Consolidations position brand to become even stronger
Published 08 June 2016 in Bunkerspot
KTB ‘the right match’ for integration, Carsten Ladekjaer CEO tells Bunkerspot.
The integration of bunkering firms such as the former South Korean bunker trading firm KTB into KPI Bridge Oil allows the latter to place itself in an ‘even stronger’ position, says its CEO.
‘During the past year we have merged the former Trumf Bunker in Denmark into our brand as well as the former KTB in Korea and we have opened a new office in Greece as well. All of these are integral in our plans to position our brand to become even stronger in meeting the challenges of the market and the increasing demands from our business partners of dealing with reliable, reputable and not least financially safe counterparts.’
He also adds the benefits of consolidation to be ‘quite obvious’ to the company. ‘If you merge with the right match you will end up having several winners; in our case both for the companies merging with KPI Bridge Oil as well as for all of our external counterparts,’ he says. ‘The key is to find the right match and I am truly confident that we have found the right match with our new Danish office, with our opening in Greece and not least with the latest addition in Korea.’
According to Ladekjaer, the bunkering industry has seen a strong decline in oil prices and two well known physical suppliers, namely Bunkers International and OW Bunker, being defunct within the past two years.
Overcapacity and depressed rates faced by several segments within the shipping sector in the same period further adds to the marine fuels industry’s operational challenges.
KPI Bridge Oil, however, has been successful in managing these changes, Ladekjaer points out. ‘We have been quite successful in fine tuning our engine so that we have even better internal procedures in place, stronger management teams and we are continuously looking at our cost base so that we make sure to invest in the right things and steer clear of spending money where it does not create sufficient value,’ he notes.
‘At the same time we also make an effort to stay focused on our core business since that is what we do best.
‘This means that we will not move into any kind of fast money-making speculation and the likes but instead we prefer to take long term sustainable decisions.’
Moving forward, Ladekjaer notes the firm to be still keen on expansion opportunities when available.
‘The reactions [to the consolidations] have all been extremely positive which again re-confirms that we’ve done the right things and at the right time,’ he says.
‘Our focus is now on integrating our new units into our brand and then we see what other opportunities will present themselves going forward.’