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Inchcape Americas Gears Up for Growth With New CEO

Inchcape
Harun Duzgoren is Regional CEO for the Americas at Inchcape Shipping Services

Published Apr 16, 2024 2:25 PM by Inchcape Shipping Services

Harun Duzgoren stepped up as Inchcape Shipping Services' new Regional CEO for the Americas in September 2023. Here he explains his priorities in terms of leadership and strategic expansion – 'always putting customers at the center of everything we do'.

In 2023, Harun Duzgoren had already been in Miami for seven years working as CCO of Subsea Global Solutions, a PE-backed, global market leader in underwater services. Having initiated and led both organic and inorganic growth of the company over that time, he was looking for a new challenge and to deploy his experience in a larger organization. Inchcape has been a very familiar name to him from his days in ship management as well as subsea operations around the world.

"The role was a fantastic opportunity in a truly global operation, plus the it promised a high degree of influence in deciding the trajectory of the business. I've worked in most of the global shipping hubs but never with Central and South America. That was the cherry on cake."

Duzgoren started as a deck officer before going ashore with V.Ships where he held several leadership roles. "Throughout my career at V.Group, I have been fortunate to be responsible for the management of over 100 ships of all types and sizes, working with crews from different nationalities, and living variously in the UK, Monaco, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Istanbul, and Dubai. It was a great schooling."


Continental reach

His responsibilities at Inchcape now span 71 offices across the Americas and four regional operations centers (ROCs) employing almost 450 people. "We cover 456 ports with 19,500 port calls every year. That breaks down to 7,104 Crew Logistics Services (CLS) calls, 5,578 tanker calls, 2,245 liner calls, 1,189 bulk calls, 743 cruise calls, and 230 offshore calls. So we're pretty busy!"

The company offers the full range of port agency and marine services to all market sectors and sub-sectors, including dry bulk, tankers, cruise, liners, offshore, government and NGO, and ship managers. "We're one of three global regions alongside EMEA and APAC, and although each has its own profit and loss base, we all operate under a global quality framework backed by strict governance and compliance. With our unmatched network of owned offices and partner agents we can support our customers in 85% of the world's ports," Duzgoren says.

First things first
Since his arrival, his immediate priority has been to build full alignment with Inchcape's 'One Team, One Goal' culture across the entire region. "We have built an extremely knowledgeable team of staff and partners to facilitate efficient and cost-effective port calls."

He stresses Inchcape's core focus on continuous improvement. "Our shared vision, mission, and values boil down to one key principle – providing services of consistent high quality wherever customers need us. My task is to drive home the right behaviors, based on our core values, teamwork, and a sense of accountability and ownership. We just need to connect our people better and present a more unified front to the customer, thus ensuring the same great ISS experience anywhere they go."

Expansion focus
Strategic growth will come through action on value-based pricing, upselling, cross-selling, new business lines and products, and winning new accounts by focusing on the entire voyage underscored by a comprehensive service range and global network. "We want to capture more market share in the US and expand in key territories including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Peru, Panama, and Mexico. Segment-wise we are hunting new business particularly in offshore and government services beyond just gray (military) ships. We aim to double down on charterers and tankers, grow on dry-bulk, while expanding on the owner/operator side with quality principals," he says. Inorganic growth such as strategic acquisitions, joint ventures, and greenfielding projects are all on the agenda, with a few already in progress.

Security in the spotlight
In terms of new services, the big one at the moment is Inchcape's portfolio of Security Surveys in partnership with Ambrey. "These include citadel inspections, ship security assessments (SSA), anti-piracy ship security assessments (APSSA), ship security plan (SSP) reviews, and port security assessments (PSA) as per ISPS. We also have the full gamut of other surveys and inspections (S&I) available, including bunker quantity and quality surveys, and cargo handling and stowage surveys," Duzgoren says.

Future-proofing 
Action on value-based pricing is particularly important to safeguard the business, he adds, countering an unwelcome trend that has dogged the agency business in recent years. "There has been a lack of unity across the industry to prevent a race to the bottom on pricing as agency services have become increasingly commoditized. My counsel is that if you buy services on the cheap, you get what you pay for. Our approach is opposite: quality, consistency, and value for money."

 

Duzgoren visiting Inchcape’s Central America team in Panama

 

Digital transformation
The ultimate goal of Inchcape's heavy investment in its new digital platform is to improve quality of life for employees, increase productivity, and meet the requirements of customers who can rely on easy-to-use and transparent systems that improve operational and financial efficiency. 

People are key in a service business, he stresses. "Ensuring we have the right people in the right seats with the opportunity and room to grow and flourish is paramount. Other priorities include enhancing the onboarding process and training of new staff, training key people in change management while communicating our ambitious transformation agenda in a timely manner. Most of all we will leverage our established processes and group support to eliminate bottlenecks."

 

Inside the Port from Inchcape Shipping Services on Vimeo.

 

Safety tops agenda
Duzgoren values being at the heart of shipping and different cultures. "There's no room for complacency, so the job keeps me focused. I put a lot of store on ownership, humility, accountability, and upholding the safety of our people, clients, and the environment."

One of his greatest professional learnings so far has been "to build resilience by being prepared to take risks, to fail, dust yourself off and keep going". And his career philosophy in a nutshell? "Constantly outperform yourself. Work hard and smart at the same time. Build relationships. Give without expecting anything back. Train, coach, and mentor. It always pays off in the long run."

'Total port solutions'
In conclusion, Duzgoren says Inchcape's overarching goal is to become a more versatile and complete support platform for principals, offering total port solutions. "Future-proofing our position is also about focusing on the total voyage, smart vendor management, and the overall customer experience, not just on single ports. We are committed to exceeding customers' expectations in what can be a challenging region, so it's an exciting time."

 

This article is sponsored by Inchape Shipping Services. For addition information please visit them online at www.iss-shipping.com

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.