Optimarin has bolstered its global sales force with new appointments in Turkey, Hong Kong and Singapore to serve customers better in response to increasing demand for its industry-leading ballast water treatment system (BWTS).
New sales managers have been operational from the start of this year at the three strategic shipping locations to handle an increase in activity both for ship retrofits ahead of the 2024 deadline for the IMO’s ballast water management convention and in the newbuild segment.
“These key appointments will give us sales managers locally with strong knowledge of the regional markets who can efficiently assist clients with fast-track delivery of BWT systems for their fleets and establish a closer relationship with shipyards for a stronger presence in the newbuild market,” says Optimarin chief executive Leiv Kallestad.
“Consequently, we believe this will further accelerate our order intake going forward after seeing a dramatic growth in the BWTS order intake of more than 20% last year, despite the continuous challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Boosting market share
Having boots on the ground at these locations will enable the company to interact directly with clients and respond more effectively to order requests amid travel restrictions, as well as improve sales follow-up, according to Optimarin executive vice president sales & marketing Tore Andersen.
“It is important for us to have a local presence in areas where there remains a strong retrofit market and significant shipbuilding industry by having people in place with maritime sales expertise and an extensive network – and this is already bearing fruit,” he says.
“We have been sharp in competition, fast on delivery and very focused on meeting the right customers.”
The company has also increased the capacity and capability at its head office in Stavanger with the appointment of new sales and technical staff to handle the higher workload from new orders and strengthen its service capacity for future growth.
The ballast water treatment specialist has extended its strong position in the Chinese and North American markets, as well as European countries including Greece, Spain and Belgium, and the new appointments will enable it to further expand its geographical reach.
Kallestad says a “high proportion” of orders growth has come from new clients that are seeking “a trustworthy partner able to offer a fast-track turnkey solution with a proven track record of reliability”.
Optimarin has been adding new clients at a rate of five to seven per month and has seen particularly strong sales growth in Turkey where it secured more than 25 orders only in the last few months of 2021, as well as in the Mediterranean region and Northern Europe, with deliveries to a range of vessels including bulk carriers, tankers and containerships.
“There is an increasing sense of urgency in the market as the clock is ticking towards implementation of the IMO’s ballast water management convention that will require all eligible vessels to have a compliant BWT system onboard,” he says.
“At the same time, there is growing uncertainty over securing drydocking slots as yard capacity becomes increasingly tight, with the supply bottleneck resulting in delays and higher costs for installation. The key takeaway is that Optimarin is there for the client at all times.”
Optimarin has forged an advantageous alliance with UK-based ship repair and retrofit group Newport Shipping that enables it to offer a turnkey package for BWT system retrofits – including project management, installation and compliance testing – with available drydock capacity at one of 15 partner yards in Newport’s global network.
Ease of installation is facilitated by the modular structure of the Optimarin system that enables it to be adapted for different vessel layouts, while it has become more streamlined through continuous product improvement that has included developing the OptiLink™ cloud-based digital solution.
Consequently, Optimarin has been able to cut down delivery time for its system to only around 30 days – and in some cases as little as 10 days – compared to a typical turnaround time of three months for the industry. “Customers are looking to Optimarin for a high-quality product with a competitive price, strong service offering and an unparalleled fast-track solution, which is becoming increasingly relevant considering the unpredictable docking situation for many shipowners,” Kallestad says.