Steering a ship is like leading a company

Dear reader

Some of you now that I have been fascinated by the sea ever since I was young. Growing up in Norway with its countless fjords and its shipping heritage might have ignited this fascination and been responsible that I went into shipping with my own shipping company.

BBC Chartering Group Magazine

Click the image to download the interview

Moreover I have been committed to shipping as business academic, and even today at my own business institute I organise a shipping module to discuss all the issues in and around the industry trying to pass on my knowledge – and still learning new things.

Today, shipping companies are challenged more than ever to innovate, not only regarding their assets, products and services but also their cultures, organizations and structures if they strive to stay as top performing companies.

What is needed to manoeuvre a shipping / transportation company through these turbulent times? Not only will we discuss these issues in the upcoming module

Innovation in Shipping on Februar 11 / 12

Probably the best MBA in Zurich - the Executive MBA of the Lorange Institute of Business

I furthermore have been interviewed by Raymond Fish of the magazine of the BBC Chartering Group about the challenges of the industry.

I would like to share this interview with you and hope to see you in February.

Until then I wish you always fair winds and following seas!

Peter Lorange


Former Lorange-Students est. Shipping Company

Dear reader

In a large article of the German news magazine „Der Spiegel“ I found a portrait of two young shipowners.

I was fascinated that today young people have the courage to become entrepreneurs in that tight market still; but even more was I fascinated by the fact that I knew them in person.

Last year the two entrepreneurs attended our study module on shipping, one was Alex Tebbe, the other one Lucius Bunk.

Lucius Bunk (left) and Alexander Tebbe, the owners of “Auerbach Schifffahrt”

The pictures was taken by Helge Stroemer,*)
author of the article in the SPIEGEL (click to read SPIEGEL online)

They are the owners of the German shipping company „Auerbach Schifffahrt“, a small boutique with three ships only. Did I say only?

That is not not meant in a pejorative sense, on the contrary. They have a clear strategy and invested in three general cargo vessels (contrary to container ships), transporting commodity such as wood or rice.

When I read the article, I was happy for two reasons:

As a former ship owner I am particularly happy, as I said, that two young professionals have the courage to start a shipping company.

But as the owner of a business school I am proud to say that they took the opportunity and invested their precious time in a study module on shipping at my institute.

To me this is a proof of how close we are to everyday’s business and how far away from theoretical cases.

Always fair winds and following seas!
Peter Lorange

*) Helge Stroemer is an independent journalist from Hamburg. He often writes about naval and martimes subjects. He has published the documentary “The Harbor never sleeps” on DVD.

The Leader is Key!

Dear reader

Leader rhymes with reader, and key to these articles are you as reader. Nevertheless, when it comes to entrepreneurial decisions, strong leadership is key. Leadership implies a focus on strategy, and strategy always implies that you must make a choice.

I had the great opportunity to talk about these strategic aspects with Raymond Fisch, Senior Vice President of  BBC Chartering & Logistic.

I invite you to read the article: Download it by clicking on the cover and share it with your friends.

Click the image to read

“(…) The leader is key! No question that a strong, insightful most charismatic leader also have significant ownership positions. The leadership tasks are however very different when we are contrasting market cycles driven strategies and niche shipping strategies. (…)” (from: Interview with Excellence)

The Gearbulk Living Case

Dear reader,

On Monday, June 20, we started our 2-week module on Shipping & Logistics Management that we ran in cooperation with BI Norwegian Business School. The course was taught by Prof. Douglas Macbeth from University of Southampton, Prof. Andy Shogan from Haas School of Business / Berkeley, Prof. Øystein Fjeldstad from BI, and myself.

The shipping crew (from left: Douglas, Øystein, Andrew, myself) – by the way: in real life we’re all more or less the same size…)

What makes teaching especially exciting this time is the fact that the 26 participants have travelled from virtually all over the world in order to join us at the Lorange Institute. When you have people from Oman, Singapore, Vietnam, Senegal, and Norway (just to mention a few) discussing and exchanging ideas on our campus in Horgen, then my vision of a global meeting-place has become reality.

The institute at twilight

While during daytime the participants gathered in the auditorium to learn more about Humanitarian Logistics, Risk Pooling Strategies, Niche Strategies, and Networked Organizations, in the evening they met in the group rooms to work on the solutions of the Living Case.

The ‘Gearbulk’ Living Case

As you might know, we do not work with ‘Harvard’ cases. All our case studies have a real background. We feel very proud that the Living Case for this module was provided by Gearbulk .

Gearbulk is an international shipping company providing high quality transportation services for various industrial sectors.  The company operates the world’s largest fleet of open hatch gantry craned vessels as well as open hatch jib craned vessels, specifically designed and equipped to transport unitized cargoes such as forest products, non-ferrous metals and steel.

Gearbulk is an international shipping company

Gearbulk is a leading carrier of unitized forest products and non-ferrous metals and operates the world’s largest fleet of open-hatch gantry craned vessels

Arthur English and Jacob Olsen from Gearbulk were came to the institute on Monday to brief the class about the details of the Living Case and participated in the discussion of the results with our participants at the end of the second week. I was very excited to contribute to that discussion, too!

As you might know, the Lorange Institute is one of the leading knowledge centers on Shipping. So, the next module on this topic is coming soon. On September 15-16, 2011 we will run a 2-day module on Shipping Markets. As there are still some free seats in that course you are very welcome to contact me in case you are interested in registering for it.

Yours, Peter Lorange