Captain Jaspreet Chhabra, Director and Head of Operations (Pacific) at Norvic Shipping, brings decades of experience sailing the world to managing the company’s vessel operations team and global contracts. His first-hand knowledge of ports, ships and cargoes helps protect assets and cargos for Norvic’s global network of dry bulk shipowners and cargo owners.
You have an enviable reputation for your technical knowledge and leadership skills, having worked extensively at sea and for major shipping companies ashore. How is Norvic Shipping advancing your career?
I joined Norvic’s Singapore office in 2021. As I was nearing retirement age, I didn’t expect to find a new position as quickly as I did, but I was offered the role at Norvic because they value my decades of experience. The role has given me the career stimulation that I was looking for and the opportunity to stay in Singapore, where I have enjoyed living for the last twenty-five years due to its cultural diversity.
Norvic is different to other companies I have worked for ashore, because the senior management is so approachable. In other organizations, there are many layers of reporting and the management team is less accessible. Here we have a different system. The owners and senior managers have created a much more open environment; you are free to talk to anybody, and it is easy to resolve issues efficiently, which is refreshing for the team and also beneficial for our customers.
How do you apply your career experience to your role at Norvic?
My responsibilities include ensuring that we have processes in place to meet upcoming regulatory requirements and that our operations run smoothly. I have been in the industry since 1975 and sailed to many of the world’s ports. This means that I can advise our teams about practical solutions based on having first-hand experience in many similar situations, both from a management and operational perspective.
Some of the areas I focus on day to day include advising on legal and technical matters related to specific contracts, cargoes, cargo handling equipment and port facilities, as well as providing guidance on problems or performance issues as they arise. Keeping abreast of the intricacies of regional market developments and local regulations is key. One such recent example was working to ensure adherence with New Zealand’s unique biosecurity regulations designed to ensure that the gypsy moth is not brought in on ships from northern Asia.
What challenges will the dry bulk market face in 2023?
Typical market cycles have changed since the 2008 market crash. Covid has had an impact, and I expect the Russian war with Ukraine will continue to have an impact going forward. Economic change in China and Europe is also going to affect the market.
Coinciding with this, I see the introduction of EEXI and CII changing charterparty terms in a way that will require individual negotiation rather than a standardized BIMCO clause. The first two quarters, at least, are going to be challenging.