CEO's Column - NORDEN News Magazine Spring 2013
Following a 2012 which will be written into NORDEN’s 142-year history as one of the more challenging years, we have gotten off to a good start in 2013. Undoubtedly, this will too be a difficult year market-wise, but NORDEN is well prepared. We have optimised our business, and – as can be read in our newly published annual report – we have been able to lower costs both on shore and at sea while increasing activities.
An organisation of motivated and competent employees who work as a team with a clear strategy is a good starting point to handle the crisis which the shipping industry has experienced in recent years. At the same time, NORDEN has financial resources to invest in new fuel efficient vessels.
Transition to more fuel efficient vessels is the alpha and omega for NORDEN. It provides us with a competitive advantage when we by doing this can reduce the largest single cost item of each voyage by 20-25%, and this is an advantage we will develop going forward.
Thanks to our strong financial resources, we are among the few shipping companies in the world who can contract new vessels in a time when many have difficulties with obtaining financing. This implies that NORDEN can take advantage of the competitive vessel prices and contract newbuildings which are built while rates are expectedly low but delivered in a future market which has improved.
Modern efficient vessels with optimised designs do not only benefit the bottom line. They also benefit the environment. NORDEN has a target to reduce CO2 emissions from owned vessels by 25% in the period from 2007-2020. We are well on our way to reach this target, and our efforts are noticed in the market where involvement in sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is in growing demand.
An excellent example is the American wood pellet manufacturer Enviva, who has just entered into a contract with NORDEN for transportation of wood pellets, which you can read about on the next page. Enviva attaches great importance to the fact that their suppliers – in this case NORDEN – live up to high standards within CSR, and this is a trend we expect to see more of in the future.
We will not be seeing completely CO2 neutral shipping as yet, but the idea of saving fuel is well rooted throughout NORDEN’s organisation. You can read more about this on page 13 explaining how one of our skilled captains went to extremes, shut off the engines and sailed by wind and weather alone.
Have fun reading!
CARSTEN MORTENSEN, President and CEO