Building strong local ties in the Far East
In November last year, Captain Chen Jianxin joined Lauritzen Bulkers in a position as port captain at the Shanghai office due to our increased level of activity in China. His primary focus is to strengthen operational and commercial relationships locally and to ensure strong networks in the region. With 10-15 port calls every month in China, Captain Chen is a busy man attending to many vessels.
A regular workday for Captain Chen is usually not at the office. As port captain in Lauritzen Bulkers, he is most often out at ports working with various counterparts to ensure that the company’s vessels conduct safe and smooth port operations.
The port captain’s job includes taking active part in optimising the company’s daily operations by assisting the global chartering and operations teams in challenges related to the day-to-day activities in and around ports. Captain Chen is thus the operations managers’ on-site eyes and ears and is involved in a wide range of vessel operations. His many tasks include preparation and review of stowage plans, lifting gear arrangements, stevedoring arrangements, cargo hold cleaning supervision, loading and discharging supervision just to mention a few.
Port captains play an important role in building bridges between offices, vessels and ports. Peter Borup, President Lauritzen Bulkers elaborates “Our port captains are important commercial assets: they combine insight and real on board experience with a commercial understanding and a problem solving attitude, as well as being our most visible ambassadors towards our stakeholders at ports and terminals”.
Safe and swift vessel operations translate into more cost efficient voyages, but there are also strong social benefits from having port captains on-site ensuring smooth operations. This is because doing things right the first time can, among other things, mitigate the environmental impacts in port areas and its surroundings and possibly prevent channels for facilitation demands.
When back at his desk at the Shanghai office, Captain Chen compiles reports and spends the little spare time he has discussing and guiding his colleagues on port operation issues.