MANA International Group managed to run an interview with a DNV GL team including Tor Egil Svensen, the group executive vice president, Andrew Westwood, senior vice president, Trond Hodne, the business director and Geir Fuglerud as the area manager, Middle East. The discussion rolls over the future of shipping, DNV GL capacity,
DNV GL is an international classification body with its headquarter in Oslo, Norway. Taking advantage of 4702 employees and 2309 surveyors, the company operates in over 100 countries through 167 offices and as of June the company works on 12,490 vessels translating into 272.5 million GT which comprises 20.2% of the global market share.
What was the reason for merging DNV with GL in 2013? Is it due to contracted market or the intention to move forward with wider knowledge?
Well, the decision for the merging dates back to before the world market was contracted and we had tried to merge with GL three times before but it was never really successful. This time it worked and the main reason was combining efforts. In fact DNV and GL are very complementary. DNV works on offshore, oil tankers, car carriers and many similar sectors while GL is a hot shot on MPVs and container ships, therefore we were looking for completion out of combination. Secondly, it moved us from the fourth and fifth in the world ranking to the largest and most influential classification society. The size causes us to work wider in regards with competency. Merging together gave us the opportunity to work on higher synergy and cost efficiency and it played an important role when the market followed a downward trend.
What capacity is DNV GL working on?
The average vessel size in this company is 21,700 GT with various types of the vessels including, container ships, bulkers, tankers, multi-purpose and so on. however, the size itself has never been the goal for the company. What really matters to us is quality and winning the competition over our rivals on professional operations we deliver to the customers.
What sectors are you more active in?
We try to be active in all sectors. However, looking at the market, tanker and chemical sectors are quite ok. LNG market is down, bulk and container carriage are also down along with off-shore market. However, cruise is doing extremely well. Nowadays, the market is getting more challenging because technology is changing fast and we have a commitment to reinvest 5% of the revenue back into the company for research and development. The philosophy of the company is to keep up with the technology and forecast it for the next 10 years and be able to provide advice. In fact, many ships are going to be scrapped young due to technology change mainly because they have not been able to keep pace with technology.
For the time being, we are studying 2025 technology changes especially in the realms of digital technology and environment. However, IMO rules in this regard lag the technology through the lengthy and complex process of decision making in this organization. In fact, the regulations to affirm a rule postpone the technology to be applied in the industry.
True classification let the companies consider the real facts about each ship and plan on them according to the facts.
What are your prospects about working with Iran?
There is a long history between Iran and IRISL. We have worked on Iranian fleet for so long. I think most of IRISL ships have run efficiently despite the sanctions. In fact, any company requires classification thanks to the technology and it is not only the matter of sanctions against Iran. Basically the IRISL ships were away for only four years.
I see Iranian managers in your team.
What is your idea about taking advantage of Iranians?
We have many Iranian specialists working at DNV GL. It actually follows the policy of global perspective and local presence. Some of the Iranians had the opportunity to come back to Tehran and build the local team and we provide the support they need. Long-term presence is built on local resources even if the sanctions were there in the pictures. We took care of the offices because we wanted to win the competitions in post sanction era in Iran mainly because we look long-term.