On March 6, 2019, Odessa hosted an annual seminar held for officers of DAO Shipping and Anglo-Eastern Ukraine. Apart from seafarers, the event was attended by representatives of shipowners and DAO Shipping ship managers.
The seminar was held for the third time. Within the framework of this event, officers, management and representatives of the shipowners had a chance to discuss matters of concern, to analyze situations occurring aboard vessels and to evaluate prospects for further work. Approximately 50 officers attended this seminar held in Odessa. Interactive presentations, possibility to share one’s opinion with colleagues, communication in informal surroundings, — all this contributes greatly to the company’s efficiency. According to Omri Dagul, Executive Vice President of DAO Shipping, the seminar is arranged as a workshop for officers and involves communication in the form of a dialogue in order to receive feedback about crew performance. “It is extremely important for us to know what is going on onboard. One can understand whether environment there is proper and favourable only through direct communication with the officers. We encourage open and straightforward discussion and intend to discuss anything that troubles our seafarers. It is an excellent opportunity to meet officers, to discuss teamwork issues with them. It is important because ability to act as one coordinated team is one of the priorities.”
Odessa was chosen to host these seminars for a reason: firstly, this is where the Ukrainian office of Anglo-Eastern Ship Management operates, and, secondly, the port city still plays a key part in promotion of Ukraine on the international market as a maritime state. Declan Brookes, Fleet Director of Anglo-Eastern (UK), made the following estimate of Odessa from that point of view: “Today it is more than just a wonderful city, interesting in terms of its history and architecture. It is a venue for important processes in the shipping industry. Odessa is a frequent host to mass events and seminars, many crewing companies and training centres are located here… It is not the first seminar for officers that we hold here. Agenda of the event includes such vital issues as specific features of service on modern bulk carriers. Seminars like that enable us not only to understand whether our crews are efficient, but also to analyze statistical data, to evaluate the situation in the shipping industry in general and to discuss the company’s development prospects and career opportunities for officers.”
Capt. Anuj Bhargava, QHSE/Fleet Personnel Manager of Anglo-Eastern (UK), voiced a similar opinion: “Despite my tight schedule, this is my fourth business trip to Odessa and I am sure that personal contact with officers is a key to success. We plan to expand our fleet and to cooperate with leaders of the industry. We intend to maintain our stable position as a serious player in the shipping industry. That is why it is important to monitor the situation and to have an efficient dialogue with seafarers. If you want to work for us, you must meet current requirements of the industry: to be competent in your job, to have teamwork skills, to be open to new ideas and technologies. Communication with officers helps us to understand whether they are open to and ready for it.”
All officers serving on DAO Shipping vessels are Ukrainians. Anglo-Eastern Ship Management also employs Indian, Filipino and Chinese seafarers. Ukrainian office of Anglo-Eastern Ukraine, which has been successfully headed by Captain Oleg Lukyanchenko for many years, is engaged in recruiting, training and preparation of seafarers for work on ro-ro ships, bulk carriers and container carriers. “Seminars with shipowners and management are a regular event”, — says Capt. Lukyanchenko. “The main purpose of these seminars is to discuss current problems, to hear opinions of all the parties and to find optimum solutions. It is extremely important to improve performance on an ongoing basis and to avoid making the same mistakes. Our key task is to provide decent jobs to competent Ukrainian seafarers on vessels of reliable
Oleg Lukyanchenko told about thorough selection process seafarers go through in order to be employed by Anglo-Eastern Ship Management. “Task of the Ukrainian office is to deliver a quality product, that is, competent Ukrainian seafarers. That is why our seafarers take computer tests, are interviewed and pass various tests. An important component of the officer’s pre-voyage training is in-house training. There is a matrix, and according to its requirements seafarers take regular re-training courses in our training centre. Yes, we have high-level requirements, but we offer decent pay, and work onboard decent ships.”
Today Anglo-Eastern Ship Management manages about 650 ships, and supplies crews to 150 more vessels. DAO Shipping has been a VIP client of Anglo-Eastern (UK) since 2012. DAO Shipping fleet consists of 11 bulk carriers, built on shipyards in Japan and South Korea.
According to Capt. Lukyanchenko, lately Anglo-Eastern Ship Management has been pursuing the policy of expansion into the tanker segment. “We have always needed competent personnel, and this demand will grow as new ships become available. Any time soon a large group of chemical tankers will join the fleet of Anglo-Eastern Ship Management, and we will offer jobs on these vessels to Ukrainian officers,” says Oleg Lukyanchenko. “Summing up, I can say that people rarely walk out on us. We offer good wages, we have a cadet program: 2 Ukrainian cadets serve on each of our 22 vessels on a regular basis. We train them so that they become officers. Many of our officers started their career from the cadet program, and today some of them serve as masters and chief engineers on vessels operated by Anglo-Eastern Ship Management.”
It is nice that all The Professional Seafarer newspaper talked to were unanimous in their opinion on the level of training of the Ukrainian seafarers: today Ukrainians demonstrate high professionalism, quality industry-specific education, and that is why they are fairly competitive on the international shipping industry market.