, MMD, Mumbai. Dr Kumar believes that education is a lifelong pursuit.

For further details visit: http://www.shippingconferences.com/