18 May 2018
In our efforts to increase transparency amongst our partners, we held our inaugural Partner Day in Dubai on May 10th. It was the first time all of us were together in a room and we were fortunate that all our partners except one could attend for the session.
We aimed to give a balanced agenda and encouraged dialogue with our partners; we wanted to show that we operate our pools in line with our core values, manage risks and leverage our market position when we are able. We are also a large Owner ourselves so unlike some of the other pools, we live and breathe what we do and also succeed and fail based on our delivery to both partners and customers.
We started with a brief look at Dubai and the progress made both economically and socially over the last half century – it’s been quite a journey. Then onto the serious stuff, our Services Business and what’s new with Pools, Bunker Procurement, Technical Management and STS Services (more on all of these in future blogs). We also touched on Working Capital and how we intend to return a portion of Working Capital our partners have invested to them in Q3 as we look to innovate and remain competitive.
We re-introduced our partners to our Pool Point model and how vessels are evaluated – an efficient vessel is a valuable vessel. We’ve also recently rolled our online partner portal, The Helm, so gave a further overview of this system and at the same time asked partners what they wanted see in the 2.0 version due later this year.
I think we really grabbed our partners’ attention with our Technical offering – how we optimize our ships for fuel efficiency and also how we innovate with new initiatives ashore and onboard so we can better manage our fleet and provide ground breaking offerings to the tanker industry.
IMO 2020 Bunker Regulations will be on top of us before we know it so we set our how we intend to manage this both operationally and commercially and called for teamwork with our partners so we can approach the deadline united.
Over lunch we heard from an industry trader on likely oil flows, compliance with IMO regulations and what’s happening locally, especially with Aramco and their upcoming IPO – definitely food for thought.
The afternoon was facilitated by the Freight Trading and Commercial Operations team – how we stack up against our peers in this challenging market where customer is king, and a look into our trading strategies – which voyages are important to us and why. We looked at the Pool contracts and how we’re able to work around challenges if we have a little notice, whilst always striving to be fair to all partners when issues arise – ships still don’t run on tracks! We also looked at new challenges in Commercial Operations, such as China’s response to the Sanchi incident.
To close the event we gave an update on our marketing strategy to grow our pooling business – next stop Posidonia, and also a wrap up on what we’d heard during the day that we wanted our partners to take away with them. All in all a really encouraging day for our inaugural partner day.
Dinners were hosted, conversation flowed, and the following day we all headed into the desert to unwind with a morning of Dune Buggies in the hot sun – it certainly got the adrenaline flowing after a day spent in a meeting room.
Cant wait until the next pool meeting!