Strategic Management Of Overseas Shipholding Groups Commerce Essay

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OSG at the end of last financial year, the Company owned or operated a modern fleet of 111 vessels (aggregating 11.3 million deadweight tons and 864,800 cubic meters) of which 88 vessels operated in the international market and 23 operated in the U.S. Flag market. OSG's new-building program of owned and chartered-in vessels totaled 11 International and U.S. Flag vessels, bringing the Company's total owned, operated and new build fleet to 122 vessels.

OSG is regarded as only major company with a significant international flag & US flag fleet. OSG has a business strategy which enables it to maintain a balance portfolio of vessel types & charter mix options i.e. long term time charter employment as well as spot voyage commitments.

OSG has 3500 employees worldwide out of which 3050 are seafarers, who are regarded as contractual employees or project based employees. OSG operates office at Athens, Houston, London, Manila, Montreal, Newark, Newcastle, Singapore & Tampa, hence giving the organization a worldwide shore presence. The corporate headquarters of the company is located in New York, the financial capital of United States of America.

Business Strategy

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OSG is committed to providing safe, reliable transportation services to its customers while ensuring the safety of its crews, vessels and the environment. The Company is also committed to creating long-term shareholder value by executing on a growth strategy designed to diversify its revenue sources across its chosen sectors and thereby maximize returns and reduce risk over shipping cycles.

OSG's growth strategy is focused on four elements:

• Sector Leadership - OSG seeks to maintain or achieve market leading positions in each of the primary markets it operates: crude oil, products and U.S. Flag. The Company has expanded its fleet through organic growth and acquisitions of companies that have expanded its market presence, the scale of its fleet and service offerings.

• Fleet Optimization - The Company believes that it can improve returns in any shipping cycle by taking a portfolio approach to managing its business. This approach includes operating a diverse set of vessels that trade in different markets; participating in commercial pools that maximize vessel utilization; managing a fleet of owned and chartered-in tonnage that provides for flexibility and optionality; and trading its fleet in both the spot and time charter markets to enhance returns.

• Superior Technical Ship Management - OSG is committed to operational excellence across its fleet. The Company's high-quality, modern fleet is operated by experienced crews supported by skilled shore side personnel. OSG's Safety Management System (''SMS'') is designed to ensure that operational practices and procedures are standardized fleet wide and those seafarers and

vessel operations meet or exceed all applicable safety, regulatory and environmental standards established by International and U.S. maritime laws.

• Financial Flexibility - The Company believes its strong balance sheet, ample liquidity, proven access to the capital markets and a significant unencumbered asset base provide significant financial flexibility. OSG has access to substantial amounts of debt capital on an unsecured basis in both the bank and public debt markets, thereby reducing its issuance of secured debt, which typically has collateral maintenance requirements. This financial flexibility permits the Company to pursue attractive business opportunities.

Strategic Organization Arrangement

The Company's vessel operations are organized into strategic business units and focused on broad market segments: crude oil, refined petroleum products, and U.S. Flag. The International Flag Crude Tanker unit manages International Flag ULCC, VLCC, Suezmax, Aframax, Panamax and Lightering tankers; the International Flag Product Carrier unit principally manages LR1 and MR product carriers and the U.S. unit manages most of the Company's U.S. Flag vessels. Through joint venture partnerships, the Company operates four LNG carriers and two Floating Storage and Offloading (''FSO'') service vessels.

Dedicated chartering and commercial personnel manage specific fleets while the Company's technical ship management operations and corporate departments support the Company's global operations.

Multi-business organizations use a variety of structures; multidivisional strategic business unit, or a form of matrix structure often described as transitional. With the multidivisional structure, individual exists as autonomous units, with each unit manager reporting to corporate head quarters. When an organization is broadly diversified with several businesses in its portfolio, management may choose to form strategic business units, with each unit incorporating a few businesses having something in common or commonality.

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Business Strategy for Trading Ships

OSG generally charters its vessels to customers either for specific voyages at spot rates or for specific periods of time at fixed daily amounts. Spot market rates are highly volatile, while time and bareboat charter rates, because they are fixed for specific periods of time, provide a more predictable stream of Time Charter Equivalent revenues (''TCE'' revenues).

Charters in the tanker market are mainly oil majors which charter in part of their transportation requirements on a long term basis, and enter into the spot market hire vessels for the their short-term requirements only, mostly during the peak oil trading season. This type of chartering strategy, when followed by group of charters such as oil majors, can intensify the spot rates.

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Strategic Key Financial Facts

KD - need this in tabular word format - http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/q/ks?s=OSG

Competition

The shipping industry is highly competitive and fragmented with OSG competing with other owners of U.S. and International Flag tankers. Competitors include other independent shipowners and integrated oil companies and state owned entities with their own fleets, oil traders with logistical operations, and pipelines.

OSG's vessels compete with all other vessels of a size and type required by the customer that can be available at the date specified. In the spot market, competition is based primarily on price, although charterers are becoming more selective with respect to the quality of the vessels they hire considering other key factors such as the reliability and quality of operations and a preference for modern double hull vessels based on concerns about environmental risks associated with older vessels. In the time charter market, factors such as the age and quality of the vessel and reputation of its owner and operator tend to be even more significant when competing for business.

OSG's fleet of VLCCs and ULCCs is commercially managed through Tankers International. Tankers International, with a total of 43 VLCCs and 2 ULCCs as of December 31, 2010, is a leading player in this highly competitive and fragmented market. Its main competitors include Frontline Ltd., BW Shipping Managers, Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd.,Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Malaysian International Shipping Corporation Berhad and Maran Tankers Management.

OSG formed the Suezmax International pool in 2008. There were four tankers in the pool as of December 31, 2010 that trade primarily in the Atlantic Basin. The main competitors of the Suezmax International pool include the Gemini Tankers, Stena Sonagol and Blue Fin Tankers pools. Other competitors include non-pool owners such as Dynacom Tankers Management, Ltd., Thenamaris Ships Management, Inc. and OAO Sovcomflot.

OSG is a founding member of Aframax International, which consists of 46 Aframaxes trading primarily in the Atlantic Basin, North Sea, Baltic and the Mediterranean areas. Aframax International is one of the largest operators in this market sector. Aframax International's main competitors include Teekay Corporation, General Maritime Corporation and Sigma Tankers Inc.

OSG's main competitors in the highly fragmented Panamax trade include owners, traders relets and pool operators. Substantially all of OSG's fleet of Panamax tankers is commercial managed by Panamax International, which commercially manages 24 double hull vessels. Main competitors include Star Tankers Heidmar Inc., A/S Dampskibsselskabet Torm and Jacob-Scorpio Pool Management S.A.M.

In the MR Product Carrier segment, OSG owns or charters-in a fleet of 32 vessels that competes in a highly fragmented market. Eight of the OSG vessels are operated in the Clean Products International Pool. Main competitors include Glencore International AG, Handytankers K/S, Vitol Group, Trafigura, A/S Dampskibsselskabet Torm, Navig8, Dorado Tankers Pool Inc. and OAO Sovcomflot.

Reference OSG.com /

Lloyd's List - Home

Lloyd's List is the leading daily newspaper for the maritime industry covering all sectors of the shipping world including Tankers, Containers, ...

Careers - Log In - News - Containers

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Clarkson Research Services Limited Tanker Register 2011

The Tanker Register offers data on 5467 Tankers and Combinations carriers ...

www.crsl.com/acatalog/Tanker_Register_2011.html - Cached

Q88.com - Connecting the Maritime Industry

Heidenreich Innovations, LLC. operates the Q88.com and Baltic99.com websites that serve the tanker and dry bulk industries. There are currently 645+ ...

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Detailed Analysis of OSG's Strategic Management

In this section we will closely review the strategies of OSG. Also in this part, we will evaluate on internal & external analysis of strategic management of OSG.

Drivers

Drivers

Value Drivers

Cost Drivers

Commercial

Optimize earnings by operating assets in pools & collaborations. Provide attractive returns to share holders

Reduction in administrative costs & overheads. Leverage over customers & impact value due to large scale operation.

Operations

Deliver safe, efficient and reliable transportation.

Image enhancement & higher premiums paid by Oil majors, for vessels.

Technical

Set the gold management for technical management

Image enhancement & higher premiums paid by Oil majors, for vessels

Financial

Strong balance sheet & access to capital.

Unencumbered assets allow unsecured borrowing. High level of liquidity, permits better cash flow.

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Strategic Business Units

SBU STRATEGIES

ACHIEVING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

SPECIALISED CUSTOMER FOCUS BASIS BRAND EG DISTILLATES

POOL PARTNERSHIPS EASIER TO FORM, SIMILAR TYPE OF SHIPS

BRAND IMAGE CAN BE MICRO MANAGED, AS DICATED BY THE MARKET REQUIRMENTS

BASES OF COMPETITIVE STRATEGY

CLEAR BENCHMARK INDICATION, IN THE RESPECTIVE MARKET SEGMENTS EG. SUEZMAX ATLANTIC BASIN TD5

EASIER TO DECIPHER SHIP QUALITY VS COMPETITOR BASIS AGE, OIL MAJOR APPROVALS, STRUCTURE, ETC

SWOT Analysis

The starting point in formulating a strategy is usually SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is a careful evaluation of an organizations internal strengths & weakness as well its environmental opportunities & threats.

The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey who led a research project at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from leading companies involved in long range planning processes. 

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SWOT ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

-Largest US flag fleet operator, hence giving it sustaining competitive advantage in the domestic US market, in accordance of Jones Act.

-Very High standards of technical management, hence enhance asset value in the SNP market for OSG floating assets

- 6 decades of tanker operation experience, which attracts safety conscious oil majors such as ExxonMobil, shell, chevron, Conoco, etc to prefer OSG tonnage, relative to smaller ship operators.

-Strong public image as OSG is the 2nd largest publicly traded oil tanker company in the world, measured by number of vessels

- Number 1 market position in very large crude oil carrier sector

- Number 2 market position in the Aframax Sector

WEAKNESS

-Primary business shipping, which has lean cycles for long stretches due to subdued demand & sensitive to world trade. Eg Due to continued weakness in the financial & credit markets since 2008, the freight spot market has not been still able to achieve same freight levels, as witnessed in pre-financial era of 2007 & prior to that

-Trades primarily in spot market which mean vessels chartered basis voyage, hence this encourages unpredictable earnings & skewed financial projections

-Shipping is a business with inherent risk, hence higher insurance premiums & more unpredictable overheads eg BP Oil Spill in US Gulf

OPPURTUNTIES

-Open minded to participation in commercial pools enhances OSG's fleet utilization & TCE revenues

-Long term contracts with south American oil exporting countries basis strategic alliance, which provides higher & consistent earnings

-Enter the fastest growing global shipping segment i.e. LNG & countering risk of market entrance, thru 25 years term contracts for respective assets

THREATS

-Market value of shipping assets has been of late fluctuating significantly, due to sudden rise & fall in commodity prices including base metals.

-Terrorists attacks on oil tankers, especially for a company which is incorporated in united states of america

-Hijacking & pirate attacks in piracy prone areas, Gulf of Aden & Indian ocean regions on the rise, especially for Very large crude carriers for which the biggest load area is middle east

PESTLE Analysis

A well established type of analysis to identify significant factors in the remote business environment is PEST analysis. PEST itself is an acronym for political, economic, social & technological factors. PEST is a well know framework often used when conducting a market analysis to support business planning & strategy development.

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PESTLE ANALYSIS

POLITICAL ISSUE

-Company's business would be adversely affected if failed to comply with Jones act provisions on United coastwise trade

-OSG's operating market might considerately shrink due to UN sanctions spearheaded by United states of America. Such UN sanctions have been imposed on big oil exporting countries such as Iran, Libya.

- OSG's operating cost could increase drastically, in wake of strict US government laws by US government such as OPA 90, special fuel emission areas, environmental policies in wake of BP oil spill, etc.

ECNOMIC ISSUE

-OSG's financial condition would be materially adversely f affected if the shipping income OSG's foreign subsidiaries subject to current taxation in the US

-OSG's liquidity & cash flow position may get affected due to fluctuating cost of commodities such as base metals.

-Fuel costs spiking due to crude oil volatility

-Termination of strategic alliances with south american business partners due to change in economic policies

-Inherent trading risk evolving from forward freight agreements

-Rise in inflation in Asian countries, from where predominantly the seafarers are coming to operate OSG fleet

SOCIAL ISSUE

-Culture bridge when commercial trading in far east

-HR policies may not be linear, due to extreme cultural diversity in the organization

-Shortage of competent & proficient seafarers, due to lesser aspirants for sea going career

- Piracy, security & hijacking of vessels is becoming a major concern, in the Indian ocean region due to poor economic conditions in east African countries

TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUE

-Shifting to alternative sources of energy & growing economies reducing dependability on oil energy

- Development of strategic long distance computerised underground pipelines

-E Governance & E Trading making small operators compete with larger well established operators, easily

-Better refining techniques being constantly developed hence reducing dependability on crude oil carriers

Critical Evaluation & Strategic Management Assessment

The heart of an organization is its knowledge, its experience, and its technology. These are the key strategic foundations.

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Financial Facts

Please refer Appendix 1 + 2 & we compare OSG financial strength with competitors such as "Frontline, Teekay, Torm.

Market Cap OSG - 903.62 Million

Market Cap Frontline - 1.61 Billion

Market Cap Teekay - 2.37 Billion

Qtrly Revenue Growth OSG - -2.30%

Qtrly Revenue Growth Frontline - -13.70%

Qtrly Revenue Growth Teekay - -13.60%

EBITDA OSG - 56.40 Million

EBITDA Frontline - 490.01 Million

EBITDA Teekay - 583.89 Million

EPS OSG - -5.30

EPS Frontline - 2.07

EPS Teekay - -3.90

Strategic and Tactical Competitive Actions

OSG uses both strategic and tactical actions when forming their competitive actions and competitive responses in the course of engaging in competitive rivalry. A competitive action is a strategical or tactical action the firm takes to build or defend its competitive advantages or improve market position.

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STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL COMPETITIVE ACTIONS

STRATEGIC ACTIONS

ENTERING NEW MARKETS

SOUTH AMERICAN MARKETS SUCH AS VENENZULA, BRAZIL, ETC. MORE FOCUS ON US DOMESTIC TRADE, WHICH IS CONSIDERED TO BE A NICHE MARKET, DUE TO JONES ACT

NEW MARKET SEGMENTS

LNG SEGMENT, EXPANDING IN THE UNITED STATES GULF AREA LIGHTERING OPERATIONS

AVERAGE FLEET AGE

ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN NEW BUILDING PROGRAM

MERGERS / ALLIANCES

ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN CREATING NEW POOL PARTNERSHIPS

TACTICAL ACTIONS

REGULATING OVERHEARDS

ACTIVELY PUSHING FOR FUEL HEDGHING OPPURTUNTIES, TO CAP OPX COSTS

FLEET CONVERSION

WITH INCREASE IN REFINING MARGINS, INTRODUCING MORE DISTILLATE CARRIERS

FAR EAST MARKETS

LOOKING AT ACQUISITIONS & COLLABRATIONS ACTIVELY, IN THIS PART OF THE GLOBE

Conclusion

Summary

Strategic drift is the tendency for strategies to develop incrementally on the basis of historical and cultural influences but fail to keep pace with a changing environment. OSG needs to diversify rapidly into LNG segment rather than concentrating only bulk oil liquds. What if emerging markets shift to LNG for their growing needs?

Market penetration refers to a strategy by which an organisation takes increased share of its existing markets with its existing services range. It seems OSG has been very systematically been focussed on US domestic market. According to BMI model, united states energy requirements will remains almost consistent, so is it right to only penetrate this market?

Devolution concerns the extent to which the centre of an organisation delegates decision making to units and managers lower down in the hierarchy. Is OSG corporate supporting its BSU's or still the decision making is based out of New York?

Recommendations

Exploiting the profit pool concept for competitive advantage. Explore pool partnerships with global players.

Information technology tools should be deployed to increase the coherence & smoother work flow with strategic business units

In times of geo political uncertainties, risk mitigation should be well regulated through fuel hedging & forward freight agreements. Bing exposed to big cost spikes can affect bottom line.

Target market segment of BRIC economies, more aggressively

Minimize exposure to risk segments such as lightering business in United states gulf area

Critical Success Factors

Leveraging from Strength in US Oil markets presently

Strategical partnerships with growing economies such as brazil, veneunzala.

Less systematic & political barriers

Successful pool partnerships on very large crude carriers