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Multi-country Marine HR conference puts spotlight on sustainable ship management

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Asia Marine Colombo, a joint venture between Mercantile Marine Management Ltd. and reputed ship management company Reederei NSB based in Buxtehude Germany, reiterated its commitment to growing knowledge and competencies in specialised marine HR solutions by holding an NSB Marine Officers Conference in Colombo recently. 

2CEO Reederei NSB Tim Ponath conducts a session at the Asia Marine Conference while COO Mercmarine Group Capt. Rohan Codipilly looks on

Mercmarine Crew Management, which has always focused on providing specialised marine HR solutions, combined Reederei NSB’s global expertise which it garners through its four Asia Marine offices in the Philippines, China, Korea and Sri Lanka to augment its strategy of building its own marine HR capability, while reducing exposure to third party crew management companies. 

With the participation of 85 Officers drawn from Sri Lanka, the Philippines and China, the theme of Sustainable Ship Management was discussed and disseminated at length, led by a collective of international resource persons. This conference, the first of two conferences held by Asia Marine Colombo annually, covered safety, loss prevention, best practices, performance and efficiency standards and the ideal state of vessel performance for the future. 

As Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Reederei NSB Tim Ponath states, “Meeting this many officers of the company in one location to exchange ideas, thoughts and experiences on operating ships in the current market surrounds is a rare opportunity. I observe positive developments on the subjects we are addressing and even more important, a growing camaraderie with the management of the NSB Group and our officers from Sri Lanka, sailing our vessels.” 

Reederei NSB added an impressive range of expertise into this conference with Fleet Training Manager Thorsten Iborg, Marine Superintendent Nadine Letzner, Fleet Manager Sebastian Boll, Technical Superintendent Ronny Meier, Head of Supply Chain Management Christian Sinz, crew Planner Sergejs Aleksejevs and Nautical Superintendent and CSO Nina Lestojas sharing a wide and expansive purview with the participants. A Master on the NSB Fleet, Captain Prawala Perera explains that with the industry changing even more dramatically in the last few years, shipping companies are forced to focus on environmental and sustainability issues more than at any other time in history. “But the focus revolves holistically on the 3Ps, People-Planet-Profit, requiring companies to be economically viable even amid intense competition, prolonged recessions and overcapacity of tonnage. Clientele too has become more discerning and the industry highly regulated. As seafarers, we have felt the permeating impacts and sustainable ship management therefore is about questing for opportunities and embracing them to evolve successfully with these transformations.”

While numerous chapters have been written since the inking of the JV between Mercmarine Crew Management with Reederei NSB, it is heartening to note that the JV has heralded a number of advantages to the marine industry overall. “By creating our own Marine HR capability, the JV enables us to monitor and control the crew employed on our vessels better, when it comes to quality and selection criteria so that the calibre of Officer is always very high,” says General Manager Asia Marine Colombo Captain Frank Uwe Schneider. 

3Participants at the Asia Marine Officer's Conference

With Asia Marine Colombo having firmly gained the crown of being the catalyst and trendsetter in crew performance, office operations and imbuing best practices among the Asia Marine Offices in the rest of the world, currently, the company has a total crew pool of 254 seafarers. This pool comprises Officers and Ratings and a fleet of five container vessels under full crew management of 22 personnel each, seven container vessels and two oil tankers.

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