Frank Olsen has been CEO of Inchcape Shipping Service for only two years, and he has brought the company back to its main focus on shipping, customer service, and integrity.
Olsen has taken several steps to bring Inchcape back into the forefront of shipping. Olsen separated Inchcape’s freight forwarding division headquartered in the Middle East. His reasoning? The division was taking more out of the company than they were bringing into the company. The dissolution of the Middle East branch cut company debt in half and allowed the company to have low leverage during the pandemic.
Olsen rekindled the importance of Inchcape’s primary business model. He emphasized the importance of their international network of partner agencies plus Inchcape’s 240 offices headquartered in 68 countries. Olsen stressed that Inchcape’s territory covered about 85% of all ports on the globe. This statistic represents about 2,500 ports.
By focusing on Inchcape’s main activities of logistics and shipping, Inchcape has become one of three major shipping agency groups in the world. Olsen went on to report that the shipping agent market is disjointed due to a lack of trust among shippers and clients. His solution is to launch a transparency program to help build vital relationships with clients.
Olsen pointed out that a relationship of trust is needed if a shipping agent and an operator want to work together and become efficient. Olsen believes corporation on Just-In-Time arrivals to the port is valuable in decarbonization or the reduction of ships producing carbon and environmentally harmful pollutants.
Olsen wants his customers to believe in Inchcape, trust them, and realize that Inchcape has integrity. To Frank Olsen, integrity is what is most important and something that must be part of shipping’s corporate culture.
Inchcape is turning to technology and using a reworked World of Ports digital database that includes individual ship information plus the dynamics of different ports. Inchcape is making this information available to other shipping companies and customers on a subscription basis.
In addition, Inchcape Shipping Services has been providing on its website information about Covid-19 and the different ports around the world. This information is vital since crew changes, flights into different areas and migration from different time zones could cause the spread of the virus. The site has more than 160,000 unique hits and is a resource that has earned praise. The information has prevented the spread of the virus through shipping channels.
Inchcape works with shipping operators, managers, and shipping agents in different global groups who are looking for solutions to the crew change issues and COVID. Inchcape’s efforts and database information effectively managed the disembarking of 3,650 travelers in India from four vessels that belonged to a major cruise group without a single challenge or complaint from shipping companies.
To resolve crew change problems, each party needs to collaborate with each other and forget competitive issues. Frank Olsen has said that there are signs that collaboration between all parties is happening. Decreased crew change problems are occurring, and the virus is not spreading as quickly as it did at first without the vital port and crew information.