Extra crew for China
Written by Adam Main
International maritime services giant is bumping up its manpower in and around regional ports
Norwegian company Barwil Unitor Ships Service has its sights firmly set on the mainland to expand its presence in the region.
A merger in 2005 between Barwil and Unitor has resulted in the world's biggest maritime services network.
Bard Bjorlow, Barwil Unitor's regional vice-president, said the merger of two companies that offered complementary services and shared a common customer base meant that clients now received an even better service.
Under the motto 'Global capability, local expertise', Barwil Unitor focuses on vessel operating efficiency for the growth and safety of the region's shipping industry.
Mr Bjorlow said the company grew 40 per cent in China last year. The mainland represented the company's biggest growth area. This growth was fuelled by an expanding market and increased investment in offices, people and services.
'With the merger, the whole thing is about synergy,' Mr Bjorlow said. 'Now it is all under one roof in sales and marketing. There were different contacts and products before. But by joining, we are actually able to sell products that we didn't sell previously. It crosses over.'
'While our market share is higher in Europe than in the Far East, we believe China will be more and more important globally. To fuel our growth here, it is important to be bigger and stronger. This is the reason we have the regional office in Shanghai - to invest in China, but also in the rest of the region,' he said.
The company has five senior positions available.
Two regional product sales managers are needed: one for the company's fire, rescue and safety division, and the other in refrigeration.
The positions will be in either Shanghai or Hong Kong.
An account sales manager based out of Guangzhou is required to handle southern China, while a product sales manager is required in Shanghai for port agency China business.
The Shanghai branch is looking for a sales engineer for port agency operation staff.
The position calls for the same qualifications, with two years of relevant experience.
The positions require people who can speak English and lead a sales force; they should have the relevant education and at least five years of experience in the specified product field with a marine-related business or profession.
Mr Bjorlow said packages for the positions were negotiable and the salary depended on the job. He said recruiting technical staff had been difficult because of growing competition in the shipping industry.
'We are a well-regimented company that is growing quite fast. It is also known for being people-focused, meaning we take good care of our people, not only monetary-wise but in respect to the future in career planning and training.
'It is a tradition in the company that people who are flexible can change jobs, move country and so on. It depends on their development. China provides a good platform for it.'
The company's engineers and staff provide a range of port services and marine products to help ships operate efficiently and get in and out of port quickly. Its offerings include safety products and services, refrigeration products and services, maintenance and repair product for onboard work, marine chemicals for cleaning, fuel oil and water treatment, liner representation and local cargo logistics and port agency services.
Through its parent, the Wilh. Wilhelmsen, a company operating primarily in shipping, logistics and maritime services, Barwil Unitor customers are connected to a global network that features an advanced IT system and round-the-clock customer service centres.
Come on board
International ship servicing company planning for growth in China
Regional headquarters in Shanghai, serving all major mainland ports
After a 2005 merger, the company has focused on integration and a unified culture
Openings for regional product sales managers, account sales manager, product sales manager and a sales engineer
Candidates must be technically and service minded with sound business skills and profit focused
Fluent English is required; Putonghua would be an asset
The 2005-2010 strategy is to penetrate the market and strengthen existing services
Committed to opening new service stations and workshops to shorten service time while keeping prices competitive