3rd Edition of OSM Thome News


 

YOU CAN ALTERNATIVELY DOWNLOAD THE NEWSLETTER IN PDF FORMAT HERE (9.65 MB)

Message From Finn Amund Norbye

Dear Maritime Colleagues,

Creating a more inclusive gender working environment is a key ambition of OSM Thome. With the International Chamber of Shipping forecasting a shortfall of 90,000 trained seafarers by 2026, we must do all we can to attract new talent and retain the current workforce in the industry. It is great to see the growth of women in what has been a very male-dominated industry. However, we can do more as an industry to encourage women to consider shipping as a viable career option. Ways in which we can do this are by challenging stereotypes and changing perceptions about gender roles in the maritime industry. We should showcase successful stories of women in various maritime roles to inspire others to follow suit. Promoting family-friendly policies is important, especially when working onboard where extended periods are spent away from home. Much can be done to create better work-life balance with flexible schedules and improved parental leave policies. Organizations like the Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA) provide excellent networking opportunities for women in the maritime industry to share experiences and provide a platform for dialogue and collaboration.

At OSM Thome, we want to encourage more women to join our organization and help them progress their careers. This issue contains a lot of inspiring articles, interviews, and profiles of women working at our company in office roles and onboard, which highlight their valued contributions, career paths, and personal stories of overcoming challenges. We also embrace International Women’s Day, which has the theme from the United Nations “Invest in women: Accelerate progress,” which we support.

In addition to these important discussions, we will bring you updates on other significant aspects of our operations and community. This issue also includes inspiring seafarers’ stories, showcasing the dedication and resilience of our team-members at sea. We will share highlights from successful vessel takeovers for Q4 and Q1 2024, reflecting our growing fleet and operational excellence. Furthermore, we cover engaging events and conferences attended by our colleagues, specifically highlighting the Customer Event that happened in Greece last March 5. These gatherings not only foster our professional relationships but also strengthen our community by sharing knowledge and experiences.

I hope you enjoy the reading and that it inspires you to do more to create a fully inclusive and gender-friendly working environment.

Kind regards from Finn Amund


 

Beyond Ship Management To Integrated Maritime Excellence

By: Tommy Olofsen, Chief Marine Services Officer

In the global, increasingly regulated and ever-evolving maritime landscape, OSM Thome is at the forefront, not merely as a ship manager but as a globalc provider of comprehensive maritime services. As leaders within OSM Thome, we take immense pride in our integrated approach, encompassing crew management, marine services, green services, and ship management. This multifaceted strategy ensures unparalleled value and excellence for our global clientele, embodying our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and operational excellence.

Integrated Services for Unmatched Value

At OSM Thome, we understand that the complexities of modern maritime operations require more than traditional ship management. Our clients seek a partner that can offer a broad spectrum of services, ensuring efficiency, compliance, and sustainability across all facets of their operations. It is here that our integrated services model comes into play, offering a seamless and interconnected suite of solutions that cater to every need.

Ship Management: The cornerstone of our offering, ship management, encapsulates our comprehensive approach to maritime operations. We ensure that every aspect, from the safe operations of our vessels to crew welfare and environmental compliance, is managed with the utmost expertise and attention to detail. Our global network and extensive experience allow us to deliver operational excellence, regardless of the challenge. OSM Thome handles the ship management for more than 450 ships and is responsible for crewing on about 550 additional ships with offices in over 30 different locations

Crew Management: As the responsible employer of our crew, OSM Thome realizes that the backbone of successful maritime operations lies in the competence and well-being of the crew. Our crew management services are designed to ensure that the vessels we oversee are manned by professionals who are not only highly skilled but also deeply committed to safety and environmental stewardship. We focus on continuous training and development, fostering a culture of excellence that resonates throughout our operations. OSM Thome currently has a crew pool of 29,000 seafarers covering the globe.

Marine Services: Our marine services portfolio is comprehensive, covering technical, crew and supply chain services. We leverage the latest technologies and best practices to ensure that our clients’ vessels operate at peak efficiency, meeting and exceeding the strictest regulatory standards. This dedication to excellence ensures our clients’ fleets are at the forefront of the maritime industry. Our range of services includes Axia supply chain management, Newbuild Supervision, Project Management, OSERV catering, Aegir Global Travel, Marine Insurance, ,  accounting and Ship Repair and Retrofit management.

Green Services: Sustainability is at the core of our operations. Our green services are a testament to our commitment to environmental stewardship, focusing on reducing emissions, enhancing energy efficiency, and pioneering the use of cleaner, more sustainable fuels. Through innovation and a forward-thinking approach, we aim to lead the maritime industry towards a greener, more sustainable future.

A Unified Vision for the Future

Our integrated services model is not merely a strategy; it is a reflection of our vision for the maritime industry. By bringing together crew management, marine services, green services, and ship management under one umbrella, we offer our clients a unified solution that addresses critiocal areas of maritime operations. This interconnectedness ensures that we deliver cost efficient, best value, optimizing operations, enhancing safety, and promoting sustainability.

As we navigate the future, OSM Thome remains committed to innovation and excellence. Our integrated approach is a testament to our dedication to serving our clients with the highest standards, ensuring that together, we set a new course for the maritime industry.


 

NAVIGATING EQUALITY: Promoting Gender Diversity Among Seafarers

By: Julia Anastasiou, Chief Crew Management Officer

Fostering a more inclusive and welcoming maritime industry, where female participation is not just encouraged but celebrated, is at the heart of our mission. The looming shortfall of 90,000 trained seafarers by 2026 highlights the urgency of widening our recruitment net to include talents from all walks of life. It’s more than just filling positions; it’s about changing the narrative, breaking down the barriers of a traditionally male-dominated field, and illuminating the path for women with aspirations in maritime careers. By championing family-friendly policies and flexible work arrangements, we aim to nurture a supportive environment that respects and accommodates the need for work-life harmony. Furthermore, organizations like the Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA) play a crucial role in weaving a network of support, offering a platform for women to share their stories, challenges, and successes, thereby inspiring a new generation to set sail towards a more inclusive future.

The maritime industry stands at a critical juncture in its journey towards gender equality, particularly in acknowledging and addressing the stark underrepresentation of female seafarers onboard. At OSM Thome, we recognize the imperative of not only identifying this gap but also implementing tangible steps and initiatives to bridge it, ensuring a more inclusive future for all seafarers.

The importance of diversifying the seafaring workforce cannot be overstated. Gender diversity onboard ships brings a wealth of perspectives, skills, and strengths that are vital for the innovative and resilient operation of the global shipping industry. However, the presence of female seafarers remains markedly low, pointing to systemic barriers that deter women from pursuing and thriving in maritime careers.

OSM Thome is committed to dismantling these barriers, fostering an environment where equal opportunities for available roles, career progression, and training are not just policies but practiced realities. Our approach is multifaceted, addressing both the recruitment of women into maritime roles and their continued support and advancement once part of our team.

  • Recruitment and Awareness: OSM Thome boosts maritime career appeal to women through educational outreach, career fairs, and media promotions, highlighting female seafarers’ success stories to inspire a new generation.
  • Training and Development: We provide female seafarers equal access to comprehensive training, certifications, and professional growth opportunities, including leadership and technical skills programs, to foster their advancement within the industry.
  • Supportive Work Environment: Prioritizing the retention and progression of female talent, we focus on creating a supportive onboard environment. This includes improved facilities, work-life balance policies, and a strict no-tolerance policy towards bullying, harassment, violence and discrimination.
  • Advocacy and Partnerships: Engaging with industry groups and maritime organizations, OSM Thome champions gender diversity policies and practices, leveraging partnerships to reinforce our commitment to gender equality across the maritime sector.

In conclusion, the path towards achieving gender diversity among seafarers is both a challenge and an opportunity.

At OSM Thome, we are dedicated to leading by example, demonstrating that the acknowledgment and active addressing of the lack of female seafarers onboard are not only essential for the equity and fairness but are also critical drivers of the industry’s growth and sustainability. Through our concerted efforts and initiatives, we are committed to paving the way for a more inclusive maritime future.


 

GENDER EQUALITY FOR SHORE-BASED MARITIME ROLES: How OSM Thome Inspires Inclusion

By: Linda Hentsch, Global HR Head – Shore

March 8 is a day to celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in the maritime sector, as well as to raise awareness and actions for gender equality. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is “Inspire Inclusion”, which calls for everyone to understand and value women’s inclusion in all aspects of life. In the maritime sector, where women are often underrepresented and face various challenges, promoting gender equality is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic advantage.

At OSM Thome, we recognise the importance and benefits of gender equality for maritime roles, and we are committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace for our employees, customers, and partners. We believe that by attracting, retaining, and developing talented women in our shore-based operations, we can leverage their potential and experience to deliver high-quality and innovative solutions for the maritime industry.

One of the ways that OSM Thome is inspiring inclusion for shore-based maritime roles is by adopting inclusive hiring practices that ensure a fair and transparent recruitment process. The company recognises that having a balanced representation of women and men in shore-based maritime roles can enhance the quality and efficiency of the services that we provide to  our customers.

Therefore, we strive to attract and retain qualified and talented candidates from diverse backgrounds, genders, and experiences, and to provide them with equal opportunities and access to shore-based maritime positions.

The Leadership Team at OSM Thome believes that every employee has the potential to grow and develop their skills and competencies, and that supporting their career aspirations and goals can benefit both the individual and the organisation. Therefore, we offer various opportunities for learning and development that enable shore-based maritime employees to enhance their professional capabilities and advance their careers within the organisation.

Another way that we are inspiring inclusion for shore-based maritime roles is by cultivating a workplace culture that values and respects the diversity of our employees and that encourages collaboration, communication, and feedback. Moreover, we have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and we provide tools for reporting and addressing any issues or concerns.

In our company, we are proud to celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, and to align with its theme of “Inspire Inclusion”. We believe that by inspiring others to understand and value women’s inclusion and by inspiring women themselves to be included, we can forge a better world for our employees, our customers, and our industry.

Join Us in Our Journey of promoting Gender Equality for Shore-Based Maritime Roles.


 

OSM THOME’S COMMITMENT TO BREAKING BARRIERS: Advancing Gender Equality in Maritime

By: Andreas Diplaros, BD Infrastructure & Tendering Manager

In the maritime industry, OSM Thome is resolutely dedicated to propelling a transformative journey towards gender equality, recognizing the uphill battle women face in securing leadership roles and specialized positions due to ingrained biases and resistance to change.

At the core of this challenge is the restricted access to opportunities for women in the maritime sector. The perpetuation of gender disparities, particularly in the upper echelons of the maritime hierarchy, underscores the urgency of breaking this cycle through proactive measures. OSM Thome stands committed to dismantling these barriers, ensuring that opportunities for leadership are based on merit rather than gender.

Embarking on a maritime career as a woman often entails navigating through turbulent waters of persistent gender stereotypes. The traditional perception of the industry as exclusively male territory perpetuates the notion that women are unsuitable for roles aboard ships, influencing perceptions and limiting opportunities.

Despite progress, gender diversity in the maritime industry remains fragmented. Recent figures indicate a noteworthy improvement in gender diversity, with a count of 24,059 female seafarers, marking a 45.8% increase from the percentage reported in 2015. Women constitute approximately 1.28% of the total seafarer workforce, holding STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping) certifications. There’s a pronounced growth in the number of female ratings with STCW certifications over their officer counterparts, particularly within the cruise ship and passenger ferry industries. Conversely, the distribution of female officers is more uniform across different sectors [source: BIMCO/ICS 2021 Seafarer Workforce Report].

Safety is a paramount concern, and OSM Thome advocates stringent policies to combat discrimination, fostering a workplace environment that is not only safe but also respectful. Acknowledging the importance of work-life balance, we firmly believe that women should not have to choose between a maritime career and starting a family. Therefore, OSM Thome is committed to providing flexible work arrangements and supportive policies that assist all our employees, irrespective of gender, in managing their family responsibilities.

International organizations, such as the International Maritime Organization ‘IMO’ and Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), play a crucial role in promoting gender equality. They provide gender-specific fellowships, facilitate access to high-level technical training for women in developing countries, and support the establishment of professional women in maritime associations.

OSM Thome actively supports the initiatives to challenge gender stereotypes and promote diversity at both institutional and social levels. Educating the maritime community about the importance of gender equity benefits women and contributes to a more robust and innovative sector. OSM Thome through various leadership trainings nurture the culture of its people to support an inclusive organization leading excellence at sea.

In conclusion, gender equity in the maritime industry is a complex yet fundamental challenge. As awareness grows and policies evolve, at OSM Thome, we envision a future where women not only face challenges onboard but thrive in their maritime careers. OSM Thome is strategically navigating a path infused with compassion to redefine an authentically inclusive industry.


 

CHARTING NEW COURSES: Leadership and Diversity at the Helm of OSM Thome Philippines

By: OSM Thome Editorial

As the first female Managing Director and President of OSM Thome Philippines, Mailyn Borillo stands as a beacon of progress in the maritime sector, a field traditionally dominated by men. With a remarkable career spanning almost 30 years, her professional journey has been marked by significant contributions both in the Philippines and Denmark. Leading roles as first female head at industry giants such as Maersk and TORM have showcased her expertise and commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. Mailyn’s tenure at OSM Thome Philippines is distinguished by her efforts to challenge and change entrenched gender stereotypes within the maritime industry.

The journey towards gender diversity and inclusion in the maritime industry is not just about breaking barriers; it’s about building bridges for the next generation of women to cross with confidence,” Mailyn shares.

“These bridges are built on pillars of mentorship, offering guidance, wisdom, and support to navigate the complexities of roles in Maritime. Coaching serves as another important component, empowering women with the skills and confidence needed to excel in their endeavors. Exposure to diverse experiences and networks also broadens their horizons. Providing opportunities for growth and advancement ensures that women are not only included but are also thriving in their roles. By investing in these bridges, leaders not only promote gender equality but also harness the full potential of talented women,” Mailyn added.

This kind of approach to leadership is informed by her extensive experience and is characterized by a steadfast commitment to promoting gender diversity and equal opportunities.

Apart from her operational achievements, Mailyn is a fervent advocate for corporate social responsibility. Her involvement as a board member of the OSM-AD Foundation and the TORM Foundation underscores her dedication to making a positive impact beyond the confines of her industry. Additionally, as one of the InLife Sheroes Ambassadors of the Insular Life Foundation, Mailyn’s work extends to empowering women across various sectors, advocating for their rights and opportunities.

To young women aspiring to enter the maritime industry or any other traditionally male-dominated field, Mailyn offers this message, “Embrace every challenge as an opportunity to prove your strength and to pave the way for others who will follow,” she advises. Her emphasis on perseverance and the value of embracing every opportunity for personal and professional growth resonates deeply within the industry and beyond.

The strides Mailyn has made at OSM Thome Philippines not only reflect her leadership and vision but also signal a broader shift towards a more inclusive and equitable maritime industry. Her journey and achievements serve as an inspiration for women everywhere, highlighting the impact of pioneering leaders in transforming industry norms and fostering a culture of diversity and empowerment.


 

SAILING NEW HORIZONS: Steering a Successful Path from Officer to Office

By: OSM Thome Editorial

In the ever-evolving maritime industry, the journey from seafarer to office management offers unique insights into leadership and teamwork. Dorthe Karlsen, Crew & Recruitment Director at OSM Thome, shares invaluable insights from her own transition, emphasizing the essence of accountability, teamwork, and collective effort in achieving goals. “Leadership is not about knowing everything but about mobilizing the strengths of each team member towards a common goal,” Dorthe reflects.

Dorthe also addresses the progress and ongoing challenges for women in maritime. Despite witnessing slow growth in the offshore sector since her start in 1992, she recognizes a positive shift onshore, where women are increasingly making their mark. However, the journey hasn’t been without its obstacles. Reflecting on her experiences, Dorthe notes the importance of allowing women to be themselves onboard, advocating for environments where they don’t need to assimilate into traditionally male-dominated spaces.

As Crew Director, Dorthe is actively involved in mentorship and networks such as WIS Denmark, focusing on initiatives that encourage female participation and representation in maritime. She emphasizes the need for education and a firm stance from companies when dealing with discrimination or harassment, advocating for proactive measures to foster a more inclusive industry.

Dorthe’s guidance to aspiring female seafarers is clear: embrace the opportunities, seek supportive environments, and don’t hesitate to voice concerns. Her reflections on the growth of female leadership within her tenure at Maersk inspire a vision of a more diverse and inclusive maritime future.

Dorthe champions mentorship as a key strategy to attract and keep women in the Maritime Industry, emphasizing its power to show them enduring career opportunities where their skills remain relevant. She believes mentors who have navigated similar paths can inspire this continuity.

Looking ahead, Dorthe envisions a maritime industry where diversity is not only embraced but is a cornerstone of its evolution. With strong advocates like OSM Thome’s management, the future for women in maritime looks promising, steering towards a horizon where everyone has a place and a voice, regardless of gender. “Empowering women in maritime isn’t just about equality; it’s about enriching the industry with diverse perspectives and talents,” Dorthe asserts, envisioning a future where maritime is as varied as the oceans it traverses.

Dorthe’s journey and advocacy in the maritime industry underscore a vital shift toward inclusivity and diversity. Her work is a clarion call for the industry to embrace and champion diversity, ensuring a future where every maritime professional, regardless of gender, can thrive. Her efforts reflect a broader movement towards an equitable and dynamic maritime world, promising a more inclusive and successful future for all seafarers.


 

SUPPORT AT SEA: An Introduction to OSM Thome’s Women’s Desk

By: Cheri Marie Donato-Villasin, Crew & Family Counselor / Women’s Support Officer

The Women’s Desk at OSM Thome is a pivotal initiative designed to support and empower female seafarers in the maritime industry. It provides targeted resources and support, addressing unique challenges and promoting an inclusive and respectful working environment. This overview highlights the Desk’s objectives, initiatives, and its positive impact on the women it serves.

  1. What is the primary mission of the Women’s Desk at OSM Thome, and how does it differentiate itself from similar programs?
    The Women’s Desk aims to ensure the safety and well-being of female colleagues onboard through the provision of a dedicated Women Support Officer who offers continuous support and is available 24/7. It stands out by providing personalized support and access to medical professionals for counseling, emphasizing its commitment to ongoing engagement and support.
  2. Who benefits from the Women’s Desk services at OSM Thome?
    The primary beneficiaries are female seafarers within the OSM Thome fleet, who receive tailored support and initiatives aimed at their well-being and professional development onboard.
  3. What initiatives does the Women’s Desk undertake to address the challenges faced by women seafarers, and how does it support them onboard?
    Current initiatives include an e-learning module on harassment and bullying, specialized onboard briefings, and informational packs for superiors. These efforts raise awareness, offer support, and create a safer environment, demonstrating a proactive approach to addressing onboard challenges. The Women Support Officer plays a crucial role in these initiatives, offering continuous support and advocacy for female seafarers.
  4. What challenges do women in the maritime industry face, and how has the Women’s Desk successfully supported them in overcoming these obstacles?
    Women face issues like gender inequality and limited resources onboard. The Women’s Desk addresses these through its support structure, including the Women Support Officer, who ensures women have a supportive platform to voice concerns. Success stories, such as the assistance provided to a female seafarer facing harassment, highlight the Desk’s impact in creating a safer and more inclusive working environment.
  5. What measures does the Women’s Desk implement to promote safety and inclusivity, and what are the plans to evolve its services?
    The Desk promotes safety and inclusivity through comprehensive briefings and ongoing support initiatives, ensuring a supportive environment for female seafarers. Plans focus on maintaining and enhancing these effective activities and policies, continuously adapting to the evolving needs of the community to provide effective and meaningful support.

For female seafarers seeking support or assistance, the Women’s Desk at OSM Thome is here to help. Below are the contact details and briefing schedule for reaching out to our dedicated team.

Cheri Marie Donato-Villasin
Crew & Family Counselor / Women’s Support Officer
Email: cheri.villasin@osmthome.com
Mobile Phone: 09178463526
Briefing Schedule: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Bookings to be confirmed through the Crewing Team.


 

OSM Thome Reaches Out To Competitors For Collaborations on Green Solutions

By: Tomas Kristiansen, Shipping Watch

The content provided below originates from an article featured by Tomas Kristiansen on Shipping Watch

 

The ship management industry has far from the same level of cooperation as its customers, the carriers, on green shipping. Now, OSM Thome is reaching out to change that.

With a handful of major ship management companies and a myriad of small stakeholders, the industry is more familiar with intense competition than collaborating for a common good.

In an interview with ShippingWatch, Managing Director for OSM Thome Asia Simona Toma expressed their willingness to reach out to peers and competitors to raise the level of cooperation and promote the sharing of industrial knowledge.

Norwegian-headquartered OSM Thome, which was created through a merger in 2023, has jumped to number 5 in the global list of ship managers ranking and is still in a streamlining process with the clear goal of increasing efficiency and reducing costs for their customers.

“I think in the long term, we would all, as an industry as such, benefit if we actually work together in areas where we can do so. Sharing lessons learned, sharing trials and experiences, collaborating on strategic projects to improve the overall safety of our workforce, just to name a few,” she says.

“You don’t see that much right now. You can see the carriers and the ship owners starting to work together in different areas, but you don’t see that much in the ship management sector yet,” Simona Toma added.

 

Must Master a Lot

Another obvious field to unleash in a joint effort is the green transition, which is going to have a notable impact on the industry both in terms of technical as well as crew management.

The introduction of greenhouse gas emission rules by the IMO and EU are just recent examples of how managers must master an increasing number of new skills.

“It could be initiatives such as exploring the green transition from traditional to new fuels. How do we build the path to create the competencies for the future? That is a journey we are all in,” says Simona Toma. She believes that a common understanding between the stakeholders already exists, which in itself could form a sound basis for joint initiatives going forward – something that was confirmed during the tough years when COVID-19 affected seafarers, shipping companies, and ship managers.

 

Must Find a Balance

“It is no easy task to find the balance between collaboration and healthy competition, but if done properly, the ship management industry may make significant contributions to the green transition,” she argues.

When ShippingWatch interviewed Simona Toma in November last year she explained that the aim of the new combined entity is, among other things, to reap the benefits of synergy from the merger.

“There is an element of excess resources in the process, in work streams, and that had to be addressed. That is a responsibility we have to the business. If you don’t address such things in the process of a merger, you are not able to keep your cost efficiencies as such. Another element is addressing duplicative functions,” she explained.


 

REVOLUTIONIZING MARITIME PROCUREMENT: A Vision for AXIA

By: Jesper Alex Larsen, Managing Director of Axia Maritime

In an industry as vast and complex as maritime procurement, the arrival of a new player like AXIA signals a fresh wave of innovation and strategic foresight aimed at reshaping market norms. From the perspective of the new Managing Director, Jesper Alex Larsen, AXIA’s entry is not just another addition to the competitive landscape but a pivotal moment poised to redefine industry standards. At its core, AXIA’s mission in a straightforward yet ambitious manner: to ascend as the paramount procurement entity within the shipping sector.  The goal is to become an undeniable reason for ship owners to select OSM Thome for vessel management, leveraging  AXIA’s prowess to distinguish itself from the competition.

Larsen outlines the multifaceted challenges that loom over the maritime procurement industry, including an overextended supplier network, inefficient manual processes in purchasing transactions, and a notable gap in procurement personnel’s product knowledge. AXIA’s strategy to navigate through these hurdles is methodical and transformative. By drastically reducing the number of suppliers and fostering closer ties with a select few that offer quality products, AXIA aims to achieve more favorable pricing and unmatched service availability. Automation stands at the forefront of AXIA’s operational overhaul, aiming to streamline processes from requisition to payment, thereby cutting down manual labor significantly. Moreover, AXIA has instituted a team of category managers, each specializing in specific product categories to enhance expertise and negotiation capabilities.

Reliability and efficiency in the supply chain are paramount for AXIA, achieved through meticulous selection of trustworthy suppliers offering quality products. Larsen believes in creating mutually beneficial relationships based on trust and a “win-win” situation, expected to ensure timely product supply and foster a stable and dependable supply chain.

Sustainability is intricately woven into AXIA’s business model which imposes stringent requirements on suppliers, including the adherence to a comprehensive “Supplier Code of Conduct” and environmental management policies. These measures, coupled with frequent audits-some conducted by third-party experts-underscore AXIA’s commitment to environmental stewardship and safety, aligning with the Norwegian Transparency Act.

Looking ahead, AXIA will continuously refine its services and explore new market opportunities. This includes securing the most competitive prices from suppliers, prioritizing service quality and product availability, and possibly expanding its role within OSM Thome to encompass indirect product categories like IT. The focus remains on simplifying the procurement process for fleet and vessel managers, making supplier selection a seamless and efficient endeavor.

Reflecting on past achievements in the procurement sector, Larsen underscores the significance of cultivating strong personal and professional relationships as a cornerstone of success. Long-term collaborations with selected suppliers have proven to be mutually beneficial, enabling cost reductions and enhanced service quality.

Innovation within AXIA is fostered through a culture of inclusivity, where Larsen encourages ideas for improvement from all organizational levels. This approach not only democratizes innovation but ensures that a broad spectrum of insights and suggestions are considered, driving continuous improvement.

In the coming months, AXIA is poised to embark on several strategic initiatives aimed at cementing its leadership and innovative edge in the market. These include reducing the supplier base by 75% to concentrate business on selected suppliers, introducing category management to enhance specialization and efficiency, and embarking on targeted marketing efforts to broaden its customer base.

In conclusion, under the stewardship of Jesper Alex Larsen and Chief Marine Services Officer Tommy Olofsen, AXIA’s entry into the maritime procurement market is marked by a clear vision, strategic challenges, and a distinct approach to overcoming industry norms. Through strategic supplier management, operational efficiency, sustainability practices, and a focus on innovation and personal relationships, AXIA is not just aiming to compete but to redefine the standards of maritime procurement for the better.


 

Would You Recommend A Life At Sea To Your Children?

By: Phil Page, Elaborate Communications

Tommy Olofsen, Chief Marine Services Officer at OSM Thome, recently moderated a panel discussion at the Crew Connect Global Conference 2023 where panelists discussed shipping’s image problem, as compared to other industries, when trying to attract the younger generation.

The audience of maritime professionals were asked in a poll if they would recommend a career at sea to their children and over half said they would not.

This telling statistic and the fact that Chief Marine Services Officer Olofsen was not surprised by the result, shows just how much ground the industry needs to make up to attract new talent to the maritime world.

With the latest Seafarer Workforce Report predicting that shipping will need an additional 89,510 officers by 2026, it is vital that key issues are addressed to put shipping on the radar of young people as a potential long-term career.

The panelists agreed more work should be done in schools and colleges to promote shipping as an exciting, fulfilling, and viable option with clearly defined and diverse career paths.

Equally, they felt that the harsh realities of life at sea should not be brushed under the carpet as it can at times be a dangerous profession. Also, time away from family and friends can be difficult.

However, the benefits of working in a global industry and the opportunities to work in different parts of the world should be viewed as a real incentive for ambitious young people.

A lot of job seekers in Asia are attracted by the higher salaries they can earn at sea when compared with those onshore however many young people these days are also looking to work for companies that share their values. In particular, the younger generation is very concerned about the environment and so will be attracted to companies that can demonstrate what they are doing to become more sustainable.

Shipping is making great strides in looking at ways to decarbonize but clearly, more can be done especially if it is to hit the IMO’s target of zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Other areas that the industry needs to address is connectivity. Millennials have grown up with 24/7 internet access and will not put up with extended periods of time with no online access. Employers need to address this issue as those with good connectivity solutions will be more successful in employing younger workers than those that cannot.

However, Julia Anastasiou, Chief Crew Management Officer and Cyprus Managing Director at OSM Thome, during a recent interview with TradeWinds expressed how much crew are seen as valuable assets to the ship manager saying, “We have a unique setup – we employ the majority of our crew and we are utilising our own manning offices in the vast majority of our operation to ensure unparalleled quality for our customers’ vessels.”

President and Managing Director of OSM Thome in the Philippines, Mailyn Borillo speaking during an interview with Marino World, concurred saying, “Seafarers are human beings not human doing,” emphasizing that “Shipmanagement is about people, retaining the right people.”  She added, “Retaining the right individual also draws in more interest to the workforce. Retaining the right people involves a strong emphasis and concrete action on both their professional development and holistic well-being. Without this, any initiative to attract the younger generation will be futile.”

Attracting a diverse workforce is essential for an industry to grow and thrive and it is disappointing to note that The Diversity Study Group’s 2023 Annual Review of 2,500 shoreside maritime professionals described the level of women in leadership roles as poor and that the proportion of women in technical roles had declined when compared to the previous year. On the plus side, the review did reveal that shipping is becoming more ethnically diverse with the proportion of leadership roles held by white people falling from 69.5% to 61%. Clearly though, there is still a lot of work to be done to create more diversity and inclusion in the maritime industry so it can shed its old outdated ‘macho’ image.

In conclusion, the maritime sector has always been the unseen and invisible industry which only gets publicity on a national and international scale when something goes wrong like an oil spill or sinking vessel. We must change that perception so the public views it as a key part of the global supply chain which transports 90% of all our goods and services and how it can bring varied, long-term, and exciting job prospects for young professionals looking for a challenging and rewarding career.


 

MANAGEMENT TAKEOVERS IN Q1: Our Fleet and Expertise

By Joey Koh, Senior Business Development Executive

Maritime powerhouse OSM Thome commenced quarter one of 2024 with noteworthy vessel takeovers anew, signifying the company’s robust business relationship with existing and new owners.

Demonstrating our excellence in effectively managing and operating a wide array of vessels, this continuous expansion bolsters our standing as a reliable ally in the maritime domain. Our commitment to surpassing client expectations and establishing new standards in the industry remains unwavering as we advance and innovate within the maritime sector. We appreciate your trust and support as we start these vessels’ excellent journeys at sea.


 

THERE IS POWER IN FEMININITY: Women are creating purposeful ripples at sea, too!

By: OSM Thome Editorial

There is pride in being a seafarer. Seafarers face the daunting, yet paradoxical honor of taking on the world by sea and rising to the challenges of having this noble job. There is pride in being a woman at sea. While there continues to be narratives of gender battles onboard, triumphant stories and contributions of women at sea spanning over the years are also part of the maritime industry’s successes. There is pride in being a versatile and purpose-driven woman at sea – something females can credit to their womanhood.

Women are continuously stepping up and aren’t afraid to take on challenges. Take for instance, OSM Thome’s 2nd Cook Arjane Ann Balida, who is changing the narrative of women joining the maritime industry, usually perceived as a male-dominated field.

A former trainee of the OSM Thome Catering Academy, Arjane shared that she has always been fascinated by the life at sea. “Working and cooking onboard gave me the chance to see the world for free and experience different cultures firsthand – isn’t it a wonderful life adventure?” the 27-year-old female seafarer added. From having her first contract with Viking Neptun from Eidesvik Offshore back in September 2018, Arjane has established a successful career onboard to the present-day while still having the time to take part in other activities she loves – Taekwondo, freediving, and volunteering for OSM-AD Foundation.

A victor of work and life balance

Despite the workload onboard and the limited time ashore, Arjane sees to it that she still gets the best of both worlds – excelling as a professional and enjoying her hobbies. “I have 55 days on and off. On board, I try to keep a healthy lifestyle by regularly exercising, eating right, reading books, and watching my favorite films,” she shared. Her passion and interest in Taekwondo, freediving, and volunteering for groups like OSM-AD Foundation help her recharge and unwind during her days on land.

Seeing it as her first love, Taekwondo taught Arjane more about respect and the sports disciplines which she uses as her moral compass in real-life situations and even at work. Currently, she holds a red belt in Taekwondo. On the other hand, her massive passion for freediving gives her a great feeling of euphoria and allows her heart to be more connected with the sea. “I love freediving because it gives me calmness, peace of mind, a happy heart, and freedom while underwater,” she explained.

To top it all off, the OSM-Ad Foundation is glad to have her as one of their volunteers, supporting their initiatives in education, social development, disaster response, and sustainability.

A Queen is a Steward, too!

Even with all the hustle and bustle that her profession demands, Arjan was recently crowned as the “Aqua Queen of Pearl” of the Aqua Queen of the Universe 2024, a local pageant held in the Philippines. The 27-year-old seafarer-beauty queen outlined her support for educating and influencing young individuals and fisherfolk to protect marine life and the ocean habitat. “I will use my voice to campaign for the reduction of plastic and waste going into our seas to preserve life in our oceans,” Arjane said. True enough, she is a queen and a good steward of the seas, too!

There Is Power in Femininity

The gradual increase of female seafarers’ population in the maritime industry shows a promising future both for the industry and changing social norms. Arjane, currently onboard Viking Reach and the sole female crew on her trip (February 2024), firmly believes that respect is hard-earned and women at sea are capable of doing anything just like any other professionals onboard.

“I think what empowers me most are my family, my religious beliefs, and witnessing my fellow and aspiring female seafarers who strive to contribute their skills and service for the common good of the maritime industry,” the young culinary artist said.

Arjane, just like other women at sea, wishes to use her voice to influence aspiring female seafarers to make big strides.

“There will be tough times onboard but remember that tough times are meant to teach us valuable lessons. Learn from your mates as much as you can and continuously hone skills and values and you will see that in no time, you’ll be able to get where you want to be. Sailing is a no-pain-no-gain journey.  At the end of the day, it will all be worth it,” Arjane stated.


 

OSM Thome Propels Into Q1 of 2024 With Active Engagements In Maritime Industry Events

By: Eunice Anne Narvadez, Corporate Communications and Marketing Executive

Embracing the dawn of 2024 with renewed perspective and determination, OSM Thome made great strides at the beginning of the year by being enthusiastically present at numerous prominent and highly anticipated industry events and conferences anew.

OSM Thome Chief Operating Officer Olav Nortun imparted his knowledge on navigating the human element in maritime cybersecurity with fellow industry experts at the NBAS Singapore Norway Maritime Cyber Forum 2024 last January 19 in Singapore.

Global HSEQ Manager Dimitris Pavlou was present at the 5th SAFETY4SEA Limassol Forum on January 31 in Cyprus.

OSM Thome was delighted to be a Bronze Sponsor of the highly anticipated Singapore Shipping Association Lunar New Year Lo Hei Cocktail reception on February 15 in Singapore, supporting the festive evening filled with joyful Lo Hei, lion dance, and fostering connections as maritime professionals welcomed the auspicious year of the dragon.

Senior Marine HR Manager Vishvesh Mehta joined as a delegate in the 2024 Marine Money India Ship Finance Forum in Mumbai, India last February 20.

Business Development Manager Jan Dirk Davidse participated in this year’s Offshore Technology Conference Asia held last February 27 to March 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Over sixty OSM Thome India employees exhibited remarkable enthusiasm by taking part in the “Cleaner Oceans Maritime 10K Run” held at the Mumbai docks on March 3 in India. Highlighting the dedication to social responsibility, OSM Thome supported the event by ensuring the hydration needs of over five hundred runners and cyclists who joined the run were met.

OSM Thome’s esteemed partners and colleagues from the industry gathered in Athens last March 5 for the company’s inaugural customer event of 2024. The afternoon was filled with pioneering forward-thinking solutions and meaningful partnerships built anew that will cater to the ever-evolving needs of the maritime sector.

On March 8, Managing Director of OSM Thome Philippines Mailyn Borillo was invited to speak at the Norwegian Training Center Manila’s 2024 celebration of the International Women’s Day. In her speech, Mailyn conveyed that raising awareness about gender equality fosters a fairer society and inspires others to thrive.

Ultimately, Business Development Manager Jan Dirk Davidse attended this year’s Asia Pacific Maritime in Singapore from March 13 to 15 to join fellow global maritime industry experts who have come together to discuss the most pressing issues in the industry, forge collaborations, and discover business opportunities.


 

SCULPTING IDEAS: Creative Minds Onboard

By: Rajkumar Paringadi, Fitter

Amidst the restricted confines of the ship, seafarers strive to uphold their vigor and nurture their mental resilience, endeavoring to achieve composure following a day’s exhaustive work by engaging in various activities and hobbies.  This helps their overall well-being as they are keenly aware of the imperative to maintain a harmonious balance between body and mind amidst life’s challenges at sea.

As a professional fitter serving aboard one of OSM Thome’s vessels for more than 20 years, Rajkumar Paringadi adeptly channels his expertise into crafting extraordinary pieces of art solely utilizing nuts and bolts, offering a distinctive channel for self-expression and stress relief while at sea.

Recently, Raj joyously unveiled a collection of his creations at OSM Thome’s Mumbai office, along with fellow seafarers, to illustrate his innovative vision and passionate advocacy for

integrating creativity into the maritime environment. Through his inspiring display, Raj showcases his talents and fosters a culture of imagination and artistic exploration among his peers onboard.

Acknowledging the pivotal significance of prioritizing the welfare of our seafarers, OSM Thome steadfastly maintains its dedication to bolstering their well-being through the implementation of comprehensive developmental and wellness programs. With a firm commitment to nurturing a conducive environment for their growth and fulfillment, OSM Thome diligently crafts initiatives to enhance its valued seafaring community’s physical, mental, and emotional resilience.

Through proactive measures and tailored support systems, we endeavor to ensure that our seafarers receive the necessary resources and guidance to thrive personally and professionally while navigating the challenges of life at sea.


 

OSM Thome Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Pilot Technician Course

By: Trisia Neri, Training Administration Officer, Maritime Leaders Academy

In partnership with Technip FMC, the Maritime Leaders Academy brought back the Remotely Operated Vehicle Pilot Technician Course in March 2023. This is in line with Technip FMC’s intention to expand the number of ROV Pilot Technicians in the fleet focusing on developing Filipino ROV Pilot Technicians. The ROV Pilot Technician position is a specialized position on board offshore vessels which is commonly occupied by European nationals due to the technically demanding requirements.

The program is a seven-week course that provides technical training on Electronics, High Voltage, Fiber Optics, Electrical, Hydraulics and ROV simulator practical exercises. With 12 successful candidates from different local companies with engineering expertise, the program commenced last March 2023.

Pilots of Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) supervise the operation of complex robotic equipment in a variety of industries, including scientific exploration, oil and gas, and search and salvage. They oversee data gathering, equipment operation, and maintenance for ROVs. Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) pilots must be proficient in preventive maintenance practices, such as restocking landing spots with water containers and cleaning the ROV after every flight. They also must resolve any issues that may come up and prepare the ROV for demobilization or mobilization. Technical tasks include drafting technical reports, operating small boats, and handling ropes. The capacity to change ROV systems with engineers, purchase new parts, and perform simple electrical and hydraulic construction repairs is also part of the training.

Currently, an accreditation is being applied for under the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA). IMCA is the organization that provides the competencies and guidelines for ROV Pilot Technician positions in the offshore industry.

This program provides a new career path for all Filipino engineering graduates, not only marine engineer graduates in the offshore industry with the aim to encourage more offshore customers to hire Filipino ROV Pilots onboard their vessels.

In the future, we envision to dominate the offshore industry with Filipino ROV Pilots, ROV Pilots that are trained only at Maritime Leaders Academy!


 

Eagle Bulk Ship Management (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Officers’ Conference

By: Trisia Neri, Training Administration Officer, Maritime Leaders Academy

The Officers’ Conference was held from January 31 to February 02, 2024, with the theme “Ahead of the Situation” at Twin Lakes Hotel, Tagaytay-Nasugbu, Batangas, Philippines.

The event was led by Eagle Bulk’s Technical Director, Claus Usen Jensen, Global Head of Marine HR and HSSEQ System, Jitendra Patwardhan, and the rest of the Eagle Bulk team.

The event was attended by 53 dedicated Eagle Bulk crew who actively participated in engaging and interactive activities which were meticulously designed to enrich their knowledge, skills, and professional development.

The conference objectives included the discussion on how to build a strong safety culture onboard and how to improve our seafarers’ effective communication and working as a team. Along with focused topics pertinent to the daily operations, safety, vetting challenges, and external inspections of the vessels facilitated by Eagle Bulk, external experts from Green Jakobsen also shared their experience, expectations and emphasized a safe and healthy environment on the ship.

The conference ended with a panel forum led by Claus together with the team. This forum was also designed to give clarity on any tricky issues encountered by our seafarers, share best practices, and find solutions to ongoing challenges – collaborating and partnering as a wider team for continued success. It was an excellent opportunity for the officers to engage in a lively manner with the owners too in their respective expectations and challenges faced. This conference has become a great opportunity for our seafarers to meet the owners and create a meaningful relationship with them.

To cap off the evening, officers and their family members were invited for a social night. Starting off with a sumptuous dinner wherein they were serenaded by an acoustic band and the Indak Lahi Cultural Dancers demonstrated their skill of mastering the dance of Filipino Folk Songs.

OSM Thome Maritime Leaders Academy did an excellent job in organizing the officers’ conference. We look forward to planning similar conferences focusing on engagement and building trust, focusing on the safe operation and reliability of vessels. It was concluded on a high note with good learning and takeaways for our colleagues both from sea and shore.

The event was then concluded by Claus Jensen with a note “Our mission is going to lead us to what it is that we want to do, so everything we personally do is to get through the dream that we have.”


 

Honing The Young Catalysts For Change

By: Noah Ordoño, Foundation Manager, OSM-AD Foundation

The OSM-AD Foundation’s mission is to develop the younger generation to become role models of society through education, while we envision them to become socially responsible, educated, and productive. As we contribute to society by making this vision happen, the Foundation runs its flagship pillar, the Education and Scholarship Program that currently takes good care of our 32 scholars in college, with 11 graduates already on the record.

70% of the scholars are selected from the most isolated and disadvantaged communities in the Philippines. The rest are either dependents of our rating seafarers or of our office colleagues from the ranks. We facilitate the rigid scholarship selection process through a qualifying exam and interview before sending the shortlisted profiles for deliberation. Successful candidates receive full scholarships covering their tuition fees and their stipends for school-related and living expenses for the duration of their 4-year program. On top of that, we organize regular workshops and leadership conferences to further hone their characters and competence.

Aside from the scholarship grant from OSM Thome, the OSM-AD Foundation is now being supported as well by HOST and Hurtigruten Foundation since 2023. HOST is assisting scholars from Almagro Island in Western Samar Province, while Hurtigruten is supporting a student-leader from Kalinga Province. Other OSM Thome scholars were selected earlier from the provinces of Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Camarines Sur and Ifugao. This year, the Foundation eyes its selection in Dinagat Islands in Southern Philippines, and in the island municipality of San Vicente in Northern Samar Province.

Hurtigruten Scholar Julie Cris, an education student from Kalinga State University, expressed her gratefulness as her scholarship changed her life. “I am so happy. Because of this scholarship, I would be able to achieve my dream of becoming a schoolteacher,” Julie said.

We send these young leaders to university with high hopes that they would become the catalysts for change who may soon help address the pressing challenges in their communities. If you wish to support this initiative with us by sending more youth to school to help them reach their full potential through scholarship grant, please feel free to reach out.

OSM-AD Foundation; anjelo.ordono@osmthome.com


 

OSM Thome Brazil Foundation Initiatives

By: Vanuza Sampaio, Corporate Finance Manager

Empowering Women at Sea: OSM Thome Brazil’s Drive for Gender Equality

In the maritime industry’s vast sector, OSM Thome Brazil stands out for its commitment to gender equality and empowerment. Central to its mission is the endeavor to increase female representation in Brazil’s seafaring workforce.

Currently, around 8% of our workforce is composed of women. OSM Thome Brazil’s efforts to leverage this percentage are multifaceted. As a “citizen company” (or “empresa cidadã” in Portuguese), it has extended maternity and paternity leave periods, ensuring the well-being of both parents during early parenthood.

Additionally, the company safeguards pregnant seafarers by negotiating and including clauses in the CBA (union Agreement) that make it possible for female seafarers to engage in long-term careers and projects at sea.

Moreover, OSM Thome Brazil fosters a cultural atmosphere that vehemently opposes any form of sexual or moral harassment. By promoting respect, trust, and open communication, the company ensures that all crew members, regardless of gender, can perform to their fullest potential without fear of discrimination or harassment.

The company’s commitment to gender equality goes beyond rhetoric. Female officers and ratings within OSM Thome Brazil consistently demonstrate exceptional performance, with cases of women advancing to prominent positions such as Chief Officer. This success underscores the importance of providing equal opportunities and support for women in maritime careers.

In terms of safety, OSM Thome Brazil upholds rigorous standards, equipping all seafarers with comprehensive training and resources to navigate potential hazards at sea. Transparency remains a cornerstone of the company’s operations, fostering an environment where employees feel empowered to voice their concerns and contribute to a culture of integrity and fairness.

In conclusion, OSM Thome Brazil’s dedication to empowering women at sea reflects its core values of innovation, relationships, safety, and transparency. By championing gender equality and fostering an inclusive workplace culture, the company not only enhances its workforce but also contributes to a more equitable and progressive maritime industry. As OSM Thome Brazil continues to navigate the waves of change, it remains steadfast in its mission to create a brighter future for all seafarers, regardless of gender.


 

OSM Thome Celebrates International Women’s Day

By: Mark Ranzel De Jesus, Senior Digital Marketing Executive

Check out some snapshots capturing OSM Thome global employees and seafarers championing diversity, equality, and inclusion by joining the worldwide celebration of International Women’s Day.

Throughout the celebration, employees and seafarers were treated with #inspireinclusion shirts. Global talks were held, featuring leaders of OSM Thome sharing insightful messages about the significance of the global celebration. Additionally, a webinar focused on the journey to self-care and self-love was conducted, enriching the experience for all participants.

From OSM Thome, we wish you all a Happy International Women’s Day!