- We must convince the shipowners we cooperate with in Poland to establish divisions in our country and to allow them to handle, initially, on a trial basis, a part of their fleet. Only this way will we be able to encourage them to transfer ship management to our country – claim the representatives of the Polish Ship Managers Association (PZZS) operating in Gdynia.
According to the heads of PZZS, in Poland, we are taking advantage from only a part of the navigation chain, and we are in the bottom of the ladder. In their opinion, we are dealing with a situation, in which crew agencies provide what is most precious – human resources. They don’t earn much on these operations, since the highest revenue goes to crew managers, who are a level higher in the hierarchy. Plus, if crew managers are a part of the same organization as the technical manager, we are speaking of very high sums. Therefore, PZZS has recurrently pointed to the idea of Polish crew agencies, a multitude of which can be found on the Polish market, convincing their shipowners or ship managers to render ships for management, particularly since our country is placing interest in the development of in house ship management, wherein a company belongs to the shipowner’s group. Of course, this does not block the possibility of engaging in third-party ship management, but this is gradual, step-by-step development leading to a higher level. Engaging in cooperation with a shipowner with their own fleet, particularly in the beginning, provides a good starting position.
Another essential aspect for the development of navigation in Poland can be the use of Polish vessels. However, these should rather serve as a means to reach the target, not the target itself. The goal is to attract shipowners who will see specific benefits in changing the flag, and particularly these operators who seek the opportunity to swim under the EU flag. Therefore, if we are speaking of introducing the Polish flag as an asset to attract foreign shipowners to transfer their fleet to Poland, then the management of these ships should be also performed in Poland, as the deal is not only about increasing the number of vessels under the Polish flag.
Therefore, the new Maritime Code draft contains a provision stating that a Polish vessel, swimming under the Polish flag will not only include a vessel constituting the Polish property of the company managing it, but also a foreign vessel, provided that it is used or managed by a company registered or with its registered office or division in Poland.
One of the panels of the 2016 Maritime Economy Forum in Gdynia will be devoted to the subject of ship management.
photography: Przemek Kozłowski