Valles Steamship looks to deepening relationship with India
Valles Shipping to source manpower for their expansion plan from India
Valles Shipping founded as a family business in Shanghai in the 1910's began providing cargo liner services along the Yangtze River and the Northern Coast of China. The fleet expanded rapidly including the addition of passenger vessels, providing a service beyond the coastal waters of China. In 1949, the Company's operations were transferred to Hong Kong and Valles Steamship Company Ltd. was incorporated. In the early 1950's, Valles operated a number of 10000 DWT vessels on charter to major Japanese shipping companies and were traded worldwide.
“We have over 600 seafarers and all of them are Indian except in case of one Master who is a Bangladesh,” says Wellington Koo, Commercial Manager. “We have made a policy to take 100 per cent Indian seafarers both as marine officers and ratings.”
Valles has decided to put all its eggs in one basket and want to focus on recruiting Indian youth for meeting all the present and future manning needs. “Our commitment to India has been from 1984 as we are looking to training Indian cadets,” says Capt Pinto. “All our ships carry a minimum of three trainee cadets on board so that when new ships join our fleet there will be trained and experienced people to take over. We have 27 people on board our vessels against the industry’s average of 20. This means that each ship of ours has six to seven extra persons. Our training process is continuous such that when new ships join us we don’t have to look for additional manpower because we have people from our own pool.”
The management team informs that the company has plans to develop its own infrastructure for in-house training in India. In the meantime the company has identified some training institutes in the country for providing pre-sea and post-sea training for their cadets and sailing personnel. These include the Tolani Maritime Training Institute, Pune and the International Maritime Training Centre (IMTC), Powai which is part of the Wilhelmsen Maritime Services.
“We have a career growth plans for all our sailing personnel and to ensure a high retention rate we absorb all our seafarers wanting to quit the sea life and appoint them in our various offices on shore,” say Capt Pinto. “I for one and also some of my colleagues in our offices took up shore jobs with the company after we quit sailing. When the time is ripe and we go on expanding we will bring those suitable people from our fleet to our offices ashore to work. So there are excellent opportunities for career growth in Valles Shipping. We believe in providing steady promotional opportunity to everyone from the very beginning of their career with us. So the career growth begins from the cadet to master and chief engineer.