Article featured in International Bulk Journal Magazine – 50 years of excellence

What were the early driving forces which led to Anglo-Eastern’s position as a leading global provider of independent ship management services?

Anglo-Eastern’s ship management business has now been established for 50 years, with the years since the 1998 management-buy-out by Peter Cremers and his then leadership team being notable for their clear, principled, “do a proper job” approach and the services it offers.

Since its beginnings, it has always promoted excellence and the notion of “doing what’s right” which are now ingrained in our company values. We never sought out to be the largest, but we have grown as a result of our client focus alongside our passion for shipping which encourages us to respond to the latest insights and trends. By doing so, we have progressively set the standard while also nurturing our people and associated communities.

Shipping is a people business and the relationships that we have been privileged to enjoy, then and now, have allowed us to develop through word-of-mouth. Long term partnerships have been the cornerstone of our reputation and progress in the ship management space and remain central to our success.

One further difference that sets us apart is our recognition and investment in training our seafarers. These initial programmes allowed us to establish a base of some of the world’s best officers which we have taken further by founding four of our own training centres, and the Anglo-Eastern Maritime Academy (AEMA).

How is your company currently performing in terms of vessels under full technical management, crew management and project management of newbuildings and conversions?

We will shortly have over 700 ships under full technical management, 500 ships under crew management, and have project managed almost 1,000 newbuildings and conversions. Anglo-Eastern Technical Services (AETS) and SeaQuest, our newbuilding and project management divisions, are equipped to manage all manner of projects from start to finish, including the delivery of novel ship designs aimed at supporting decarbonisation strategies.

Our expertise across all service offerings spans the full spectrum of vessel types including bulk carriers, tankers, container ships, gas carriers, ro-ros and offshore vessels. In October 2023, we also formed a new offshore wind division to manage specialised vessels associated with the production of offshore wind power as a renewable energy source.

The crossing of the 700-ship mark will be achieved in June this year following our acquisition of Euronav Ship Management Hellas (ESMH), Euronav’s ship management arm. This deal will also increase our footprint in large crude oil tankers.

What are the other key performance indicators at which are Anglo-Eastern excelling?

As a company we continue to prioritise safety and performance in addition to client satisfaction, ESG and employee wellbeing initiatives.

Some of our latest related statistics/points based on 2023 data include:

  • Safety and performance:
    Safety: 5/5 RightShip DOC safety score for the majority of our ship management units
  • Deficiencies and detentions:
    68% and 83% lower average deficiencies and detentions, respectively, per PSC inspection than the Paris MoU
  • Cost efficiency:
    +/- 3% average OPEX variance against projections across all fleet vessels
  • Employee retention and wellbeing:
    Retention rate: 95% crew retention rate across all ranks including senior officers
  • Starlink deployments:
    150+ deployments of Starlink between Mar-Dec 2023 (approx. 350 as of today)
  • ESG and decarbonisation:
    Reduction in CO2 emissions: approx. 110,000 MT across Anglo-Eastern Fleet Performance Centre (AEFPC) monitored vessels
  • Carbon neutrality:
    Carbon neutral for our shore operations since 2019 with offsetting annual carbon emissions calculated as per GHG protocol and PAS 2060 standards.

In terms of performance on an individual vessel level, we also have the ability to leverage our scale and data-driven approaches to provide optimisation recommendations and details on fuel saving potential.

What proportion of your managed fleet are bulk carriers?

Presently, we manage more than 280 bulk carriers, which account for approximately 40% of our fleet. Our bulk fleet comprises of about 92 large bulk carriers ranging from VLOC, Newcastlemax and Capesize vessels to around another 190 bulk carriers, which are smaller than the mini capers. We have also been involved in the construction of almost 400 bulk carriers of all sizes since 1989.

How is Anglo-Eastern contributing to the transition from fossil-based fuels to zero carbon energy sources and technologies?

We fully recognise the need to transition away from traditional fossil-based fuels. Our dual-fuel capabilities have grown significantly over the last year and we are exploring a range of fuel types to ensure we are able to cater to our client requirements while also assessing the pros and cons of each fuel. As of May we are actively engaged with 118 ocean-going dual-fuel vessels and newbuilding projects that intend to use LPG, LNG, ammonia, methanol, Ethane or hydrogen. These vessels span all ship types, from tankers and gas carriers to bulk carriers, container ships, ro-ro vessels, and harbour tugs.

Furthermore, we ensure our crew are properly trained in the relevant dual-fuel engines and systems prior to joining on board with bespoke courses and simulator training at our fully owned training centres forming part of familiarisation processes. At Anglo-Eastern Maritime Training Centre (AEMTC), our flagship training centre in Mumbai, we have the following training facilities, with simulators from MAN, WinGD and Wartsila TechSim. We are also partnered with MAN to carry out training and familiarisation with their LNG dual-fuel engines for all our shore-based technical staff.

Additionally, we are expanding our involvement with future fuel ship designs under Anglo-Eastern Technical Services, our newbuilding and project management division, which include:

  • Ammonia-ready bulk carriers designed for zero-carbon loss
  • LR approval in principle for design with IMO Type A tanks
  • ABS approval in principle for design with IMO Type C tanks
  • Hydrogen designs : Concept design, plan approval and site supervision of a hydrogen-powered tug delivered in 2023
  • DNV approval in principle for a 2,000 KW ABC hydrogen generator retrofit on a 1,900 TEU container ship

Longer-term, we have also partnered with Core-Power to explore the prospect of using nuclear energy technology such as marine molten salt reactors (m-MSRs) as we believe nuclear energy is the key to a truly zero-emission concept.

Lastly, we aim to share our knowledge more widely in this space, with leadership positions on key committees, including Chair of the ammonia fuel work group of the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) who are involved in developing ammonia bunkering guidelines.

How does Anglo-Eastern’s commitment to the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concept positively impact on maritime communities?

Anglo-Eastern undertakes over 60+ wellbeing initiatives that are designed to foster a positive mentality and productive workplace culture for our seafarers. This includes:

  • Dedicated medical advice with 24×7 virtual access to doctors and specialists
  • Engagement onboard via a buddy system, social fundays, and wellbeing and engagement teams that seek to build trusting relationships with the vessel leadership team
  • Surveys, forums and our WE Care app to gather feedback and enable transparent communication
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging programmes e.g. Anglo-Eastern Women of Seas (AWOS) Connect and gender sensitisation training

We also contribute to environmental and wider community projects including plastic bottle reduction programmes and ANAVI, a voluntary group of seafarer spouses that works across initiatives benefitting the underprivileged, young and old.

In 2023, Anglo-Eastern managed vessel Yemen (Ex Nautica) undertook a sensitive project coordinated by The UN to replace the storage vessel FSO Safer in the Red Sea. FSO Safer held an estimated 1.14 million barrels of crude oil on board and was deteriorating in condition which could have triggered a catastrophe with wide-ranging environmental, humanitarian, and economic impact. This effort was predicted to have saved an estimated 200,000 livelihoods dependent on the sea.

How has leveraging digitalisation and new technologies improved performance, efficiency and collaboration?

Digitalisation is one of the core pillars that is enabling us to deliver excellence to our clients, enhancing performance and transparency. In 2019, we established our Fleet Performance Centre (AEFPC) in Mumbai where a dedicated team of experts are able to leverage data collected from day-to-day vessel performance monitoring and translate these into actionable insights. In 2023, a total of 23,900 voyages were monitored with outlined improvements resulting in a reduction in fuel usage of 34,979 MT and reduction in CO2 emissions of 108,785 MT.

In March 2023, we also embarked on an initiative to install Starlink Maritime across our managed fleet, marking a significant step forward in improving the connectivity and wellbeing of seafarers. This also allows for enhanced collaboration between ship and shore, and across vessels in our fleet. We have now deployed almost 350 installations, boosting operational efficiency and garnering highly positive feedback from our crews which was instrumental in our award win for 2023 Ship Manager of the Year Award at the Hong Kong Annual Maritime Charity Dinner and Seafarer Awards.

We are also evaluating a multitude of new technologies from drone deliveries to the use of augmented reality. One of the standout initiatives by Anglo-Eastern involves the deployment of a remote maintenance system aimed at revolutionising how equipment troubleshooting is conducted. This technology play underscores our dedication to operational efficiency and enables the smooth resolution of issues without the need for a physical presence on board.

What are your company’s strategies for further growth and expansion?

We continue to focus on delivering excellence to each of our clients and prioritising quality, safety and performance as we have done for 50 years. Our goals include enhancing our commitments to transparency (through our systems including my.angloeastern), steering operational efficiencies and further enhancing our training capabilities (including in the alternative fuel space).

We recognise seafarers as the backbone of our industry and ensuring their needs are met will also reflect positively on performance and growth over the short and long term.

Additionally, we are exploring new markets and diversifying our portfolio through various initiatives including:

Our Offshore Wind Division: Specialising in the management of CSOVs for deployment in offshore wind farm projects, the new division is an exciting addition to our portfolio that complements the existing offshore wind support we provide via our managed fleet of heavy marine transport (HMT) vessels, and aligns with our values and ESG commitment.

Our Cruise Division: Through Anglo-Eastern Cruise Management International (AECMI) and Anglo-Eastern Leisure Management (AELM), we have extended our ship management operations into a new sector, delivering a personalised approach to passenger ship management for technical and hospitality services in expedition and boutique cruise markets.

Our Acquisition of Euronav Ship Management Hellas (ESMH): Through this acquisition, Anglo-Eastern will gain an established local presence in Greece and enhances its footprint in large crude oil tankers. This deal will form the foundations of the company’s Greek presence while also further enhancing our footprint in large crude oil tankers.

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