Insights

Heidmar believes that trust and strong relationships come through hard work and transparency.

Elevate Your Game

February 18, 2015

At the 21st Annual Joint Shipping Conference hosted by the Hellenic and Norwegian-American Chambers of Commerce, Ognibene stressed the importance of transparency.

He said transparency is a tool that can be used to combat “mistrust” amongst members, which can be particularly prevalent when a new entrant enrolls in a pool.

“As new participants come into the market, we felt that we had to become even more transparent so they understand what we are doing,” the executive added.

“When you operate a pool with vessels from 35 separate owners, they have to be comfortable with each other.”

Ognibene admitted that, at the end of the day, earnings are extremely important as well. To outperform the market, he said quality tonnage is key.

“You have to operate [a pool] fairly strictly on the vetting front,” he continued in response to a question about performance.

“You have to arrange the pool and the clauses and formula so everybody maintains a high standard.”

Ognibene also pointed out that Heidmar, which oversees five tanker pools, intends to re-launch its client portal in the coming days.  He noted this is where pool members can access information about earnings, voyages, vessels and other members.

During a question-and-answer session, Bob Burke, the chief executive of Ridgebury Tankers, argued that Heidmar’s website gives the company a competitive advantage.  He also asked panelist Jason Klopfer, the commercial director of Navig8, if his pool plans to borrow a page from Heidmar’s playbook at some point in the future.

In response, Klopfer admitted that his company’s current platform suffers from “a lag” of two to three days, but said clients feel this is “sufficient” for now.

“It does make sense [to overhaul Navig8’s website and pool portal],” he added. “We are exhausting every effort to build up our cargo system. The website will be done; upping our game [on the digital front] does make sense.”

AARON KELLEY IN STAMFORD

12 February 2015, 23:04 GMT