Some 60 Filipino officers and ratings from Centennial Transmarine (CTi) attended the Bahri Crew Conference held 12-14 March at the AG New World Manila Bay Hotel under the theme, ‘Safety: It Starts With You.’
Opened by Almohaned Alshathre, PRManager-Bahri, the event was engaging with the video address by Hisham Al-Khaldi, SVP-Human Resources-Bahri, quoted, “This conference is for you, our family members. Bahri is committed to the professional and personal development of Bahri seafarers from all over the world.
More than just a conference, this event is a milestone in your personal growth within the company… As a member of the OneBahri family, your safety and well-being are very important to us.”
A day before the opening, a warm-up 10-pin bowling tournament was held at Paeng’s Midtown Bowl in Robinson Place, Manila, on 11 March.
Bahri senior executives gave presentations:
- Safety Performance and Culture, Michael Bradshaw, Senior Manager, HSEQ and DPA at Bahri Ship Management
- Voyage Management, Maciej Duda, Senior Manager-Bahri Chemicals
- Security and Social Media, Anup Khan, Marine Manager and CSO at Bahri Ship Management
Session on allied sectors included:
- ‘Third-Party Inspection, Your Roles and Responsibilities’ by Joseph Assam, Ship Quality Assessor, Senior Ship Inspector & Auditor at Saudi Aramco
- ‘National Trends’ by Shajed Khan, Loss Prevention Manager at P&I Club
- ‘Risk Assessments’ by Kushry Dhondy of DNVGL
- ‘Cultural Awareness’ by Raul Montenegro
- ‘Medical Trends, Healthy Lifestyle Aboard and Ashore’ by Dr. Mildred Aze of SuperCare Medical Services
Michael Bradshaw was in all of the three days, running a safety video stressing the Goal-Zero approach for accidents. His presentations was spiced with reflective learning exercises to explore root causes and impact of an accident.
The company has been running its onboard safety training program, which uses consultants from SeaTec UK. The hands-on program involves sailing 7 to 10 days onboard ships, living with the crew, and carrying out on-site safety training. Bradshaw says this will continue and significant investment will be made.
To him, equipment reliability is another big issue. Bahri has three main manufacturers of Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS). But he insists, “From the safety culture point of view, the technology doesn’t impact that much, it’s all about human behavior.”
The future with Bahri is fantastic, with two more VLCCs left to be taken to management with Filipino ratings; and possibly ten more by 2019 and 2020.
Bradshaw recalls an instance of frustration when a second officer approached him claiming, “why is there a glass ceiling for Filipinos and why can’t I be a chief officer?”
“There’s no glass ceiling. We’ve got Filipino captains and Filipino chief engineers. You just need the hunger and drive to get there. Have you done your certification requirements to become a chief officer? Bradshaw asked. “
No, was the reply.
“So that’s why you’re not a chief officer. Get your certificates. Do your competence-based development within the company with all the tasks that are required, and you will get promoted as there’s no glass ceiling for any nationality in Bahri.”
Bahri wants its officers promoted “because if they just sit at one rank, they create a blockage in the supply chain of high quality officers.”
Fleet Personnel Manager, Mark Buchanan observes: “The number of Filipinos has increased since I came here and we continue to invest a lot of money on training programs they need to develop their skills.
“We’re the biggest tanker owner and operator in the world. We need to make sure that our crew is ready for the expansion. We have been particular about making sure we’re promoting our juniors to retain them in the company.”
Buchanan says, “When seafarers come, they have all the standard documentation. We try to enhance their knowledge and skills and provide them with value-added training that will benefit not only us but also our crew.”
“We invested more money this year on training than we have in the past, just to build up these skills through college and short courses for all of our officers and practical sessions for ratings.
“We wanted to reduce the age profile of our junior officers. Many of our junior officers maybe are in their 40s and 50s. We recruited a lot of cadets from DMMA College of Southern Philippines in Davao City and John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University, and the age profile has been reduced quite dramatically. We make sure that we look after these recruits and push to make them senior officers.”
“We know what we want. We know where we want to go. That’s the market. And it’s a market we want to be in, and we want to develop our people to be Bahri’s seafarers and follow the high standards that we have. We’re developing our cadets; we’re developing all ranks actually.”
“And I believe that when you invest in the people, they would want to stay with the company as well. So Bahri is an attractive company for any seafarer. But they need to be enthusiastic, and they need to show the hunger to be successful. Too often, some of the guys are happy to stay as junior officers for 20 or 30 years.”
Buchanan assures, “We’ll continue to employ Filipino seafarers. Our commitment is to stay here in the Philippines for sure with our 92 vessels and growing. More vessels have been delivered this year. Our fleet will expand hopefully for the next 3-4 years so that we will have 300 vessels.”
“Onboard at any one time there are some 2,200 crew. Of course, that will continue to expand as new ships join the fleet. In the pool, it may be 3,500, with some are permanently employed while others are on contractual basis. We have 800 Filipinos employed at the moment, and that’s the largest nationality that we have onboard.”
“We have worked with CTi for nearly ten years and enjoy a good relationship. They know us very well, and we know them too. They help develop our crew, and we are almost like one big family.”
CTi’s CEO, Captain Jeffrey Solon, pledges: “We continuously support the endeavors of our principals to meet the highest standards. Captain Solon sees this as mandatory, not just a technique to get business. The vision is to be at cutting-edge of expertise and professionalism, while the mission is to continuously fuel efforts to maintain and upgrade what is inculcated in everyone’s safety at the frontier.”
As the manning agent in the Phil, CTi is more than just a compliant firm. It rises above the needs of Bahri Ship Management as the largest owner and operator of VLCCs in the world, and the largest owner of chemical tankers in the Middle East.
Bahri is an icon in innovative transport solutions contributing to the Saudi Vision 2030 – that of connecting economies, sharing prosperity, and driving excellence in global logistics services.