Torvald Klaveness Group (TKG) expands its fleet on expectations that the world economy to recover. Hundreds of more Filipino seafarers will be needed, businessmirror.com.ph reports.
Chairman Tom Erik Klaveness said on Wednesday the company will prioritize the employment of Filipino seafarers in the new vessels that will be purchased within the next three years, about the same time cargo volumes are expected to pick up.
Klaveness, who is in the Philippines in celebration of his company’s presence in the country for the past 25 years, said that his company will spend between $150 million and $350 million for the purchase of between five to 10 brand-new vessels.
“We have not come to the shipyards yet because it is too early. But most probably these vessels will be manned by Filipino seafarers,” he told reporters.
Of its current 1,000 seafarer count, about 800 are Filipino and the rest are composed of several other nationalities.
He noted that worldwide cargo volume is already picking up from the huge slump that started in August last year.
“It is not much, but the level of increase has given us more breathing space,” he said, adding that the growth was coming mainly from the Chinese government that started to spend to perk up its economy.
Keeping focus on scholars
For its Philippine operations, Klaveness said they will continue supporting the families of seafarers and will add the number of scholars in maritime schools such as the Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in Zambales and the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific in Bataan.
At the moment, it has 105 full scholar cadets in these two schools and two non-maritime scholars. He said they need to continue these kinds of activities since the company is not competing with other shipping firms in terms of salary scale, but instead gives benefits to families, such organizing the employees’ wives for development purposes.
“We are here for the long term. And as a result of our programs, 98 percent of Filipino seafarers stay with us. Filipinos are our most loyal seafarers,” he said.
About the company
The company was first established in 1946 offering services such as technical and commercial management and competitive brokering. The group gradually expanded and is today one of the world’s major dry-bulk shipping organizations. The company is owned and managed by Tom Erik and Trond Harald, the sons of founder Torvald Klaveness.
In the Philippines, it has established Klaveness Maritime Agency in the 1984, which served as its local crew manning agency.
The company, which had not laid off any of its vessels despite the downturn in shipping traffic, owns about 19 vessels, mostly dry bulkers and other specialized vessels that carry cargo such as steel, iron ore and cement to various countries from Europe to Australia.