Anglo-Eastern Group, one of the world's biggest ship management companies, is targeting growth of 14 to 15 per cent a year on the back of rising interest by mainland firms to use professional managers to oversee day-to-day operation of their ships.
The company, which runs seven global offices from its headquarters in Wan Chai, will soon take over management of three medium-range 47,000 deadweight tonne tankers owned by Shanghai-listed Nanjing Tanker Corp.
Chief executive Peter Cremers (pictured) said: 'At this stage, it is just a contract for three ships. There will be more.' The company is also in talks with Sinotrans Shipping and other mainland shipping firms.
Anglo-Eastern provides full technical management, including crew, maintenance, dry-docking and regulatory compliance services, for 360 ships owned by companies including Vale, the Brazilian iron ore mining company, and Dockwise, which has a fleet of heavylift and luxury yacht carriers. Cremers said the number of ships in the firm's fleet had grown 13 to 15 per cent a year over the past few years.
'There is no reason why 14 to 15 per cent growth should not be there in the coming years,' he added. Anglo-Eastern has a further 70 ships in its fleet for which it is providing just the crew.
Cremers said the company employed about 15,000 seagoing crew, plus 1,000 staff working ashore, including 320 in the Hong Kong office, where an extra 50 people had been employed in the past year.
He pointed that 'more and more cargo owners - the Vales and Rio Tintos of this world - are stepping into shipowning'. But the regulatory and operating environment had become complex because shipowners had to abide by international safety and marine pollution conventions and were subject to tough controls by charterers such as oil companies and government bodies such as the United States Coast Guard.
As a result, shipowners were increasingly contracting operations to specialist managers that offered positive growth prospects.