By Leo Ryan, Editor
Addressing an industry luncheon, Paul Pathy, President and CEO of Fednav Limited, summed up the successes of the Montreal-based shipping line marking its 75thanniversary year and commented on the "challenging grind" facing shipowners in the current global environment.
The third generation head of the family enterprise spoke to some 300 attendees from the Canadian financial, maritime industry, and business circles as well as from the legal fraternity at the event staged on May 8 at a downtown Montreal hotel by the Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal (CORIM).
"As someone said, success is not where you are, but how you have come to get there," said Mr. Pathy who fully took over the helm of the largest international bulk shipping firm in Canada in 2016. Previously, he had shared the chief executive role for six years with his brother, Mark, who decided to step down.
His prime goal is "to step on the shoulder of something that is (already) great and make it spectacular. We like to be a leader in everything we do."
Fednav, Mr. Pathy noted, operates up to 120 vessels worldwide, including 63 owned vessels, and moves over 30 million tons of bulk and breakbulk cargo annually.
Employing 300 direct office staff around the world and 3,000 onboard crew, Fednav ranks second in the world as an owner of Handysize ships, is the top international operator on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System, and is the only carrier operating year round in the Canadian Arctic unescorted with ice-class vessels (notably to and from mining sites).
As part of further fleet development, two Lakes-suitable bulk carriers being built in Japan will be delivered later this year. One has been named the Federal Montreal.
"It is the first time one of our ships has been named after a city," indicated Mr. Pathy, who made clear it was a symbolic gesture falling in the context of Fednav's long history with Montreal. He also announced that Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the Montreal Port Authority, will be the ship's godmother.
Regarding markets and market trends, Mr. Pathy said "we go everywhere, though more on the Atlantic trades than the Pacific trades."
He pointed out that rates were such that it was easier to "make money on the Atlantic Ocean than the Pacific. Rates are very good when you want to send a ship out to Asia but terrible when you want to send a ship back from Asia."
Generally speaking, Mr. Pathy said, the past two decades have been marked by big swings in dry bulk markets and timecharter rates. Fednav, he said, is striving to navigate through all the complexity by "growing organically" in the hope that business will recover stability.
Source: Maritime Magazine