Drawing on our Human Capital
The health, safety and behaviour of our employees underlies every aspect of how we operate. They are driven by policies, procedures, a team culture and efforts to continually improve how we conduct ourselves in our business at sea and onshore. Providing healthy work conditions, a safe and supportive environment and opportunities to develop and advance within the Company are key to the well-being and fulfilment of our staff and the success of Pacific Basin.
We strive to be the employer of choice for our existing staff and for talented potential employees in our industry. We are passionate about our people and do what we can to provide our multi-national colleagues with a safe, supportive, enjoyable and fulfilling working environment SEHK ESG
In-house Ship Management Expertise Ensures Safety & Quality at Sea
As ship owners, our service reliability is enhanced by an innovative and comprehensive in-house technical ship management capability that assures the quality of our large fleet of owned ships and growing number of seafarers, while also driving our sector-leading safety and environmental performance.
Our experienced team of ship managers provide dependable shore-based support to our fleet so that our seafarers can manage our ships with a strong safety culture and meet the specific needs of our customers.
Our shore-based and ship-board teams work together to ensure operational readiness and service reliability of our ships at all times, as well as compliance with classification society and flag state rules, environmental regulations and all other local and international laws and regulations. Their combined efforts are key drivers of stakeholder satisfaction and our Pacific Basin brand value.
Our comprehensive technical ship management function covers:
- Newbuilding and contracting support
- Newbuilding supervision
- Technical support for ship sale and purchase activities
- Technical and crew management of ships
- Marine & safety quality management and superintendence
- Regulatory compliance
- Dry docking supervision
- Safety & security assessments and training
- Internal/external audit corrective action implementation
We operate our own Pacific Basin crewing and training centres in Dalian, Manila and Hong Kong where our crew recruiting, training and management activities are based. Our pool of over 3,800 seafarers are mainly from China and the Philippines, and some of our officers and cadets are from Russia and Ukraine (FSU), Hong Kong and Bangladesh.
We believe that the right investment in our employees – both at sea and ashore – does much to increase safety, knowledge, productivity and contribution, and promote a deeper sense of belonging across our organisation. That investment in our employees and their engagement broadly addresses the following areas:
- Health & Safety
- Training & Development
- Labour Standards & Workplace Conditions
- Diversity & Equal Opportunity
- Responsible Business Practices
- Responsible Procurement
Health & Safety
We put safety first at all times. Our Pacific Basin Management System provides clear policies and procedures for our ship and shore staff to follow and mechanisms for us to analyse our performance and facilitate improvement, with one main objective: Promoting and ensuring safety at sea and prevention of human injury or loss of life
Our HSEQ policy and our Pacific Basin Management System embody a number of broad actions designed to achieve this objective:
- We employ and train qualified seafarers in accordance with requirements of flag state and STCW (Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping) Convention
- We have implemented risk assessment systems to review all identified risks to our ships, personnel and the environment, and to identify and establish appropriate safeguards and practices
- We seek to continuously improve quality, health & safety and environmental performance and management skills of personnel ashore and at sea, through a system of audits, analysis and feedback
- We keep personnel appropriately informed of HSEQ matters by circulating pertinent information and providing training resources
- We provide a safe and healthy work environment and ensure the welfare of the staff
- We enforce a drug and alcohol policy on board our ships and ensure all watch-keeping personnel undergo drug and alcohol tests before embarking on any of our vessels
- We conduct anti-piracy training, follow best practices and adhere to Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor mandates covering areas threatened by piracy attacks
People-focused Safety Innovation
We constantly strive to enhance our safety culture with commitments from senior management ashore driving this safety mind-set across our organisation and fleet.
Our commitment to safety is manifested not only through our proactive Pacific Basin Management System, but also through innovative proprietary initiatives and significant investment in seafarer training at sea and ashore to standards exceeding mandatory requirements, resulting in safety performance metrics (KPIs) that are among the best in the industry.
Some of our established home-grown concepts and programmes that seek to maximise our crews’ engagement and risk mitigation and safety performance include:
- Our “22 Crew, 22 OwnersTM” concept to empower our teams at sea to manage our vessels – and think like owner/managers – with a proactive safety culture
- Five focus areas to “Make Complacency History” (see side bar)
- “5 levels of leadership” to influence and develop staff on board to lead by example and inspire colleagues to follow
- “Zero defects in external checks through good self-checks and cross-checks by managers”, and loss prevention using our paperless “3W” risk assessment prior to each task
- Crew rest periods after tiring operations (even if delaying a ship’s departure) to reduce the risk of fatigue and stress-related accidents
- Our “Zero Lost Time Injuries” programme including enhanced prejoining and on-board training, and monthly alerts to the fleet with reminders of earlier injuries sustained on our ships
- Analysis of industry and internal incidents and near-misses to learn from one’s own and other people’s mistakes (OPM)
- Near-miss reporting generating valuable advice to help our seafarers avoid similar occurrences in the future
- Providing our teams at sea with the best and most understanding shore-based support with a ratio of one former Master or Chief Engineer ashore for every 2.3 ships in our owned fleet
“Make Complacency History”
We highlight five focus areas in our campaign to eradicate complacency across our fleet, including:
- Safety of Crew = Zero Lost Time Injuries
- Safety of Environment = Zero MARPOL violations
- Safety of Navigation = Zero navigational accidents
- Safety of Machinery = Zero issues from improper overhaul
- PB Brand & Business = Zero issues from neglect of care and maintenance
This campaign has been expanded to engage with our seafarers’ families through family newsletters and informal participation during our regular safety seminar dinners and through our family welfare officer in our recruitment centres for a more holistic and effective approach.
Health & Safety Performance in 2018
We have steadily reduced our Total Recordable Case Frequency by an average of 5% per year since 2004
In 2018, we recorded near record low total injuries and injury frequency on our ships, most arising from relatively minor slips, trips, falls and crushing incidents.
We recorded a lost time injuries frequency (LTIF) of 0.82 which was unchanged year on year to equal our best safety performance in 13 years. Our crew registered 15 such injuries in over 760,000 man days in 2018.
Our total recordable case frequency (TRCF) reduced 6% to 1.37 which is low by industry standards. Overall, we have steadily reduced our TRCF by an average of 5% per year since 2004.
Our aim is to substantially eliminate our personal injury incidents and to improve on our recent low LTIF result of 0.82.
Our safety performance is driven by effective policies and procedures in our Pacific Basin Management System and a comprehensive programme of seafarer training and development at sea and ashore.
In 2018, we continued to reinforce our established safety programme with our campaign to target “Zero Lost Time Injuries”, involving enhanced pre-joining and on-board training, and monthly alerts to the fleet with reminders of injuries sustained on our ships. Our “Make Complacency History” campaign also reaches out to our seafarers’ families for a more holistic and effective approach.
We aim to achieve an inspection deficiency rate of less than 1.0 defects per inspection by maintaining our ships to a high standard, as assessed by external Port State Control (PSC) inspectors.
In 2018, our average deficiencies per inspection improved by 2% to 0.53.
79% of our Port State Control inspections found zero regulatory deficiencies (2017: 78%).
These results are among the best in the industry, especially considering the scale of our activity in the Far East where defects are typically raised in larger numbers.
For improved navigational performance, we continue to pursue an extensive engagement exercise which collects wide-ranging feedback from our ships’ officers and managers as well as company-specific Bridge Team Management training for all our navigating officers, which we introduced in 2013.
We encourage near-miss reporting which in 2018 accounted for 548 reports (2017: 672) through which officers and crew described safety incidents and near-misses, however minor, which serves as a valuable tool for the prevention of injury and loss.
Award-winning Safety Culture & Performance
In 2018, we won the following awards recognising our commitment to and performance in safety and related areas:
Hong Kong Marine Department Award
- “Best Performing Ship Management” award for outstanding performance in global Port State Control inspections (for the tenth time in 11 years)
Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2018
- Dry Bulk Operator of the Year
Operating in a highly regulated industry
Our workplace safety, health and engagement metrics follow best practices as defined by the industry and our peers. Shipping is a highly regulated industry and Pacific Basin meets all minimum requirements and in some cases exceeds requirements determined by local, regional and industry mandates and customer expectations.
Our commitment to Safety is manifested through (a) a proactive Pacific Basin Management System, (b) innovative home-grown initiatives and significant investment in seafarer training at sea and ashore to standards exceeding mandatory requirements, and (c) KPIs that are among the best in the industry.
Our Pacific Basin Management System ashore and at sea conforms to the mandatory International Safety Management (ISM) Code. It is also certified by DNV GL Business Assurance to voluntary standards, including:
- ISO 9001:2015 for our quality management system
- ISO 14001:2015 for our environmental management system
- OHSAS 18001:2007 for our occupational health & safety management system
Training & Development
We believe that our investment in the development and training of our staff at sea and ashore drives engagement, motivation and retention of our staff and is key to maximising their safety and productivity.
High-performance teamwork at Pacific Basin is vital to our success. We foster high crew standards and teamwork at sea, and our shore-based technical and operations managers are experienced former ship captains and chief engineers. This encourages a culture where problems are shared openly and officers can rely on the very best, consistent support from ashore
Employees at Sea
We train our seafarers to standards equal to or exceeding those required by the International Maritime Organization’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (or STCW).
This significant investment we make in seafarer training at sea and ashore drives our safety and external inspection performance indicators which are consistently among the best in the industry.
Here are a number of training and development investments we make to ensure a class-leading safety culture, service delivery and workplace fulfilment:
We host at least four officer training seminars annually
at our crewing centres in Manila and Dalian, and in 2017
and 2018 also in Odessa. Through these two-day events,
we engage with our “on-board managers” to reinforce our
company policies, practices and values, review regulatory
changes and industry developments, share safety and
navigation-related experiences, and analyse industry
incidents and develop preventive measures with the
involvement of our crew and managers.
5 training seminars in 2018
- Our experienced Masters and Chief Engineers voluntarily run training sessions for our ratings whilst both teachers and students are on shore-leave.
- We conduct enhanced pre-joining briefings for all our sea staff.
- Our senior crewing managers review all staff’s training needs during appraisals to ensure skill gaps are identified and plugged and further development training is on offer.
- We have run officer cadet recruitment and training schemes in our crewing centres in China since 2005 and the Philippines since 2010, as well as in Hong Kong since 2013 and Odessa since 2017.
- We train 1-2 officer cadets on each of our ships.
1.6 officer cadets per ship
- We employ Marine & Safety Managers and Training
Managers ashore who conduct fleet safety inspections,
navigation audits and pre-joining briefings and provide
shore-based support on marine and safety issues to our
8 Ships per safety/training
manager in 2018
- In addition to our Marine & Safety Managers ashore, we deploy 11 Fleet Training Managers to sail periodically on our owned vessels and offer our crew on-the-job training.
- Our in-house technical department communicates
shore-based advice and support to our ships’ staff to
enhance the safety of our operations at sea and the
consistency of our service quality.
We review incidents and near-misses, analyse root
causes and develop and implement preventive measures,
all of which we communicate back to our ships.
- We promptly notify our ships of relevant regulatory changes and industry developments.
- We circulate monthly alerts to our fleet with reminders of lessons learned from past accidents and injuries sustained on our ships.
- Some of the investments we make in non-STCW training on-board, in classrooms and via computer include regular simulator-based training in Bridge Team Management and the types of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display Information System) fitted on our ships, and Maritime Resource Management, in partnership with the Swedish Club. We cultivate leadership qualities through MRM training for both our shore-based and on-board managers, because we believe the success of our safety management system depends on the trained skills of our managers and how these leaders approach our safety management system’s implementation at sea, on shore and at the ship-shore interface.
- Our crew conferences, training seminars and cadet
programmes offer a clear path of career advancement
within the ranks of our crew.
Ashore, we make a concerted investment in staff training and leadership development at all levels of the organisation, which has resulted in enhanced productivity, engagement, loyalty and retention and a strong foundation for our succession planning. That investment ashore broadly takes the following forms:
- Independently-run classroom and seminar-based training
- On-the-job training, site visits and company visits
- Understudy programmes for young executives
- Social and team-building exercises promoting high-performance teamwork and a culture of high standards
- Leadership and management training for high-potential employees identified as future leaders
- Training in specialised management tools
- Group-wide intranet connectivity, instant messaging and web-based video supporting real time information sharing
The Company has a healthy budget for training and development of shore-based staff, of which typically more than half receive some form of external training each year provided by local trainers or leading business schools internationally.
Our recruitment and training of international graduate and other young recruits in recent years has armed our teams with keen, talented executives who are now demonstrating their value in our offices around the world. In 2018, 6 young staff members attended our structured three-month trainee programme in which trainees cycle through our various departments, travel on ships, visit dry-docks, spend time with our shipping agents, shipbrokers and customers, and receive an in-depth experience in all facets of dry bulk shipping.
Labour Standards & Workplace Conditions
Through the commitment we make to our crews’ training, safety, motivation and overall job fulfilment, we benefit in return with increased retention of high-quality, loyal seafarers and safe operations
Our labour standards, human rights practices and workplace conditions adhere to all conventions where our ships trade and our offices are located.
Our labour policies and minimum standards are determined with reference to the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) – the United Nations agency that shapes policies to promote decent working conditions for seafarers and other workers.
These ILO conventions relating to seafarers have been consolidated into a single, coherent instrument – the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (“MLC”) – which has been ratified by China and the requirements of which have been largely incorporated in Hong Kong flag state legislation under Hong Kong CAP478 Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) and other ordinances. As such, the conventions are mandatory for us to follow in respect of our Hong Kongflagged dry bulk ships.
Where ILO conventions have not been ratified by our flag state, we voluntarily comply with or exceed the requirements of such conventions by way of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) with the International Transport Federation (“ITF”)-affiliated seafarer unions. Pacific Basin was actively involved in drafting the current Hong Kong flag state CBA which applies to all Hong Kong employers of seafarers under the ITF.
We have modernised our ship communications with KVH’s mini-VSAT broadband service with enhanced data transfer to facilitate ship-to-shore crew training and support, and to enable our seafarers to stay in touch with family and friends.
Seafarers’ Bill of Rights
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) is an international agreement of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) which sets out seafarers’ rights to decent conditions of work.
More than 100 pages long, the MLC 2006 sets minimum requirements for nearly every aspect of working and living conditions for seafarers such as:
- freedom from forced labour
- minimum age
- prevention of child labour
- conditions of employment
- hours of work and rest
- occupational safety & health
- health protection & medical care
- payment of wages
- annual leave & repatriation
- accommodation, food & catering
- social protection
- right to collective bargaining
Our compliance with ILO conventions and CBA terms is audited by Port State Control inspections
Employee Wellbeing Ashore
Ashore, our offices adhere to all relevant local workplace health and safety and related codes, offering our employees a safe, comfortable and productive work environment. This includes good lighting and air conditions, and ergonomic workstations.
2018 was our group headquarters’ first full year in new premises outside of Hong Kong’s Central business district. The new office provides a healthier, more casual and more practical and fulfilling working environment that supports more productive and collaborative work.
In 2018, we relocated our regional offices in Santiago, London and Manila and refurbished our Durban office, again taking the opportunity to upgrade our office work spaces for greater energy efficiency, and staff comfort, fulfilment and collaboration.
We supply free fruit and regularly offer healthy snacks. We actively support colleagues who take on healthy physical challenges in the aid of charitable causes or simply to stay fit, and we encourage all our staff around the world to make the most of whatever nature and facilities are available to them for better health and fitness. We encourage a healthy balance between family life and work.
We keep our employees engaged through newsletters, information circulars, town hall meetings, an open-door policy, and multiple means of staying connected through a group-wide intranet, instant messaging and video conferencing systems.
Diversity & Equal Opportunity
We take pride in the diversity of our staff – including the diversity of cultures and age that exists among our shore-based staff comprising executives of 29 nationalities.
The gender and age distribution of our shore-based workforce is well-balanced.
31% of our shore-based staff have worked for Pacific Basin for over 10 years, which is testament to the job fulfilment at Pacific Basin over a period of significant growth.
Our high officer and crew retention rate speaks volumes about the job fulfilment we offer our seafarers.
We are caring, good humoured and fair, and treat everybody with dignity and respect, encouraging diversity of opinions and cultures
We reaffirm our longstanding commitment to providing a safe environment for all our staff free of discrimination and harassment on any grounds. We operate a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment in our workplace, and we investigate all allegations of sexual harassment promptly, discreetly and with respect.
336 Shore Staff
shore staff retention
shore staff under equity incentive
scheme (2017: 25%)
shore staff with Pacific Basin
for over 10 years
overall crew retention
Responsible Business Practices
In the pursuit of our vision, mission and objectives, we always seek to apply sound and internationally accepted business ethics and principles.
Our business principles cover a range of tenets and traits designed to maximise the trust, respect and friendship between the Company and its stakeholders, highlighting the fairness and responsibility with which we approach our business.
Our Vision, Mission & Business Principles
Our vision is to be a leading ship owner/operator in the dry bulk shipping space, and the first choice partner for customers and other stakeholders.
Our mission Our mission is to be the best in our field by continuously refining our business model, our service and our conduct in everything we do.
The guiding business principles that dictate our behaviours and actions:
- We are passionate about our customers, our people, our business and our brand
- We honour our commitments and value long-term relationships over short-term gain
- We offer a personalised, flexible, responsive and reliable service, and we look for ways to make it easier to do business with us
- We target excellence and success through dedication and teamwork, and we see everyone in Pacific Basin as a corporate ambassador
- We take a sustainable business approach and promote high standards of safety and environmental stewardship
- We are caring, good humoured and fair, and treat everybody with dignity and respect, encouraging diversity of opinions and cultures
Our Code of Conduct prohibits our staff from offering or accepting bribes or engaging in fraud, forgery, collusion, anti-competitive behaviour or other forms of corruption.
We require our staff to abide fully by local anti-corruption laws such as the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance under Hong Kong law for staff in our Hong Kong headquarters. Similar anti-corruption laws (such as the UK Bribery Act 2010) and expectations apply to all our staff around the world.
During 2018 we introduced an enhanced anti-bribery policy to bolster the Company’s anti-corruption culture.
We provide anti-corruption seminars and training for most of our shore-based and seafaring staff on a rotational basis.
We were not in 2018, are not currently and have never been involved in any legal cases regarding corrupt practices.
Pacific Basin has been certified by globally recognised anti-bribery organisation TRACE since 2017, signifying that our company has been thoroughly vetted, trained and certified by TRACE in anti-bribery matters.
In 2018, Pacific Basin joined the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) which strives through collective action to eliminate all forms of corruption in the maritime industry. The organisation does this by: raising awareness of the challenges faced; implementing the MACN Anti-Corruption Principles and co-developing and sharing best practices; collaborating with governments, NGOs and civil society to identify and mitigate the root causes of corruption; and creating a culture of integrity within the maritime community.
We are committed to providing a workplace free of dishonest, illegal or discriminatory activities. As part of our efforts in this area, we have whistle-blowing procedures in place for seafarers, shore-based staff and external stakeholders to raise serious and genuine concerns, in confidence, following procedures that are published on our intranet (for our shore-based staff) and on our website (for external stakeholders).
We operate in highly competitive and fragmented markets and we do not collude with competitors or otherwise cooperate in a covert manner to gain unfair pricing advantage. The size and market share of our dry bulk fleet and the nature of our dry bulk freight activity are deemed not to breach competition regulations in any markets in which we are engaged.
Our ships operate globally and we engage in trades that comply with international laws and do not contravene international trade sanctions or relevant local or national laws.
Our customers are required not to ship illegal goods on our vessels, and our global chartering organisation follows the key rule of “knowing your customer and their business” which enhances our understanding of their cargo.
Our customers are mainly reputable, blue-chip organisations who we know well. For newer potential customers, we may seek advice on their background, verbal and written references, formal counterparty risk appraisals, and we check if they appear on US, UK, EU and UN sanction lists.
We also consider where voyages are from and to, and monitor the layers of sanctions prevailing around the world so as not to risk exposure to criminal penalties.
There are also safety nets that give us additional comfort that trades we engage in do not violate relevant laws. Importantly, banks do not provide letters of credit or finance to, or otherwise transact with, customers if the cargo or trade breach sanctions, thus preventing the customer from executing a freight contract with us. A second check arises when the cargo and/or freight invoice is payable, at which point banking systems automatically vet the countries and counterparts involved in the transaction.
We know our customers and their business and adhere to trading practices that follow the letter of local, regional and international maritime law
Our Pacific Basin Management System manual requires that, in all but some exceptional circumstances, stores and spares for our fleet are purchased from approved suppliers who are vetted before approval and reviewed at regular intervals thereafter.
Our selection and continued support of suppliers is heavily influenced by the outcome of our reviews of their and their products’ performance affecting occupational health, safety, quality and the environment.
Examples of vetting criteria we require of our suppliers and subcontractors include, as appropriate:
- Certification to a recognised international standard
- Approval by regulatory authorities
- Authorised agents or original equipment manufacturers, and/or
- Membership of a reputable organisation such as International Ship Suppliers Association (ISSA) or the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA)
In 2018, our list of vetted vendors numbered approximately 460, of which about 200 were new suppliers and about 260 were existing suppliers re-evaluated during the year.
Our number of suppliers increased significantly in 2018 due mainly to the larger size of our owned fleet, increased routine ship dry-dockings, and the installation of ballast water management systems on several of our ships.
Similarly, we purchase bunker fuel only from reputable and reliable suppliers, most of whom we have long term relationships with. We vet our bunker suppliers at least annually checking their financial position through website searches and through our network of contacts and other resources in the bunker and shipping industry.
We source no more than 30% of our annual fuel needs from any single supplier. We sourced over 80% of our fuel from 10 major bunker suppliers in 2018. The remainder was sourced from about 15 smaller suppliers for spot bunkering in remote ports.
25bunker fuel suppliers
Award-winning Safety & Quality at Sea
The history of our technical team stretches back well beyond the founding of Pacific Basin, as many of our technical management colleagues served at the venerable Jardine Ship Management which we acquired in 2000. Drawing on our technical team’s combined experience, a safety-first ethos and the prudent rules and guidelines enshrined in our Pacific Basin Management System, we are proud to be the stewards of best practices in technical, safety, quality and CSR management. We frequently receive industry recognition for our commitment to and performance in these areas, as well as other areas such as corporate governance and investor relations.
In 2018, we won top global and regional industry awards for CSR/ESG and best dry bulk operator overall, including:Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2018
- Dry Bulk Operator of the Year
- Ship Owner of the Year
- Customer Care Award
- Outstanding performance in Port State Control Inspections
- Blue Circle Awards
- Best ESG Report-mid-cap
Some notable other awards in recent years include:
- Company of the Year at Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2017
- Safety Award at International Bulk Journal Awards 2017
- CSR Award at Seatrade Maritime Awards 2017
- Safety Award at Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2016
- Ship Operator Award at Lloyd’s List Awards Asia 2015 and 2016
- Best CSR Award at Asian Excellence Recognition Awards 2015
- Hong Kong Marine Department award for Outstanding Performance in Port State Control Inspections (nine times in the past 10 years)
- Shipping Company of the Year at BIMCO Awards 2014
- Shipmanager of the Year and Environment Award at Lloyd’s List Asia Awards 2011
- Environment Award at Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2011 and IBJ Awards 2012
- Seafarer of the Year at Lloyd’s List Global Awards 2011 (Captain Zhu Qianchun)