Power center in German shipping under pressure

In the German shipping industry there is a fear of losing ground to Asian ship management companies in countries such as China and India. Losing competencies represents one of the biggest challenges, according to Martin Krafft, Commercial Director of Columbia Shipmanagement in Hamburg.

The major cluster of ship management companies in Germany - based in and around Hamburg, and which has developed into a European power center due especially to banks’ and investors’ massive investments in new ships – is not just challenged by the financial collapse in Germany, but also by commercial and technical ship management companies in Asia, says Martin Krafft, Commercial Director of Columbia Shipmanagement (Deutschland), a company under Schoeller Holdings, which manages around 70 ships and is one of biggest ship management companies in Hamburg.

“Several Asian countries and capitals, such as Singapore Hong Kong, Shanghai and Mumbai, have access to a large base of well-trained workers, in terms of both the commercial and crewing aspects of seafarers, marine engineers and engineers from nearby each region. I am under the impression, that primarily India, the Philippines and increasingly China are continuing or developing to be maritime powerhouses with young people pursuing maritime careers with all challenges and potential associated to that. Over time, this will continue to develop a maritime heritage and identity in these locations."

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