Diverifying Brokerage ServicesWed, 01/20/2016 - 13:34
Q: Which projects in the oil and gas sector best represent Marítima Internacional’s capabilities?
A: Since its early days as a shipping agent, Marítima Internacional has been constantly learning while being able to create business opportunities to satisfy its clients’ needs. Following this strategy, the company has diversified its service portfolio and has formed new enterprises to diversify its activities. One of these companies is JB del Golfo, which came into existence as a result of foreign and domestic firms’ need for catering and accommodations. Another example is Marine Tech, a shipping company that was created using our broad experience in shipping brokerage, including knowledge on vessel maintenance and operation. A few years ago, Marítima Internacional had 20 leased vessels for its brokerage activities, and now it has 12 self-owned ships including a crew boat, supply vessels, and multipurpose vessels, which have been acquired through Marine Tech over the past eight years. The main advantage of our service for clients is the lower costs in shipping services, as a nationalized fleet eliminates higher costs associated with international transportation and foreign labor. Companies that have a national fleet obtain protection from the Directorate General of Merchant Marine, gaining priority over foreign fleets in the process of being contracted, which will help them reduce the risk in their offshore projects.
Q: What changes has the Energy Reform brought about so that the shipping sector can adapt to the new needs of the oil and gas industry?
A: A regulation that protects the country’s ships and consignee agencies, and prevents the entry of foreign firms that would directly compete in the same market, was finalized and published. It gives legal certainty to the guidelines established in the law, which forbids foreign players from using ships in internal shipping activities and cabotage. In addition, the local content quota covered in the Energy Reform is crucial for companies and Marítima Internacional can offer its clients the usual services while helping them fulfill the requirements stated in the law. This is one of the aspects that distresses foreign firms the most, even though it is relatively easy to comply with.
Q: How will Marítima Internacional remain active until the contracts awarded in Round One start to materialize?
A: While the projects from Round One take shape, Marítima Internacional will continue seeking to collaborate with PEMEX. In addition, the company is looking to diversify its services in order to ensure a constant cash flow regardless of the developments in the oil and gas industry, and this is one of the main reasons the company created a division dedicated to the trade and transportation of commodities. This unit is currently focused on barite, which is used as an additive for drilling fluids for both onshore and offshore wells. Marítima Internacional recognized the significant demand that exists for this product, both nationally and internationally, and decided to draft a business strategy based on the distribution of this mineral. As a way to offer competitive prices, the company established direct alliances with mining companies, eliminating the need for intermediaries and third parties, and we do not charge commission fees for the sale of this product, just the transportation costs.
Q: How is Marítima Internacional expanding its market presence?
A: The company has been involved in negotiations for several services in the Middle East, and although the contract was not awarded, this provides evidence that Marítima Internacional is active internationally. Regardless, the company has maintained its focus on Mexico’s marine merchant sector, which is well-positioned compared to other countries, some of which are experiencing a lack of activity in 90% of their fleets. In addition, Marítima Internacional is also exploring the option of entering the automotive industry, particularly through our logistics division, which could handle importation and exportation services. As a way to complement its offering, the company is currently analyzing the possibility of opening a customs agency, for which it is establishing alliances with customs agents to provide services ranging from transportation to addressing the necessary legal aspects involved in importing and exporting products. Marítima Internacional already provides these services through an external customs agency, but opening its own agency will allow the company to have more control and offer more comprehensive services.