Feature / 31 Dec 2023

The road ahead

In the first fully post-pandemic year, GAC rose above the challenges and continued to grow its business around the world.

Entrepreneurship and responsibility
We started 2023 with a new Group President, Pontus Fredriksson, who injected a renewed entrepreneurial spirit throughout GAC’s global network of offices, a focus on new ways to deliver value and a continued commitment to compliant and high service standards - all with sustainable practices in mind.

The journey continued on GAC's Roadmap to Sustainability based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and signposted by measures to track our economic, environmental and social impact locally and globally - all while staying focused on customers’ demands for high standards of service.

The past 12 months brought extraordinary geopolitical and inflationary challenges that have impacted global shipping and logistics. And no matter what, the GAC’s global network has showcased tremendous adaptability during times of crisis, with our teams on the ground continue to support customers wherever possible.

One of the world’s most important waterways, the Panama Canal, is dealing with the impact of protracted drought on water levels, with potentially dramatic impact on shipping services and costs. Throughout, our team in Panama has provided steadfast support, reliable information and trustworthy guidance for transiting vessels, and they will continue to do so.

Milestones sunset

We welcomed several of milestones in the past year.

In January, the starting pistol was fired for The Ocean Race, with GAC Pindar as its Official Logistics Provider for a historic third time. The team from GAC Pindar, our marine leisure, sports and events arm, followed the epic 32,000 NM race around the world, liaising with local GAC companies and partners to meet the event’s complex logistical demands through to the finishing post at Genoa, Italy, in July.

GAC Philippines played a key role in the emergency response when the tanker Princess Empress sank with a cargo of 800,000 litres of oil off the east coast of Mindoro Island in the Philippines. The GAC team was entrusted with the urgent delivery of a US Navy Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) for the clean-up operations, prompting praise from the project manager.

We continued to provide steadfast support for upstream oil & gas projects, whilst applying our expertise to the growing renewable energy sector, including the development, installation and operation of offshore floating wind farms.

GAC UK added safe, reliable and cost-effective drone services to its Marine & Terminal services portfolio. Its fleet of state-of-the-art drones is designed for maritime applications and fully CAA-approved.

In Oman, we boosted our capabilities at the Port of Sohar to offer waste disposal solutions and underwater repairs.

GAC Sri Lanka introduced de-mucking and bunker sample testing to its range of services, and also handled its first Ship-To-Ship transfer operation involving a container carrying dangerous cargo.

New offices were opened to meet growing demand for our services in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, and Penang Port and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, with further expansion in East Malaysia in the pipeline. We also expanded our ship agency services in the USA to support customers calling at Pacific Northwest with a new office in Seattle.

Yet again, 2023 brought a slew of local, regional and global awards recognising its industry-leading services around the world, including The Maritime Standard Awards and ShipTek International accolades for its ship agency support.

We were also the proud recipients of the Crew Welfare Service Provider Award at the Safety4Sea Crew Welfare Awards in recognition of our efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pegasus arrives
Throughout the year, GAC continued to harness technology to further improve its operational efficiency and transparency.

Our custom-made Pegasus portal provides large international customers with real-time information about port infrastructure, services, mishaps, accidents, delays and turnaround times. With access to data on 220,000 vessels and ports around the world, customers can predict port congestion, pick the best routes and make informed voyage decisions based on efficiency, time and financial considerations even before booking shipping services.

Looking ahead
We welcome the new year with two new Group Vice Presidents - Henrik Althén responsible for Logistics & Energy and Shanaka Fernando taking the helm for Shipping - whose wealth of industry experience will help to raise GAC’s services to a more global level.

GAC will continue expanding and refining its services around the world, ensuring that its expert-level shipping, logistics, marine and energy services remain at the forefront of the industry in the months to come.

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