Everyone involved in the delivery of our freight service is part of one Pacific Basin team offering a superior level of flexibility and quality
Logs of Pine, Douglas Fir, Hemlock and other wood types are shipped to saw mills from which sawn timber is processed for concrete forming and other construction applications, as well as packaging and furniture production.
We carry logs from ecologically-sensitive waters in New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest to China, Korea and Japan for large, sustainability-minded forest owners, saw mills and smaller traders who choose Pacific Basin for our world-leading fleet of modern and well-maintained logs-fitted Handysize and Supramax ships and expertise in the safe and dependable carriage of logs.
Fertilisers contain essential nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus used globally – especially in less fertile parts of the developing world – to increase crop yields to meet growing demand for grains, fruit, vegetables and animal feed.
We transport urea, sulphur, ammonium sulphate and nitrate, phosphate rock, potash and other fertiliser materials for major chemical, petrochemical and fertiliser producers and traders from ports in China, Europe, North Africa, the Persian Gulf and Black Sea to the Indian Subcontinent, Australia, South Africa and the Americas.
Our fertiliser customers choose Pacific Basin to carry their high-value commodities because of our young fleet of geared vessels, backed up by our in-house technical management and crewing functions and the capital investments we make to upgrade our fleet. Customers value our global network and local knowledge, our track record in safe, reliable and on-time delivery, and the extra steps we take to ensure super clean, watertight cargo holds and avoid cargo damage.
Salt from sea water and rock salt mines is extracted by evaporation and mining for numerous uses in the paper, industrial chemicals, pharmaceutical, dairy and food manufacturing industries, as well as for highway de-icing and food seasoning.
We carry salt from the salt flats of West Coast South America to the US, and from Australia to New Zealand and the Far East for customers who are among the largest salt manufacturers in their markets.
Some of the salt we carry is of food and medical grade, so we have to maintain our holds in a spotless condition and take extra precautions to treat our holds and protect the salt cargo from rust stains and other contamination. Our salt customers value the reliable performance and service flexibility that we offer.
Concentrated metal ores such as copper, zinc and lead concentrates are smelted and refined into essential materials used in electrical wire, pipes and tubing, car wheels, batteries and many other common products and applications.
We transport concentrates from Indonesia, West Coast South America and the North Pacific to ports in India and the Far East, mainly for large mining groups and traders.
Some "Group B" concentrates present a fire risk requiring ships with CO2 fire extinguishing systems, "Group A" cargoes can liquefy if cargo moisture is excessive thus threatening a ship's stability, and the residue of some environmentally-harmful concentrates need disposal in special facilities. Our customers choose us for our service level, our ability to provide ships at short notice and within a tight loading window, and because we are experienced in carrying Group A and Group B concentrates.
Steel is the most widely used metal material on earth because of its high tensile strength and relatively low cost. It is used in the construction of cars, ships, appliances, buildings, bridges, railways and other infrastructure which are the backbone of our global economy.
We transport finished and unfinished steel products such as steel plate, re-bars, I-beams, rolled coils, wire coils and pipes mainly from the Far East, Southeast Asia, Black Sea, South America and Australia to the Americas and Europe.
Our customers range from major global steel traders to local steel mills and fabricators. Our mid-sized, geared ships can access shallow ports and self-discharge cargo in break-bulk terminals not equipped with shore cranes. Our customers choose Pacific Basin also for our local operational knowledge, parceling experience and our expertise in the safe, efficient and reliable loading, stowing, carriage and discharge of a variety of steel products and derivatives.
Wood pellets made of compressed saw dust and waste wood residues are a form of biomass, a renewable energy source increasingly used to fuel power plants while reducing reliance on more polluting fossil fuels.
Pacific Basin was one of the first ship operators to carry wood pellets from ports near pellet mills in the US to power plants in the UK and Europe as co-fired (wood pellet and coal) power generation gained prominence. We now also carry pellets to Asia where biomass energy is gaining traction.
Wood pellet producers and power plant operators look to us for our experience and operational reliability, our safety focus, and our large fleet of well-maintained modern ships with weathertight holds fitted with CO2 fire extinguishing systems.
Cement made from calcium, silicon, aluminium, iron, gypsum and other ingredients is the binding material used in mortar and concrete – the backbone of buildings and infrastructure worldwide and the most widely used man-made material on Earth.
We ship cement and cementatious products from the Far East to terminals in the Americas and Oceania which are equipped with shore-based pneumatic unloading equipment and often have draft and air-draft restrictions and sub-zero temperatures.
We know what it takes to clear our cargo holds of cement residues and dust, and ensure our holds are spotlessly clean for sensitive subsequent cargoes. Our cement customers are mostly large cement traders who choose Pacific Basin for our grabs-fitted vessels (for cement clinker), our extensive experience in carrying dusty bulk cement to environmentally-sensitive locations and our understanding of the challenging requirements of our customers' cement trades.
Iron and manganese ores are key components of steel which is one of the most widely used materials on Earth, used in the construction of appliances, buildings, bridges, railways, airports and other infrastructure.
We transport iron ore and manganese mainly from Australia, South Africa and Brazil to the Far East and the Netherlands for the world's largest mining groups and steel mills.
These trades often require ships that meet air-draft (height) and other restrictions. Excessive cargo moisture can result in the liquefaction of ore fines and concentrates which can threaten a ship’s stability. Our blue-chip mining customers choose us for our high-quality fleet of mid-size ships, our extra vigilance on all matters of safety, and our professional support and reliable service at competitive freight rates.
Petroleum coke is a solid carbon by-product of the oil refining process that is used for its high energy content as fuel for electric power plants and cement kilns and as a source of carbon in the industrial smelting of aluminium, steel and titanium.
We transport petcoke for major energy groups, traders and aluminium smelters from ports in the Americas and Middle East to China, India and Europe.
Petcoke is a challenging cargo which many shipowners try to avoid due to the difficulty and time involved in hold cleaning before loading the next cargo. We are experienced in carrying such dirty cargoes (often followed by sensitive cargoes requiring spotlessly clean holds), we have both Handysize and Supramax ships that petcoke trades require, and our proximity to China and India place us close to the world's largest petcoke importers.
We carry a variety of grains such as wheat and barley for bread, pasta and beer, soybean meal and corn for processing into cooking oil, and their by-products for animal feed.
We transport grains from North and South America, Australia, Europe/Baltic and Black Sea to ports in Africa, Asia, Europe and Central and South America for global grain traders and commodities groups and smaller niche traders.
Many of these trades require ships that can safely navigate restricted waterways and are fitted with CO2 fire extinguishing systems as some agricultural products such as palm kernel expellers are self-heating and present a fire risk. Hold cleanliness is also important to avoid cargo contamination entering the food chain. Pacific Basin has earned a reputation for our well-maintained ships, our ability to ensure hold cleanliness and our delivery of a reliable and timely service.
We carry raw sugar for refining into food-grade products like white sugar, brown sugar, caster sugar and syrups that you can buy at your supermarket or find in soda drinks, cakes and other food dishes.
We carry sugar from Thailand, Australia and Brazil to ports in Asia, Oceania and North Africa for several sugar suppliers, traders and distributors who choose Pacific Basin for our large, well-maintained fleet of Handysize and Supramax ships, our ability to ensure hold cleanliness, our track record for the reliable delivery of this moisture-sensitive cargo and our flexible service.
We transport a diverse range of dry bulk cargoes around the world for many customers.
Whether carrying grain, coal, logs or cement – via China, USA, New Zealand or Morocco – we have the ships and the expert teams required to ensure a safe and reliable service.
Our cargo volumes in 2020
Thanks to the diversity of cargoes we carry, we avoid supply and demand fluctuations of a single commodity market.
Dion and our global team of multinational chartering colleagues engage closely with our customers to accurately understand their business and their needs. What sets us apart is that we take a customer-focused, long-term partnership approach, and each Pacific Basin chartering team member is empowered to tailor a freight solution for you and to adjust such solutions as your business needs change. We challenge ourselves to be your preferred, strategic freight partner, so our experienced chartering staff coordinate with our operations and technical colleagues to deliver a superior, localised, tailored, responsive, flexible and dependable service that ensures our customers continue to choose Pacific Basin first.
My customers include some of the world’s largest commodity traders whose ability to secure demanding trades depends on ship operators’ quick and aggressive freight rates and willingness to agree to several load and discharge port options. I maintain a close relationship and good communications with my customers so I am always ready to support them with competitive freight rates and the optionality and flexibility that they say makes such a positive difference for their business.
Alistair and other chartering specialists on our tonnage procurement team identify and secure high-quality third-party ships under short and longer-term charters which we use to supplement our fleet of over 100 owned ships. Our customers expect the most reliable, flexible and trouble-free service from Pacific Basin irrespective of whether we deploy owned or chartered ships to carry their cargoes. It is critical therefore that, for service consistency, we charter in ships of similar quality and design to our own from shipowners with a similar commitment to quality ship management and a flexible customer approach. Our large owned fleet and our long-standing speciality in Handysize and Supramax ships give us a unique understanding of how different ship designs perform and which are best (and worst) suited to particular cargoes and routes. Our reputation and our global network of offices and relationships give us real-time market updates on ships’ positions and charter rates, and preferential access to available tonnage – even when we need ships at short notice, and often before ships are made available in the open market.
I draw on my Pacific Basin training and experience in cargo chartering, ship operations and port captaincy for a 360-degree appreciation of what vessels are best suited to our customers’ cargo requirements, be it a full cargo of bulk fertiliser, log parcels, steels and project cargo, or parcels of multiple grades of wheat for which cargo handling, stowage, stability and other considerations come into play. I make a point of knowing tonnage providers so that I can prioritise those who are more likely to offer us a similar degree of flexibility as we seek to extend to our customers.
David and our other senior segment managers covering the Atlantic and Pacific are responsible for the overall performance of our fleet in their respective vessel sizes and geographical spheres. An important part of their routine is to schedule our substitutable ships for optimal combination with cargos to best suit our customers’ freight delivery requirements while also achieving maximum utilisation of our ships. Getting that right is a constant challenge, as our customers’ needs can change, often with little notice, and ships’ schedules are frequently affected by difficult weather conditions and port delays beyond our control.
With cargo commitments and a fleet as large as ours, we need to be constantly on the ball to substitute and reroute ships where weather or port delays threaten the punctuality of our service or where our customers’ needs have changed at short notice. By fine-tuning our scheduling and by optimally combining our ships and cargo systems, we maintain our punctuality and achieve high utilisation of our fleet.
Our ship operators responsible for coordinating the execution of our freight service are based across Pacific Basin’s global network of 12 offices, so the operator responsible for your shipment is located favourably for you and your trade. This means you have instant access to a local partner – a single point of contact – who is empowered to make decisions, respond to any questions or problems, and react to any changes in weather and port conditions or your business needs. Our large fleet and diverse cargo experience give our operators first-rate practical knowledge about our ships, specific commodity considerations, and the key factors that make our freight service better for our customers. Our operators’ commitment and the quality of our fleet management combine to make Pacific Basin a reliable link in our customers’ logistics chain.
Several of my customers prioritise punctuality and vessel readiness above all else, and so my first focus in any shipment is to ensure our vessel is in every respect ready to load on schedule and without setback. Preparations depend on the specific commodity to be loaded, and usually entail thorough hold cleaning, cargo equipment preparation, and good liaison with port agents and other parties to anticipate issues and ensure everything runs to plan. Punctuality is important, but weather and other delays can happen, so I maintain close communications with my customers to give them accurate schedule updates and to work together and show extra flexibility to overcome issues that may arise.
Great service at the commercial level is nothing without effective and reliable technical management and crewing. Munish and his colleagues in Pacific Basin’s class-leading fleet management team draw on years of experience at sea and on shore to deliver a comprehensive, high-quality and efficient fleet management service and the best possible 24/7 support to our crews who run our ships to the highest industry standards. Focusing on safety and the routine technical management of our owned ships, we work with our teams at sea and our suppliers and service providers ashore to deliver and maintain reliable hardware so that our vessels are in every respect ready to trade wherever our commercial colleagues need them – ultimately to reliably satisfy the diverse freight needs of our customers around the world.
Our core focus is on the health and safety of our crew and ships, keeping the propeller turning and proactive ship maintenance. We also constantly innovate solutions to technical challenges our ship operators face in carrying specialised cargoes, sometimes requiring short-term modifications on board. If necessary, I’ll hand carry a critical item from factory to the ship to ensure she is ready to load and sail without delay. I find great fulfilment in collaborating with colleagues to think up practical solutions that ensure our customers get the world-class, dependable service they expect of Pacific Basin.
Pacific Basin operates its own crewing and training centres in Dalian, Manila and Hong Kong where Gary and our other manning colleagues coordinate with our chosen MLC-compliant manning agents in the rigorous selection, planning and deployment of well qualified, competent, healthy and reliable seafarers. Mainly from China and the Philippines, with some officers also from Russia, Ukraine (FSU) and Hong Kong, we employ and train our 3,000+ crew to standards equal to or exceeding those required by the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (or STCW) and Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) promoting safety and decent working conditions for seafarers. Gary and the Hong Kong team works closely with ITF-affiliated Hong Kong unions to ensure appropriate wage structures and employment terms and conditions that are ITF approved and comply with Flag State, international and our seafarers’ own national regulations, to ensure our ships can trade around the world free of any ITF labour issues.
We pay much attention to recruiting and training motivated and reliable seafarers and to enhancing their wellbeing under our employment. We believe the right investment in our employees at sea (and ashore) does much to increase safety, knowledge, productivity and contribution, and promote a deeper sense of belonging in our organisation. Ultimately that leads to safer and smoother operations on board our ships and underpins the reliable service we seek to offer our Pacific Basin customers.