Simon Schlegel Pedersen
Chartering Manager, Lauritzen Bulkers
Joined J. Lauritzen in February 2015
Lauritzen Bulkers Singapore, Chartering
In the commercial chartering department, we take care of Lauritzen Bulkers’ shipping business and our core task is to manage our cargo and tonnage book. In short, this means that we find employment for our vessels and find vessels to cover our cargo programme. At the same time, we monitor and assess the forward market and adjust our trading book towards it, taking either cargoes or more tonnage to achieve the optimal balance. Another key part of our job is about marketing our business: building and maintaining relationships with clients and establishing new relationships with potential customers, so this involves a fair share of travelling. This is especially important in the Pacific market where there are many new players joining the market every year - and so new opportunities.
Working in Singapore
I first had the chance to work in Singapore during the exchange programme as part of my degree and I gained a sense of how it was to work in Asia and in that specific market – and, ever since then, I wanted to go back. The Pacific market is more interesting to me because it contains a lot of countries that are developing very quickly, so you can really make an impact by assisting them, using our shared experience gained as a long-established shipowner. In the Atlantic there are a lot of big companies already established so it’s harder to make the same impact. I enjoy both the personal and professional growth you get from living and working in a different culture. Singapore, in particular, is an ideal place for someone early in their career because you can build a very strong network among your peers. If you are ambitious, you can push the boundaries here and accelerate your development.
Recent work activities
My work is very varied and often our latest activities are somewhat commercially sensitive. But one area I have been working on is our business in Vietnam. It may not ever be as a big a market as China, but there are many similarities between Vietnam and China when it was in its early bloom period. The Vietnamese economy has been accelerating extremely fast, creating vast opportunities. This speed of development also makes it very challenging to build a business, but it’s also extremely interesting.
I studied a BSc in International Shipping and Trade from Copenhagen Business School. During my bachelor’s degree, I took up a position as a student assistant at J. Lauritzen, which was followed by an internship in chartering for one year as a part of the education. Not long after my graduation, I was offered a permanent position in the Singapore office and soon after I moved from Denmark to Singapore.
I know it’s been a good day when…
There are many different reasons for this! Signing a deal is an especially good day – especially if it is the culmination of a project you have worked on for a long time – for example assisting with pricing guidance, working on contract negotiation and terms and so on – it’s great when that pays off.
It’s also a good day when our teamwork and decision-making process pays off. We often have good discussion among our team in Singapore – also crossing over with Copenhagen and Stamford – we take into account all the different inputs and then make a decision. When it turns out to be the right one, it makes you proud and happy to work in a team – and feel like you are pretty good at what you do.
Bunker Manager, J. Lauritzen
Joined J. Lauritzen in September 2011
J. Lauritzen, Bunkers Purchase
The bunkers department is at the heart of J. Lauritzen’s core shipping operations as all vessels need fuel to transport clients’ cargo from point A to B. The department handles worldwide fuel purchases for our two business units Lauritzen Bulkers and Lauritzen Kosan and four major external companies within the shipping industry. All together we cover a fleet consisting of some 300 vessels. On a yearly basis, we purchase about 1,200,000 tons of bunker oil amounting to approximately USD 0.7 billion. Naturally, it puts a bit of pressure on anyone dealing with commodities of such a value.
We send daily reports to our internal and external customers with the latest information on prices, news, worldwide conflicts, etc. After sending the report, the team usually distributes the different bunker requests between the colleagues in the department. We are a very young and dynamic department with three employees located at the head office in Copenhagen, and one in Singapore. Being a small team means that each one of us covers a large number of ships. We tend to get quite competitive internally when it comes to closing a deal since we all want to beat each other’s prices and always strive to reach the best overall result.
My recent work activities
I have made a paper hedge in the US Gulf for Lauritzen Bulkers’ Chartering Department. The hedge was for 5,080 barrels high sulphur fuel oil equivalent to 800 Metric Tonnes. Additionally, I have fixed 530 Metric Tonnes of oil for one of DFDS’ vessels in Copenhagen. This fuel had a sulphur content of 3.5 %, but because the vessel has a scrubber installed, it can easily use a bunker fuel with such high sulphur content.
Education and experience
- AP Graduate in Commerce Management with specialisation in purchasing
- Internship with J. Lauritzen, concluded with a final project on J. Lauritzen and purchasing, which was followed by permanent employment
I know it’s been a good day when...?
When I receive recognition from my colleagues or clients for my efforts, it’s been a good day.
It’s when I feel I have made a difference for some of my colleagues or clients. My job is not all about “cheap prices”. So a good day for me is when I am recognised for my efforts to be creative and for presenting colleagues and clients with alternative savings.