“We’ve been in the industry for over 170 years, and the issues around shipping have always been that what happens in faraway lands has always been a faraway thing,” explains Frank Olsen, present-day CEO of Inchcape Shipping Services.
“There has not always been enough information, communication, control or transparency, and therefore a lack of trust, in what is occurring in places which are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.”
Inchcape Shipping Services was formed to integrate what was then a loose federation of ship agents into a robust, transparent international network with defined and common service standards worldwide.
“Historically, the criteria for selecting an agent has been localised knowledge of the port in question, and trust in this knowledge and subsequent track record,” Olsen adds in an exclusive interview. “Trust is everything, and our mantra is that you can only establish genuine trust if you have transparency first – it is not enough anymore to simply say trust me.”
Olsen began his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of Inchcape Shipping Services in July 2018, previously serving as COO of the group’s Marine Services division.
A major focus of his time in the Marine Services business was to enhance its use of technology and data, something which he has transitioned into his role of CEO.
“My background in terms of getting to where I am today is quite a simple one,” Olsen recalls.
“I started my career as a seafarer and master mariner on ships which journeyed around the world, and in 2007 I moved onshore in the marine service industry but was still very engaged with vessels and their activities. A lot of training and experiences later, and I am here today as CEO of Inchcape Shipping Services.”