TBY talks to Capt. George Pratsinis, General Manager, Fujairah Marine Services & Trading Co. LLC, on the sector.

Capt. George Pratsinis

Have you seen a change in the volume of ships you are servicing with the drop in oil prices?

In terms of how this affects our business, nowadays all of the tank farms are fully loaded because everyone wants to store oil. We need the demand for oil to rise in order for ships to come and load, go, and continue the cycle. Ship owners, managers, and charterers are suffering, with commodity supply outstripping consumer demand, and that affects the rest of us in the shipping industry who provide support and services. A Panamax vessel used to earn USD95,000 a day; today, the same vessel earns USD4,000-4,500 a day. The running cost for these vessels is USD6,000-7,000 a day, so the majority of ship owners are bleeding.

Do you have plans to expand your international coverage?

As the representative of over 550 ship owners and managers, we have business in Singapore, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, the Middle East, Greece, Europe, and elsewhere around the world. We intend to double the size of our Bahrain operation; we are also on the lookout for other opportunities in Singapore and Shanghai.