Wilhelmsen Ship Management, one of the world’s top six third-party ship management firms, is planning on increasing the hiring of Indian seafarers as part of its growth plans to expand the fleet by 60% in the next five years.
The firm that established Indian operations in Mumbai in 1975 now has more than 2,500 active Indian seafarers. The figure makes up for about 30% of the seafarers’ pool. The primary objective is to progressively increase the number of seafarers, including officers, a top executive mentioned.
Carl Schou, the CEO and president of Wilhelmsen Ship Management, said they are dedicated to India and will be here for the long term.
As the fleet size increases, they will progressively focus on recruiting more Indian seafarers.
Besides, they also plan on hiring 300–400 seafarers in the coming years, mentioned Carl Schou, the CEO, and president, of Wilhelmsen Ship Management, during an interview.
He also mentioned that the company would be onboarding more female cadets in the next few years per its commitment to ESG values and gender diversity.
At present, female cadets make up 4% of the annual intake.
Emphasizing that Indian seafarers are in demand in the industry because of their skills, Mr Schou explained that globally, the seafarers’ shortage had remained a challenge for the shipping industry. To address this, they have been increasing their cadet program intake by 24% annually for the past five years.
He added that they are also working with their [ship] owners to develop a sustainable pipeline adding future officers and making space for more junior officer positions onboard.
In line with the International Maritime Organization’s goal of lowering emissions by 50% by the year 2050, the firm, he said, has successfully lined up plans to enable its managed fleet with zero- or low-emission fuels like LNG, hydrogen, methanol, and ammonia.
Since the significant shift was expected to take place, it was imperative that it’d also require special training of the crew members to operate such vessels. So, the firm has scaled up the capability of its training centre based in Mumbai, which has existed since 1998.
The firm that procures more than $230 million of Indian products for global operations is likely to see the volume increase simultaneously with fleet expansion.
Wilhelmsen’s office is located in Chennai. It is from where it offers support to the ship as it heads for capacity expansion following growth strategies.
References: The Hindu, ET