What we do
Western Bulk transports dry bulk commodities for a range of customers worldwide. We offer reliable, flexible and competitive transportation services to our cargo customers, as well as safe and reliable vessel employment for vessel owners.
Historically, about 70% of the activity has been in the Supramax segment, whereas most of the remaining fleet has been made up of Handysize vessels.
Western Bulk has a highly diversified customer base consisting of commodity producers, consumers and traders. In 2016 alone, it did business with more than 400 different cargo customers, of which none accounted for more than 2% of total revenues. Whereas the Company has and seeks to further develop strong and long term relationships with industrial customers, it values this diversification as it reduces the Group's reliance on specific industries or trades. This can also be shown from the mix of commodities carried by Western Bulk in 2016, where the largest commodity by volume accounted for just 21% of total volumes carried.
Western Bulk combines operational expertise in dry bulk shipping with portfolio and risk management techniques and approaches adapted from the financial industry. Given the diversity and complexity of the markets in which the Company operates, it has chosen to build a flat and decentralized organizational structure where decision-making authority is moved out to the regional offices. Specifically, the chartering activity is split into teams (business units) with responsibility for specific geographical areas and/or segments. Within specific limits on risk exposure and duration, and in adherence with company policies, the teams have wide decision-making authority: a team in, for example, Singapore can fix in a vessel or a freight contract without seeking approval from the head office. This enables more nimble decision making, and also ensures that decisions are taken by those that know local markets, conditions and customers best. The result is a significant diversification effect, leading to more stable earnings.
To ensure alignment with Company interests, the teams are measured and incentivized on their direct contribution to the Company bottom line.
There are currently seven teams: South Atlantic, Steel & Bulk, Indian Ocean, Pacific, US West Coast, US Gulf and Chile.