When meeting new people, even within the maritime industry, and introducing ourselves as working in a ship management company, the conversation often stops right there: the other party usually has no idea what does a ship management company do or moreover - what does the job of a technical superintendent entail.
Well, to put it succinctly, in the realm of ship management, Technical Superintendents play a pivotal role in overseeing and managing the maintenance of vessels. These professionals are tasked with ensuring ships are in optimal condition, adhere to safety regulations, and operate efficiently, thus contributing to the seamless functioning of the maritime fleet. Engaging a ship management company to manage their fleet frees invaluable time and resources for a vessel owner and enables him to focus on his core activites of growing its business and creating revenue. The people within a ship management company, who make it all happen are Technical Superintendents - the superstars of the business, carefully and seemingly effortlessly juggling all the aspects and invested parties of this business.
In this opening article of our series, we aim to unravel the intricacies of the Technical Superintendent's position and the ship management business. We will delve into the daily challenges faced by Tschudi Ship Management's team of Superintendents, shedding light on the vital responsibilities they shoulder in maintaining the integrity and performance of the fleet under their watch.
But first let us meet the team, shall we?
Superintendents working at Tschudi Ship Management are professionals responsible for overseeing and managing the maintenance of ships. Their primary role is to ensure that the vessels are in good condition, comply with safety regulations, and are operated efficiently. Although they are rarely in the same place at the same time, they have managed to build a remarkable bond between the team members. Let's get to know the people behind these high-responsibility jobs. Please meet Sergei, Raigo, Oleg and Valmar - our technical masterminds and superstars.
„Superintendents don't talk that much about themselves,“ Raigo laughingly admits. He has been with the company for 4 years and is in charge of three vessels. Like all the other superintendents, he too has a background in marine engineering and has previously worked as technical service provider for vessels. His current position is a change in sides. „The superintendent is a service controller, not a service provider,“ he explains. Having experience in both these professions enables him to understand and empathize with the challenges of both sides. Raigo finds this beneficial when solving everyday problems and then quickly declares: „The daily vessel problems are enough for me, I do not want to have issues with the people I work with. That is why, I believe, we have the best team to work with, they are all helpful and assisting. Every morning I want to go to work.“
Oleg, the man with the most extensive experience under his belt, seconds this opinion and adds that he likes being able to go home to his family every evening. He admits that he is still a seaman at heart, after having spent most of his life abroad and at sea. The current position is a big adjustment, but the team is supportive and Oleg also appreciates the intellectual level of the job and the high standards that Tschudi has set. Only time will tell whether this seafarer will weather the storms of life on shore.
Nineteen years spent at the sea washed another man on shore, superintendent Sergei has worked at Tschudi since 2006. After all this time, he is still interested in his job, and finds motivation in problem-solving. „I feel like THIS is my place of work, I like the atmosphere, the people. We offer quality services and whatever issues one of us faces, we all try to share the burden equally.“ The room is filled with solidarity head nods.
Some may wonder if being a superintendent ever gets mundane. Sergei has an answer to this: „The nature of the job is such, that vessels change but duties remain the same. With that being said, there is never a boring day. After finishing one task, another one immediately pops up.“ Raigo reckons this keeps people on their toes.
„This is a never ending job, there is always something going on that needs attention and repairs,“ says Valmar. He joined the company in 2015, after years of hard work in countries such as South Korea, the Netherlands, UK as a technical superintendent. As this conversation is taking place, he is in fact in the Netherlands on a vessel. Valmar´s work is more project-based and he does not have a fixed vessel. He goes wherever he is needed the most, but still likes to keep his freedom, doing one project at a time. Why not do it somewhere else? „In our field, You know everybody and I think our team is exceptional. We all feel appreciated and needed by the company, the management treats us like equals. I don't think there is a better place to be.“
The superintendents have spoken and you can feel the camaraderie in the air. They are all calm, cool, and collected, which are all essential features for their line of work. They all agree that Tschudi is a good company to work at for many happy years to come.
In the following weeks we shall uncover the topics of interest or challenge that the supers brought up, that further demystifies the profession and the field and shall hopefully give you an overview of the business - whether you are interested in continuing your maritime career ashore or are just interested in the subject.
So we do hope you'll stay tuned.
And meanwhile - should you have any questions or are interested to dwelve deeper - we are just one click away.
The series of articles shall be brought to you in cooperation with Kasak Solutions and the wonderful interviewer Laura-Liis Moritz.