Collaborative effort is needed to keep Singapore’s maritime industry running at top speed.
The range of maritime shipping services runs the gamut from marine insurance and law to arbitration, broking and more. These women provide crucial support for the industry in all areas.
IT’S A SMALL WORLD
Devika Loiwal, Handy Trader,Cargill Devika may not have done maritime studies, but the industry is a perfect fit for this adventurous soul. The peoplecentric business energises Devika, who watches supply-and-demand factors of handy (smaller-sized) vessels and takes calculated trading risks for profit. Her role also includes ensuring that highquality ships reach her clients on time for cargo transportation, and that the supply chain remains smooth.
Today, Devika specialises in the Middle Eastern and Indian markets, which are known to be dynamic and volatile. “Since we are new in the region, it’s up to me to lead the focus and find our ground, which I find quite exciting,” she says.
But what’s even more thrilling for Devika are the endless progression opportunities available in the industry. “I want to build my career as an entrepreneurial trader with a wide range of experiences across vessel sizes and geographic markets, and learn as much as I can about global businesses.”
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"The job continues to pique my interest and keeps me focused. You never stop learning."
Germaine Ang (NEAR RIGHT), Vessel Operator, Swissmarine Asia
Armed with a first-class honours degree in maritime business and maritime law, Germaine knew she wanted to be right in the heart of the industry’s action. That was why she went after the highly sought-after role of vessel operator.
“It allows me to gain knowledge and hands-on experience,” she explains.
A vessel operator plays an important role in the shipping journey. Germaine is in charge of planning a smooth voyage for the vessel to the cargo loading port, and then to the destination port for unloading.
To achieve this, she has to monitor the vessel’s itinerary and performance, communicate with charterers and ship captains, plan for refuelling, manage the time spent on loading and unloading cargo, and more. “An eye for detail, good organisational skills and an inquisitive mind are must-haves to be a successful operator,” she says.
Lim Zi Jin (FAR RIGHT), Crewing Executive, POSH Fleet
Zi Jin’s passion for maritime resulted in a curious habit – she attempts to identify different types of ships whenever she is by the sea. When it comes to which vessels excite her today, it’s a toss-up between container vessels and POSH’s Semi-submersible Accommodation Vessels (SSAVs), which are the largest in the world.
SSAVs can house up to 750 people and may feature cinemas, gyms and game rooms. “It’s like a floating hotel and a home away from home for our offshore crew!” she says.
As a crewing executive, Zi Jin looks into the welfare of some 200 crew members on 11 vessels at any one time. She has the autonomy to propose each seafarer’s embarkation and disembarkation schedule, a privilege she takes seriously.
“We could do this the mechanical way, or we could go the extra mile by understanding each person’s unique circumstances,” she shares. This means, at times, allowing them to disembark earlier for family matters.
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Gan Sue Ann, Of Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright
With more than a decade of experience in ship finance and restructuring, Sue Ann has proved that grit and ambition can pay off as a maritime lawyer.
The first few years of her career were tough. Long nights at the office were the norm as she pushed herself to get up to speed. But she ploughed on anyway, subscribing to the belief that “if you don’t help yourself, no one will”.
Her hard work and never-saydie spirit were rewarded. For two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018, Sue Ann was recognised as a Next Generation Lawyer in Singapore’s shipping sector by legal directory The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.
As a maritime lawyer who has found success in her niche, Sue Ann firmly believes that women can bring many positive traits to the traditionally male-dominated shipping industry.
With many organisations now recognising that women are key assets, women are now heard and appreciated. “Women bring a different perspective and add diversity to the table. This is valuable as these traits ultimately impact strategy and decisionmaking” she says.
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"I like the fact that every single risk is diﬀ erent, and this makes my job exciting and refreshing."
Shayne Tan (ABOVE LEFT), Underwriter, Shipowners P&I
As an undergraduate, Shayne might have had an inkling of just how much she would impress in the maritime industry.
She was offered a scholarship for her final year of maritime studies at Nanyang Technological University, and a 12-month trainee programme at Shipowners P&I, a mutual insurance club for shipowners.
Right after her internship, Shayne jumped at the opportunity to join the company full-time. “I could see myself making marine insurance my lifelong career,” she declares.
Now an underwriter, Shayne covers vessels of members in Australia and New Zealand, and revels in the “art and science” of her role.
The science of underwriting involves loss records of vessels and historical fleet pricings; the art is assessing variables like a vessel’s route, its cargo, and the crew’s expertise. “Every underwriter has a slightly different appreciation and rating method for each vessel,” she explains.
An added perk is the chance to travel up to three times a year to meet members and brokers. This is when Shayne gets up to date with market conditions and members’ operations, and builds positive relationships.
“What amazes me is how one connection always leads to another and another. We get referrals from brokers or local underwriters who trust what we do and are willing to recommend us to their peers,” she says.
Kimberley Han NEAR LEFT, Assistant Underwriter, MS Amlin
Diving into the world of marine insurance wasn’t a walk in the park for Kimberley, who studied actuarial science (the study of financial risk). Industry jargon and technical details of vessel machinery drew a blank with her.
But she caught up quickly by attending seminars and conferences, taking examinations and talking to industry pros. “Even today, I’m constantly learning,” she says.
What cemented Kimberley’s interest was her internship experience. She met people from various sectors, including underwriters, brokers and shipowners. “It convinced me that the maritime industry has opportunities for people from various disciplines and backgrounds,” she said.
Despite the technical aspects of the job, the very first thing Kimberley noticed about marine insurance was that it’s a people business. “High focus is placed on providing quality service to our clients,” she adds. Plus, she has to be up to date with industry trends and clients’ risk factors.
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