Growing in towage through partnerships
Boskalis has made the strategic choice to develop its towage activities around the world through partnerships. Pooling resources creates more chances for success.
“Our partnership strategy brings major benefits to our clients and principals. With our excellently maintained fleet and highly qualified staff we can offer the scale and technical reliability they are looking for. With SMIT as one of our permanent joint venture partners this means that we can offer clients the highest quality in terms of safety, reliability and availability,” said Tom Bennema, Head of Corporate Strategy & Business Development.
“Harbour towage services are strongly regional and local in nature. We are dealing with local stakeholders and business conditions. And so we look to join forces with successful players who have regional knowledge to set up and grow a joint company. There are also clear operational benefits of scale in using the joint ventures to concentrate on certain regions, resulting in efficient deployment of the fleet and scope for standardization. Finally, the financing benefits were also a consideration in transferring these activities to joint ventures. The nature of harbour towage activities means that these operations can be financed more efficiently. Through non-recourse financing we place these activities at a distance and this efficient capital structure allows us to achieve higher profitability.”
“We already have two major joint ventures that are strong in towage services. Based in Singapore our Keppel SMIT Towage joint venture caters to the Southeast Asia region, mainly Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. We are now slowly expanding our position to China and Taiwan. The Smit Lamnalco joint venture works for clients in the oil and gas industry in the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Australia. The partnership with Lamnalco has been going for 50 years. When we took over SMIT it was already clear that we wanted to merge the SMIT terminal activities with the Lamnalco ones. The step provided a major growth boost to Lamnalco. In 2013 we also sold our Australian harbour towage services to Smit Lamnalco, thus further extending this joint venture’s reach.”
“We are currently working on the establishment of a third major joint venture with SAAM of Chile in order to strengthen the towage activities in North, Central and South America. We want to merge the SMIT harbour towage activities in Canada, Panama and Brazil with those of SAAM in Mexico and Brazil. In the course of 2014 this will create a strong provider of harbor towage services in important growth markets.
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