Bob Yu, Founder & CEO, Qingdao Evergreen Maritime
(Article originally published in July/Aug 2016 edition.)
The world’s leading supplier of marine airbags has come a long way since its founding 10 years ago.
By Jack O’Connell
What are marine airbags?
Marine airbags are sausage-shaped pneumatic rollers, widely used in ship launching, ship docking, and heavy lift and salvage operations. Economical and efficient, they are renowned for their strength, versatility and ease of use.
Did Evergreen Maritime invent the marine airbag?
No, we cannot claim that distinction, but they are a Chinese invention. The first marine airbags were used more than thirty years ago at a Chinese shipyard to launch a small tank barge. Our contribution has been to create a whole new generation of marine airbags that have three times the performance and safety characteristics of previous versions by employing new structural designs and manufacturing techniques.
What other products does Evergreen Maritime make?
We produce pneumatic fenders, foam fenders and buoys in addition to our flagship product, marine airbags.
Is Evergreen the leading provider of these products in China?
We are the leading provider of airbags in China and elsewhere and have a good track record in supplying fenders to global clients. We are the appointed fender supplier for the Chinese Navy, CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation), CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corp.) and others.
You founded the company just 10 years ago. What was your inspiration in doing so?
Before founding Evergreen Maritime I ran a trading company that sold marine airbags and fenders to global clients. During that time I was frequently disappointed with the output of certain factories and thought we could do a better job, so I founded our own factory, Qingdao Evergreen Maritime.
How many offices and employees are there now?
After ten years of hard work we now have more than 300 employees, two subsidiary companies and six overseas offices.
Why did you choose the name “Evergreen”?
I LOVE evergreen plants. In my hometown it snows heavily in winter. Only evergreens can survive. They mean courage and tenacity to me.
How did you get the name “Bob”?
The pronunciation of Bob is similar to my Chinese name.
What’s a typical day like for you?
I get up early and go to bed early. I work from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and take a nap around noon if possible. After work I power off my mobile phone and enjoy my family life completely. I like a simple, regular life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Gardening. I have a yard full of trees, flowers and vegetables. I take care of them when I am free. Plants never cheat. They will show you the result of all the effort you have put into them, not tomorrow but one day finally.
Jack O’Connell is Senior Editor of the magazine.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.