Nearly 80% of all ships falling under international conventions is managed by ship managers. In Poland, the number of companies pursuing this type of business activity has been systematically growing, as evidenced by the establishment of the Polish Ship Managers Association. Instead of moving people where there’s work and incurring high operating costs, shipowners often prefer to move where there is highly trained staff and costs are significantly lower.
Poland has a large group of experienced sailors working temporarily all over the world, especially on land, that is increasingly more interested in returning to Poland and working there. In particular considering the fact that wages on similar position in the shipping world are comparable, especially when there’s a lack of specialists in a given field. Why then should a shipowner move a superintendent to Germany? It’s better to start a company in Poland, where there are superintendents available.
It’s not only management companies that can derive benefits from such turn of events. According to the International Maritime Organisation data, 1 job at sea generates 4 jobs on land. Jobs are also created by the entire business related to fleet management or seamen service (transport, issuing visas and health certificates) and industries necessary to ensure the effective operation of the entire company. All this contributes to the development of other market segments, e.g. the ship-building industry. Shipowners whose ship management is already based in Poland renovate and modernise ships in our shipyards, using engine maintenance services or automation technologies of companies operating in Poland. We also cannot forget about insurance, e.g. for loss adjustment, or ship supplies. As a result, Polish ship management attracts orders for nearly the entire maritime industry and stimulates the development of many other branches of industry.
It is extremely important to demonstrate the capabilities of Polish companies in this area. If the largest management companies, servicing 400-600 ships each, opened at least branches our country, in a short time we would have several such institutions and a substantial fleet controlled from Poland. Then, we would have our Baltic Singapore, a leading global ship management centre, at our fingertips. At present, the Polish Ship Managers Association, existing since January of this year, associates 15 members and 3 partners who manage a fleet of 190 vessels with a total carrying capacity of 2.3 million tonnes.
One of the panels at the Forum of Maritime Economy, Gdynia, 2016 shall be dedicated to ship management.
fot. W. Jakubowski