Wisby Tankers has a passion for shipping

The Swedish Shipowner Wisby Tankers has great ambitions for further growth and is currently looking to expand despite current market uncertainty. The company is carefully selecting skilled employees who want to work with the effective shipping solutions of the future.

With extensive experience as well as a genuine interest in the development of the shipping industry, Wisby Tankers are looking to preserve and develop Swedish maritime expertise as far as possible. Recruiting new marine officers has become a real challenge throughout the entire shipping industry – not too surprising perhaps when considering that there are several thousand tanker companies in the world vying for a dozen large customers. Prominent expertise and a genuine interest in the industry are two important things also beginning to be in short supply.

From four entrepreneurs to over 300 employees
Wisby Tankers was established by four well-established entrepreneurs, all with extensive experience in the maritime industry. After more than 13 years development, the company has 14 state of the art vessels with an average age of only four years, an expanding organization with over 300 employees and great growth ambitions. Wisby Tankers has developed and built their own vessels in order to optimize the business and satisfy their customers.
“We are looking to expand further, and we will not hesitate in making the necessary investments. Our fleet has expanded with three new vessels delivered from a shipyard in Croatia this year, and we will continue our development by recruiting a large number of people over the next year”, says Captain John Markström, who co-founded the company along with Captain Jonas Engström and engineers Peter Rubenstein and Stefan Dombrowsky, all still actively involved in the development of Wisby Tankers.

Investments will pay off in the long run
Wisby Tankers are building new vessels when other players have to hold back. Despite the current market conditions, Johan Markström is optimistic about the future. He continues:
“We stand out from the crowd because we have the knowhow and experience to take an idea to a successful ship design that works commercially and technically including the special needs and requirements our customers may have. The shipping industry has always been cyclical, we know that the market will recover and then hopefully we will be one of few players ready to expand. In terms of recruitment, I dare to say that we offer something extraordinary with excellent career opportunities where we encourage our officers to go further. It is essential for our staff to enjoy working internationally. Our employees are in daily contact with other cultures and people from all over the world. We have about 300 employees today and still recruiting”.
As an upcoming player in the new generation of shipping companies Wisby Tankers have also made substantial investments in environmental technology from day one. The new sulfur directives for SECA-areas do not constitute a direct threat to the business of Wisby Tankers, but the future will require new solutions to create profitability for shipping in these areas.

Fighting an increasing gap in skills
Johan Markström argues that the shipping industry provides high paying jobs with great development potential.
“It is an internationally viable profession with great opportunities all over the world. Marine officers also get the opportunity to work with high-tech equipment that is constantly evolving, which naturally requires a genuine interest in technology. Unfortunately, the largest gap is right here, with a decreasing number of technical officers, marine engineers and technical superintendents. Another challenge is that the Swedish junior officers may find it difficult to get sufficient practical skills as more and more Swedish mariners choose to register their vessels under foreign flags or worse – the Shipowners have to move out from Sweden. This is of course a very worrying trend for the future”.
It has been estimated that there is a shortage of some 30 000 marine officers worldwide. In
Sweden, a maximum of 200 junior officers graduate annually from two institutions. In comparison with the Philippines, where the number is about 25 times more with approximately 5000 students graduating per year, this is a surprisingly small contribution considering that the Swedish maritime industry is larger than the automotive industry for example.
“We must fight to keep our heritage and an industry that has been built up over centuries. We have an important role in this; we are now working with multiple channels in order to broadcast who we are and what we can offer for the future”, says Johan Markström.


Halland SNL 2013-4 - Affärstidningen Näringsliv

Näringsliv 2013-4

Huvudtema: Halland
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