Interview: Delivering palm oil to customers through our shipping JV
GAR is one of the world’s biggest integrated palm oil companies. This means we don’t just grow oil palm trees and harvest the fruit bunches, we also process the palm oil, refine it, develop different products for our customers and trade it. Delivering our products to customers around the world efficiently and reliably is also key to being the partner of choice in palm oil. GAR’s joint venture with global shipper Stena Weco enables us to deliver for our customers.
Golden Stena Weco (GSW) was formed in 2012, and is the only JV between a palm oil company and a shipper in the sector, making it unique and offering GAR several advantages in the market. It specialises in transporting palm oil products, as well as other edible oils, chemicals and CPP (clean petroleum products). To find out more about the JV whose motto is “First Class Palm Oil Partners”, I spoke to Bjorn Stignor, Managing Director and Head of GSW.
What does GSW do?
We have 15 vessels in total (seven we own and eight on Time Charter1). As charterers, we make sure that all GAR export cargos reach their customers in a timely and safe manner. As owners we conduct chartering and operations fromour Dubai and Singapore office. We deal in chemicals, CPP and of course palm oil for various companies.
Currently we have 22 people working in our Singapore and Dubai offices. GSW recently opened the office in Dubai were we have three employees employed to work for Stena Weco and GSW.
What are the advantages of having a dedicated logistics JV?
Being able to offer safe and comprehensive shipping services helps keep and get more customers for GAR. A logistics arm that takes care of the cargos and has its own ships is an advantage especially if the market is tight and it is difficult to secure shipping for your cargo.
It gives GAR control over the entire value chain from the plantation all the way to the receiver. The JV is also another source of revenue for GAR.
What has your experience working in the joint venture been like so far and what are the challenges of running a joint venture?
Like all marriages, both parties have to put time and effort to make a JV work. In the early days, GSW had its challenges but those have been solved and created a stronger relationship between the shareholders Stena Weco and GAR. Both companies have recently decided to look into expansion opportunities beyond GSW to explore other areas where we can do business together.
- Note :
- A time charter is the hiring of a vessel for a specific period of time; the owner still manages the vessel but the charterer selects the ports and directs the vessel where to go.