Campbell Shipping & Campbell Bulk – The Complete Shipping Solution
Campbell Shipping boasts competencies in every aspect of the shipping business, but it’s willing to share its expertise.
The shipping industry is one built on collaboration, with any one shipping journey being the work of a combination of companies and contractors.
“It’s an industry that has many components that all need to work together,” explains Captain Rajesh Dhadwal, Managing Director and CEO of Campbell Shipping.
Campbell Shipping is the exception that proves the rule, being one of the few businesses in the industry with the expertise and capability to carry out every aspect of shipping.
“We’re shipowners, technical managers, crewing managers, commercial managers, and we also do accounting, purchasing, and procurement. That’s very distinctive in this industry,” Dhadwal says. “You may find businesses in technical management or that own a ship, but we do all aspects of shipping under one roof.”
This boutique, all-in-one approach to shipping is a valuable USP for Campbell Shipping, but that doesn’t mean they don’t collaborate with other firms. The company regularly contracts out its services to other shipping companies, often carrying out shipping operations for the ships of other businesses.
It’s a business model that gives Campbell Shipping a unique understanding of their clients’ needs.
“We bring a boutique governance to our clients, both internal and external, and an openness and transparency to our operators,” Dhadwal says. “We’re owner-operators ourselves. We’ve brought in that mindset of being a shipowner ourselves, not just a third party who may only be interested in extracting value from the owners.”
Campbell Shipping is a company driven by a clear vision, with a well-defined operating model for how the company will function and where it is heading. What’s important, Dhadwal insists, is that this vision isn’t just understood by the Board of Directors, but by every level of the company.
“If the board are the only ones who understand it, it has no value,” Dhadwal says. “The lowest crew member on a ship needs to understand how we do things. We have that with every person on all our ships. When you bring in that kind of human energy and make it function to provide value to the client, that’s where we can show what we’re capable of.”
This is reflected in Campbell Shipping’s commercial arm, Campbell Bulk.
“Campbell Bulk is the commercial arm of an esteemed ownership company with a modern view that offers flexible freight solutions,” says Felix Knick, Chartering Director of Campbell Bulk. “Dry-cargo freight trading is all about customer relations, offering competitive pricing, and maintaining business focus. To overcome the challenges of the ever-evolving freight and commodity markets today, it is imperative that special attention to timing and skilled staff is prioritized. At Campbell, we are committed to being an independent, experienced, and highly motivated carrier that provides flexible freight solutions to traders & industrial customers at market levels.”
Campbell Shipping believes that to harness the power of that human energy, you need to show the people that work for you that their work will be rewarded, and building better lives for employees is a core part of Campbell Shipping’s philosophy. While the company’s business is moving cargo, it never forgets its commitment to its team members. With their support and sound leadership, Campbell Shipping is gaining recognition and growth on the way to becoming a household name in the industry.
But it isn’t always smooth sailing, as this past year has shown.
“Some of the biggest challenges we face obviously include COVID-19, but I credit our success to the team and the way we have all worked together through this very difficult phase,” Dhadwal tells us. “Maintaining continuity was one of our biggest challenges. We had people stuck on ships because borders were closing, consulates and visas stopped working. Bringing people home and replacing the people on the ships was the biggest challenge we saw through COVID-19.”
It’s a challenge that has thrown into sharp relief the value of Campbell Shipping’s philosophy, “Employee focused, client-driven”.
Once again, at Campbell Bulk, Knick has a similar view. He tells us, “Our management philosophy—Our people, your strength—is centred on people: those we employ and those we serve. We believe that meeting and exceeding the needs of our clients is a key component to our success. Our well-experienced, driven team share a common passion for developing shipping and trading solutions.”
“When you have the right people on the job it’s the best thing that can happen,” Dhadwal emphasises.
Campbell Shipping values its employees by respecting each individual, treating them fairly while providing them with opportunities to grow and develop professionally. This also means providing employees with a work environment that empowers them to manage their personal and family life effectively. This commitment to Campbell Shipping’s employees is the foundation of its “One Team Campbell” environment.
“We have to rely on the quality of our people’s experience. We make sure the people working with us are looked after and that they know we value their contribution,” Dhadwal explains.
“Our chartering and operations team is a well-versed, diversified, and experienced team spread across the globe and is actively engaged with the vessel and clients’ needs round the clock,” Knick adds.
Ultimately, Dhadwal believes that word-of-mouth remains the most powerful recruitment tool there is. He tells us, “We work well with our staff and that becomes a talking point from them to others. We have to make sure we maintain good credibility in the market to become the choice employer.”
“It will include all aspects around our people through their full life-cycle with the company,” Dhadwal says. “This strategy, at its heart, aims to provide an extraordinary experience to our people. They each have their own journey, work with us for years and move on, but when they move on, we want their experience to be rewarding. Our People Strategy is geared towards providing our employees with continuous Learning & Education, Mentoring and Career Development, Rewards & Recognition and Leadership development.”
Campbell Shipping’s leadership also believes that its intellectual growth is embedded in diversity.
“The shipping industry can be a conservative when accepting diversity, however, here in Campbell, we have females forming a key part of the executive team,” Dhadwal admits.
Dhadwal further adds that business intelligence is a key aspect for the company for taking timely and right decisions.
“We have therefore migrated to MARIAPPS, an award-winning IT solution to form a backbone to all our ship management functions,” he explains. “In addition, we are working with an IT company to develop electronic recordkeeping to replace all manual paperwork. The digitalization provides feasibility to convert data to a business intelligence rather than lying dormant on paper records.”
The flipside of Campbell Shipping’s philosophy is that it is driven in all its activities by the needs of the customer. In the delivery of all its services, whether as a holistic shipping provider or in contracting for others, Campbell Shipping achieves excellence through the unique level of understanding Campbell Shipping’s people have of their clients’ needs. They meet those needs while adhering to high ethical standards and drawing upon a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the risks associated with the environment where they work.
So, to “Employee Focused, Client Driven”, Campbell Shipping also adds the slogan “Safety Our Priority, Excellence Our Commitment.”
The company adheres to a rigorous Safety Management System to ensure that its practices and procedures will always minimise potential risks. Standards and targets for improvement are set so that Campbell Shipping can engage in a continuous improvement exercise. The Company is aligning its operational SOP with the best industry practices of Dry Bulk Management Standards (DBMS).
QUALSHIP 21 a prestigious recognition by United States Coast Guard was awarded to the Company in 2003. The Company has also received IMO recognition for the largest rescue operations undertaken by a commercial vessel besides winning 4 InterManager awards for safety leadership.
“We have the unique initiatives of STOPP-TAKE 5 and COMPLACENCY WILL BITE to promote and manage Risk Management,” Dhadwal says. “The Company has recently added a key position of Chief Culture Officer (CCO) to harness the team motivation and the consistency of Campbell culture throughout the organization.”
Campbell Shipping will also be looking at imparting soft skill training to its people so that they can harness their potential on top of their technical core competencies.
“We have over many years worked our way to a strong foundation for the company, with a good governance model. We are now very much open to doing third-party management, using our expertise and experience to provide services to third-party clients, and this is an area we would like to expand further into,” Dhadwal says.
Knick adds, “We are opportunistic and flexible with a dedicated focus on the spot as well as the future market. We strongly believe in providing value-added services to our clients through our responsiveness, reliability, and strong insights into the current market conditions.”
It’s a competitive field, and there are some large third-party management companies in the sector that Campbell Shipping can’t necessarily compete with on numbers. However, the smaller, more focused nature of the business can give them an edge.
“Inherently, when a shipowner has a ship with a large third-party company its attention to that owner can be diluted,” Dhadwal tells us. “We are small, focused and able to provide much-needed feedback and close interaction with the shipowners. We have recently made in-roads into managing 3rd party cruise vessels, which is a very niche sector.”
But wherever Campbell goes, throughout the various arms of the business its philosophy remains the same.
“At Campbell, we believe in a friendly, cooperative dialogue with customers, suppliers, brokers, other business partners, and stakeholders,” Knick says. “Our well-structured and compact setup gives us the advantage of making quick decisions in dynamic markets whilst being risk-conscious and competitive.”