Tanker Market Update 2023 Q4

Tanker Market Trends & Developments

Venezuela sanctions eased. The United States has recently softened its sanctions on Venezuela, a move that has piqued the interest of energy traders and refiners. With the easing, there’s now an opportunity for spot sales and a revival of some prior supply contracts. Energy traders like Trafigura have already moved in, chartering vessels for transporting Venezuelan oil.

Conversely, the United States is intensifying its sanctions on Russian oil, potentially driving more Russian oil cargoes onto the so-called “ghost fleet.” The G7’s price cap on Russian oil, has led to a split in the shipping market, with Western services less involved in the transport of Russian oil, and non-Western, older vessels taking on a larger share. Enforcement of the price cap, is likely to increase the demand for ghost fleet vessels, despite the associated risks and the potential environmental impact.

Dubai, with its strategic location, is burgeoning as a pivotal maritime hub, attracting both legitimate businesses and those potentially seeking to circumvent sanctions. The emirate’s expatriate-friendly environment, elevated quality of life, and tax advantages play pivotal roles in its ascending maritime significance. These factors plus response to the fluctuating sanctions environment, mean companies are likely to bolster their presence in Dubai, taking advantage of the favourable business climate.

Talent Influx: Current market events and the trends of the last few years point to a redistribution of shipping activities. With Dubai’s growth as a maritime centre, we could see an influx of talent, from operational staff to senior executives, moving to the region to support expanded operations. Increased competition for talent is encouraging more companies to consider global options (relocating international talent) when hiring for key roles in the region.

We see this impacting more established maritime centres in Singapore and Europe both from a talent acquisition and retention point of view, and affecting remuneration expectations. Whilst Singapore remains the preferred global destination we increasingly hear from top tanker talent an openness to consider options in the Middle East. 

Decarbonization in shipping, while advancing gradually, faces significant hurdles in meeting IMO’s ambitious 2030 targets. Notable strides, however, are being made, for example Vitol’s planned deployment of IMO-2 bunker barges supplying biofuels in Singapore by early 2024. This move demonstrates the market’s access to viable low-carbon fuel options. The introduction of the CII regulatory framework could set energy efficiency as a critical performance metric, potentially revolutionizing operational models towards greater sustainability.

In this transformative landscape, organizations at the forefront of decarbonization are aiming to gain a competitive edge. Professionals who can demonstrate decarbonization accomplishments or introduce innovative solutions are becoming increasingly valuable. The drive towards a greener maritime sector is not just a technical challenge but a commercial imperative, calling for leadership that can navigate through these evolving dynamics.

Talent Moves in the Tanker Market

  • Arriving from Fednav where she was Executive Vice President, Tina Revsbech now leads Maersk Tankers as their new CEO.
  • Ragnhild Gjelsvik shifts from Oslo Kommune to take on the strategic role of SVP Head of Fleet Management at Hoegh LNG in Oslo.
  • Bruno Bai, previously at the forefront as Commercial Director at Navig8, now steps into the role of Director at Ifchor Galbraiths in Singapore.
  • After a successful tenure at FedEx, including as President of Healthcare, Logistics & America International, Udo Lange joins Stolt Nielsen as the new CEO, replacing Niels Stolt-Nielsen who moves up as Chairman.
  • From his previous role at Chevron as Technical Superintendent, Dinesh Sharma now navigates the challenges at Gunvor in Singapore as LNG Fleet Manager.
  • BW LPG in Singapore appoints Samantha Xu, formerly Regional Finance Director at Vopak, as their new CFO.
  • Henk Mooij, previously Vice President at Vertom Tanker Chartering, takes on the role of Managing Director at Riverlake in Rotterdam.
  • Martin Chong departs from Integra where he was Senior Chartering Manager to tackle new challenges as Chartering Manager at Kolmar in Singapore.
  • Yisi Teo makes a strategic move from BW Epic Kosan to Integra in Singapore, continuing her journey as Chartering Manager.
  • Matthew Korbosky switches from Alliance Tanker Chartering to join BRS in Singapore as a Tanker Broker.
  • Plamen Aleksandrov brings his expertise from S5 Agency World to Womar, stepping in as Research Manager.
  • With previous roles including Head of Shipping, South32 executive Su Yin Anand takes on additional role on the board of Hafnia.

Ignition Global Market Activity

Ignition are currently engaged with some exciting, high-caliber opportunities within the tanker market:

  • LIVE: General Manager / Partner – Ship Broker – Tanker
  • LIVE: Senior Chartering Manager – Tanker Operator
  • UPCOMING: We have a Head of Chartering search in the pipeline

These roles, given their specialized nature and our clients’ specific needs, are being managed discreetly and are not open for public advertising.

We understand the value of inside knowledge in this dynamic sector. Should you be interested in deeper insights into these unique opportunities and a broader perspective on market trends, we invite you to connect with us. Rest assured, our discussion will respect the confidentiality requirements of these positions and our clients.

About Ignition Global

Ignition Global are an Independent Talent Acquisition Strategist and experts in the shipping markets, helping our clients with their most difficult talent acquisition challenges. To find out more about our Talent Acquisition Solutions visit us here.