Thursday, February 14, 2019

Double Acquisition Sees Ship Management and Travel Options Consolidated

Two Companies Exchange Global Service Offerings
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the port agency and marine services firm, has acquired V.Ship's global port agency business, in an agreement which also sees V. Group acquire Inchcape's Global Marine Travel (GMT). The V.Group has expanded its vessel management operations of late snapping up a couple of well-known such businesses itself in the past couple of years, taking over Bibby Ship Management in 2016, and last year acquiring the ship management arm of Norddeutsche Reederei.

The acquisition of V.Ships Agency business establishes a partnership between the ship manager and the port agent. Inchcape says that it will offer a full scope of agency services to V.Ships Agency’s customers across its global network. Travel functions are an essential element of good crew management, ensuring seafarers can get home or return to their ships on time, often to or from far flung ports around the world. Frank Olsen, CEO – Inchcape Shipping Services, commented:

“I’m delighted with our acquisition of V.Ships Agency business. This deal enables us to drive value for our customers by working in partnership with V.Group, delivering enhanced service across our global network. Compliance, scale and transparency are at the heart of this partnership and will continue to be fundamental to our business and our customers.”

The addition of GMT to V.Group’s travel portfolio doubles the company’s ticketing volumes, strengthens the management team and will enable the creation of a combined operational hub in the Philippines. At the same time, it bolsters existing travel operations with two additional International Air Transport Association (IATA) licences. Both businesses will eventually operate under the GMT brand.

The move combines V.Travel with GMT’s marine travel expertise and brings greater scale to the combined operations. By bringing together GMT and V.Travel the management at V.Group hopes to increase the ability to offer truly global, 24/7 travel operations focused on delivering customer satisfaction, and create a market-leading platform for managing and simplifying the journey of seafarers’ from home to ship and back, complementing V.Group’s ‘Project Embark’ - which invests in the development of digital technologies that will streamline and enhance the overall seafarer experience. Elliot Gow, Group Managing Director, Marine Services, at V.Group, said:

“We are delighted to have found a partnership that allows us to increase the scale, and invest further in technology and talent within our travel business. V.Group believes that there is genuine advantage to scale in the maritime services business, as it allows us to invest in great systems and great people. This partnership gives us unrivalled capacity, greater purchasing power, and better service capabilities within the travel market, and will help us deliver the right solutions, at the right prices, for our customers.”