EMBRACING DIGITALIZATION

Dubai 2020 | MARITIME | INTERVIEW

With customers increasingly looking for a handful of select, trusted suppliers, P&O Maritime Logistics is well positioned to provide sought-after solutions with safety and the environment at the forefront.

Martin Helweg
BIOGRAPHY

Martin Helweg is the Chief Executive Officer of P&O Maritime Logistics. For the past 3 years, Martin had served as Chief Operating Officer of P&O Maritime Logistics, where he had been responsible for the company's global operations. Martin has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles. In his most recent role with Svitzer, Martin was responsible for the Americas Region as Regional Managing Director. Prior to that, Martin was Svitzer's Regional Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Managing Director for Asia, Middle East & Africa, based in Dubai. Martin brings a wealth of knowledge and unique experience from the industry, in various roles and geographies (Americas, Asia, Middle East and Africa) within finance and leadership roles including large-scale marine operations, growing businesses in the offshore sector and forming strong relationships with global oil & gas clients.

How does DP World's acquisition of Topaz Energy & Marine, now P&O Maritime Logistics, contribute to the group's portfolio?
DP World's portfolio included marine services, but recently this segment has received more focus and investment as part of a deliberate strategy. As a result of this investment, this expansion will further its diversification as a global leader in logistics. Topaz was one of the world's leading offshore logistics companies, serving largely the hydrocarbon and renewable energy segments. From Topaz's beginnings in from the Middle East, we have grown into one of the most diversified offshore marine logistics companies. Having outgrown our previous capital structure, DP World took the opportunity to leverage on our scale and expertise to grow their maritime logistics segment, particularly in energy services, and become a major global player in offshore marine logistics space. We have three specific focus areas: logistics, which is everything related to providing energy companies with integrated offshore logistics solutions; offshore, which includes our vessels servicing renewables as well as traditional hydrocarbons; and port services as they pertain to any port in the world, not necessarily a DP World-operated port. More broadly, our true value proposition is our superior positioning to offer our customers a wide portfolio of value-added marine services and integrate these offerings. What's more, we provide these services with safety and the environment amongst our top priorities. Operating as one company under the name P&O Maritime Logistics, we bring together the best from both Topaz and P&O Maritime. This allows us to provide highly demanded cost-effective and diverse solutions to a range of customers who are increasingly looking for a handful of select, trusted suppliers.

How will innovation drive that strategy forward?
Disruption is one of the five pillars of our strategy, and we continue to challenge the status quo and innovate. Currently, we are digitalizing our ships through onboard IoT to measure a ship's health in real time and manage fleet maintenance effectively. Moreover, we will soon have the capability, using our proprietary software, of providing our customers with a dashboard to monitor the status of our services in real time. This is only the beginning; we look forward to further enhancing our utilization and integration of IoT and advanced data analytics. It is with this disruption mindset that we are digitalizing our entire fleet both to reduce costs and increase revenue—ensuring we surpass the standards of a true 21st-century company.

How are discussions around sustainability impacting your operations?
We conduct fascinating discussions surrounding all aspects of energy, though particularly energy diversification, and how it relates to the industry's sustainability. There is no growth without energy, and as a company, industry and country, we most certainly need the right energy mix. At the recent World Energy Congress in Abu Dhabi, we emphasized the necessity of intelligent conversations about this topic. One of the most important conversations is dispelling the myth that all hydrocarbons are causing more damage than good; it is significant to note that the hydrocarbon industry has evolved in the way it finds, extracts, and produces oil. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are leading the development of new and sustainable ways of producing energy. Along with its huge technological and entrepreneurial advantages, Dubai also has a proven ability to scale solutions.

Are there any specific markets where you are looking to bring innovative solutions?
Within the region, we see growth opportunities particularly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Additionally, there is potential in West Africa, such as Angola, the gulf of Benin range, and Senegal. Looking across the Atlantic, South America is a frontier for us as well. These markets will complement our strong presence in Europe and the Caspian Basin. No doubt, we can double our services in the coming five years, and we are merely scratching the surface of transforming shipping through digitalization. While we as a company are quite far ahead of many of our competitors, as an industry we need to catch up. 6