Ship Chartering Taking on the Knowledge Challenge
Ship Chartering Taking on the Knowledge Challenge
14th November, 2008, The Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.

Generating a WEALTH of KNOWLEDGE

Endeavour Associates' Chartering Seminar focuses on expertise

[Mumbai, 14 November]
"Knowledge can be converted into money, often easily, but knowledge has to be acquired first and then used intelligently," commented the Academic Advisor to Endeavour Associates, Mr CK Sharma. He was addressing an impressive gathering at a seminar held to enhance knowledge in the ship chartering business in India today.

The 'Shipping Academic Conference', now making its second appearance, was organised by Endeavour Associates with the sole intention of imparting valuable and effective knowledge on the ship chartering trade. A distinguished assembly of eminent personalities as well as young enthusiasts from various sectors within the shipping industry participated in this exigent academic meet at the upmarket Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai.

The central focus of the seminar was 'Ship Chartering: Taking on the Knowledge Challenge'. Talking to the delegates, Mr. Sharma emphasised the criticality of knowledge in the business 'Most people in the world, especially traders, are not just trading but building revenues through knowledge; this is the key to good business. We must, therefore, focus on knowledge.'

Mr Sharma then went on to highlight many case studies taken from the chartering business. He laid particular stress on Bunker Clauses in charter parties, opining that oversight by chartering managers in understanding these could prove to be costly when negotiating with shrewd owners. On the other hand, he concluded, 'Chartering is indeed a complicated affair and the skills of knowledgeable chartering officers must be respected.'

In his very topical presentation, Mr Bansi Jaising, President, Seagate Shipping Private Limited, Mumbai, elaborated how changes in the Shipping Markets could sneak up on managers very quickly. As an example, his presentation showed that a handy 40,000 dwt vessel built in the 80s would have fetched approximately $35 million three months ago, but it could be bought now for approximately $25 million due to the downward spiral in freight rates. He also expanded on the reasons behind the current downtrend, citing the larger economic slump the world over.

Mr. Jaising, one of the most eminent personas in the subcontinent's ship-broking & chartering community also explained how managing the risk of piracy was critical for business. 'Earlier, the waters in the Malacca Straits were the ones mainly swamped with pirates, but now the menace has endangered large swathes of African waters including the Gulf of Aden. Seafarers are afraid to pass through this area,' he said.

SHARING EXPERTISE

Captain Richard Creet, Managing Director, Trident Management Services (S) Pte Limited, Singapore shared his expertise on 'Chartering: Ship/Shore Interface'. After a brief on the background of his Company, he detailed the essence of this interface, highlighting the correlation between interface and interaction.

'The world of shipping started as a venture, went on to become an adventure and is now a mutually beneficial enterprise,' Captain Creet said. 'The enterprise itself is of paramount importance. For the enterprise to be successful, the key element is communication and sharing of information of the vessel that effects all entities connected to the chartering business.'

Mr Krishna Prasad, Director, Tradex Marine Global FZCO, Dubai spoke about the adaptation of modern technology and some of the newer problems faced in the chartering business. Talking about the complexities involved in managing different modes of communication, he said, 'Today, the business of chartering is conducted through emails, mobile phones, telephones, facsimile and internet messaging. Voice or text may be used with cell phones and on the internet. In rare cases, telex and personal interaction are combined with many of these methods. And, all this poses a serious issue of keeping proper records.'

Captain Rahul Bhargava, Vice President, Chartering Department, JM Baxi & Co, Mumbai, in his turn made a brief presentation on Demurrage, Despatch and Detention, in which he covered their fuller meaning and explained the major cause of disputes in commercial shipping. Capt. Bhargava's presentation was made all the more interesting as it was accompanied with actual incidents, examples and calculations.

This was followed by a well expanded presentation by Mr Ashish Niranjan, Head, Chartering, Essar Oil Limited, Mumbai, explaining the substance and nuances of tanker chartering. Particular focus was concentrated on the complexities of demand and supply in this segment.

VITAL MATTERS

While keeping the focus on Ship Chartering, the seminar also touched on other contemporary vital issues like the global economy and personal health in some detail. Speaking on the financial markets, Mr Sandeep Shanbhag, Director, Wonderland Investment Consultants and an ICICI Bank Nominee, gave a short synopsis of the recent global economic recession and advised the delegates on investment avenues in the various schemes available in banks and other investment agencies.

Dr Chris De Souza, MS, an eminent ENT Specialist with Holy Family and Leelavati Hospitals, who has written 10 Medical Text Books, then made an interesting presentation on the five senses, which he called 'the windows of the soul'. He also elaborated on the increase of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and acidity, as well as the health hazards of smoking.

An interactive question and answer session was held wherein the participants addressed their chartering related queries to the management panel comprising of Captain H Subramaniam, Principal Emeritus, LBS College, Mumbai, Captain SK Bhatia, Managing Director, Simpson Spence and Young, Mumbai  and Mr Bani Jaising. This was followed by Mr Sharma's declaration of the winners of the earlier held Shipping Quiz and the distribution of the quiz prizes.

Captain Kamal Chadha, Managing Director, Endeavour Associates proposed the vote of thanks. He felt that the main purpose of the event, namely, creating an academic knot that would enhance knowledge and accrue benefits to the delegates, had been well served. 'The distance on this educational journey and our achievements from it depend on each individual amongst us and also our collective efforts. But one thing is for sure: We couldn't have even started this voyage without the selfless inputs from so many of you.' he concluded.

The Chartering Seminar was attended by over one hundred delegates: A key measure of its success.

Marex Media