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About DENSA TANKER - Shipping And Marine Magazine - 15.05.2012

Densa Tankers was established in 2003 in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the country’s few shipping companies but has gained a position on the international market as a respected carrier of chemical and vegetable products. It operates 11 tankers ranging in size between 2000 and 11,300 DWT throughout the North Europe, the Baltic, Mediterranean and North Africa with routes also running toward the Far East. Its location at the centre of these important geographic routes has made it an ideal partner for many agents, charterers, inspectors and port authorities.

Densa Tankers brings two categories of services to the market. The first is ship management and includes a comprehensive range of technical, commercial and crewing managements for the vessels in its fleet. A 24/7 management philosophy ensures that its clients will be able to access top quality service as soon as they need it. The other service is chartering and brokerage, which includes both spot and time chartering of both chemical and product tankers.

Shareholder and general manager Huseyin Avni San talks about Densa Tankers in greater detail: “We have a young fleet with all but two of the tankers averaging an age of four years; the two older vessels operate exclusively within Turkey. Across all vessels there is approximately 200 crew as well as 32 working onshore in our offices. Densa Tankers is growing a lot and will be in Turkey’s top five shipping companies very soon. We already work with many international majors such as ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, and are looking to bring in up to seven or eight more vessels over the next 12 months to continue improving this profile.”

Densa Tankers is defined by the experience of its staff. Huseyin himself, for example, had ten years experience as the master of a chemical tanker before a further 12 years to date undertaking successful fleet administration. This gives him an edge in understanding both ship and market. Many other Densa Tankers employees possess similarly extensive knowledge and skills, giving rise to the premium handling that the company offers.

A top priority for Densa Tankers is to maintain a vessel in top quality condition. This ensures the safety and reliability of its assets as well as the optimising running costs. Furthermore, it ensures that full onboard training programmes are conducted for its crew so that all its sailors reach the highest European standards. Together the company offers added value to all its clients. As one of three shareholders in the company himself, Huseyin is personally invested in ensuring the quality of vessel, crew and service continues.

So far, despite a generally inhospitable shipping market since 2009, Densa Tankers has managed just that. “The market is still bad,” Huseyin points out, “but because we are concentrating on technical and commercial management, our business hasn’t been affected as much as ship owners have been. We have of course seen difficult conditions but are still alive. Whilst the chemical tanker market was unstable immediately following the 2008/2009 crisis, for the last two years it has remained stable and we expect no change over the coming year.”

Challenges have of course presented themselves to Densa Tankers. The caution of maritime banks coinciding with chartering rates has meant that reaching a comfortable financial margin has been difficult but not impossible. All its vessels have remained on contracts but lower rates has meant a lower income. However, the expectation of growth over the next 12 months hints at the company’s confidence in its market and in its business.

“Our new vessels will range between 4000 and 5000 DWT,” says Huseyin. “Some of these are new builds for which the banks are seeking management, European banks that we already have good relationships with. The others are currently with other managers but the banks are unhappy and we hope in the near future to bring them into the Densa Tankers fleet. As you can see, we are really growing and making good decisions in the market. We will continue working closely with ExxonMobil to ensure our standards are kept high.”

Looking forwards, then, one of Turkey’s most well respected shipping companies is on the path to become busier then ever. Whilst its main market is currently neither expanding nor shrinking, Densa Tankers remains confident that by the second half of 2013 the market will begin growing again. “Our company is growing and, in five years time, I don’t want to say that we will be Turkey’s number one ship manager but Densa Tankers will be in the top five,” says Huseyin.

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