Sevenstar Yacht Transport Believes in Asia

October 7, 2013 / Boat News, News

Part II

And what is your view on competitiveness and pricing, value for money?

“We have been in this for a long time already and we want to stay in the business. And we’re not always the cheapest. There is good competition in the market, by other players – which is good. I can name Peters & May and DockWise Yacht Transport – these are serious companies and they know what they’re doing, and are reliable to work with. In our market, unfortunately, in the last couple of years, there have been some seriously bad companies stepping up and playing bad games with people, not knowing how to handle boats and without the technique. And they come onto the market with cheaper rates to get the money. And it’s sad – many people have been hit badly by these non serious companies, so my advice is always to do good research on the Internet on the companies you want to use and then see if the routings you wish to do fit the company you want to use. Look further than the first two pages on Google cause that’s where some of the bad companies have filled up with their own stuff and the true stories only come later.”

“On the pricing – as one of the few transporting companies, Sevenstar uses a huge operational department. We have 20 people employed only on looking after your yacht; meaning the technical side, lifting arrangements, how to load and where to put the boat, how can we load it safely etc. All these things come together, which means we have a very small sales force and a very big operational force in order to do the job the right way. And these things and these skilled people cost money. So when we load the boat we send somebody to look after your boat – the loadmaster. So he takes care and lifts and cradle the boat. And in the discharge port we come to look after your boat and put it in the water. So it’s a full-range service. And yes there’s a price to it, which means we’re not always the cheapest.”

You have this full service and that’s your niche?

“Yes, and there’s nothing in between. I’m not going to do it halfway or cheaper and then compromise.”

Is insurance included in case of something going wrong?

“Yes, on all our transports there is automatically in the price insurance cost, with all risk insurance coverage included. And we sell it all as one package. So you’re not getting a shipping price for me and then extra price for cradle etc. Everything is included except the custom clearance. Why do we exclude that? Port agents assist fully – but I don’t know what you want to do. Maybe you want to import the boat, have a cruising permit… It’s good if people let us know what they want cause then we can advice them: you come with a second hand boat to China and want to import it. I’ll tell you that you cannot do that! But if you come to Thailand and you want t have a crusing permit, please let me know and I’ll set you up with the right customs agent!”

Describe you customisable approach?

“Yes, it’s very imporant for us. You can get anything you want! If you want to go from Papiti to Oshiwara, I’ll take you. If you want to ship next week, we can do so. If you want to have a ship for yourself I get a ship for yourself. Anything is possible, but, again, there’s a price tag to it.”

And there are certain periods when you load boats?

“Those are the regular sailings and they are offered in the seasonal trade when we all know that there are enough boats coming, so we will see 10 boats, and on that basis the clients benefit from a better deal. They do have to wait, sometimes they want to go in March and we only go in May. But then they know and can prepare.”

What are the key benefits of using Sevenstar?

“Actually we are very simple service providers where we bring together the leisure marine market, fun with the boat, with commercial shipping which is tough and hard with difficult negotiations. So you try to bring these two very different worlds together and make it as smooth as possible. And by doing that there are some very important standards, of which the most important thing is that you handle and deliver the boat in good condition. Safety and care of the boat – that’s number one.”

“Number two is the timing – trying to be as precise on time as possible. That’s not always easy as you work with commercial shipping, where there can be ship delays. There can be weather issues etc., there’s always something. Combining commercial shipping and pleasure boating sometimes gives a conflict. But it’s very important that you, either manage the expecations on coming on time, so people know there could be loading a bit later, or that you just arrive on time.”

“The third thing is the keep the cost as low as possible for your client, as it’s a lot of money – and very often not the money you like to spend, ‘cause you’re not buying something nice and new – you’re buying a service. So it’s service you use and then the money is gone, we are fully aware of that. Yes, we need to make money, we are a business that needs to make a living, but we always try to keep the cost as low as possible for our clients but it will never jeopardize the safety or the product in general.”

Asia’s yachting waters in terms of growth compared to any other growth markets in the world – what are you seeing?

“Very interesting on the whole is that yachting goes where the money is. There’s a shift going on in wealth, which is clearly visible also in the yacht market, meaning that we now go to West Africa, South America and Asia and most of those markets are very small but we could see in recent years that they were staring to grow. And as more people are entering there and enjoying boating and willing to buy a boat, maintain a boat, look after a boat – that gives you boat markets.

How is your participation in the Singapore Yacht Show so far?

“The first thing organised was the superyacht conference five years ago, where I joined in that conference, and we sponsored because we believed in the market. We’ve been doing that since. And two years ago the Yacht Show started and I was happy to be able to contribute as one of main sponsor in that event. I believe in the event and in the region, and from our side as a member of APSA – Asia-Pacific Superyacht Association – I’m also active in helping them out and selling the region. Because without selling the region I’ll not be able to transport boats, so it’s important that people see the region, like it, develop the region and on that basis you can grow. So for example on the previous Monaco boat show we were hosting an APSA party in order to make people aware of Asia and all the fantastic opportunities that are here.”

“I am happy to see that there are more local people coming in. And what’s also good is that there are more people coming from abroad, including Americans. And all these little details means that the the region as a whole. is maturing into a serious player in the market of yachts.”

Sevenstar Yacht Transport has also appointed and agent in Phuket this year?

Indeed, Chris Jongerius whos is the owner of the Andaman Sea Club (ASC), has been helping me out since day one with shipments from and to Phuket on the operational sidem which we are happy about. He runs his charter company, Andaman Sea, and he’s been supporting us. We announced Chris Jongerius as an agent recently. We have an official Sevenstar agent in Phuket and in Singapore now, because the market is growing and maturing into a sustainable market.”

Read also part I: Getting Your Boat to and from Phuket: Sevenstar

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