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tFriendly atmosphere, crews that are involved and Swedish flagged ships. Ingvar Lorensson, Donsötanks’ new CEO, believes that these things help a sense of well-being on ships.

”All of us working ashore with operations are seafarers. We know what it’s like to work on board,” he says.

The concepts of safety and quality are particularly important in tanker transport. Oil companies are sensitive about errors and shortcomings, and they hold their own stringent inspections when ships are put through a fine-tooth comb. In recent years, cargo owners have shown more interest in those working on board. Competence and job satisfaction is related to the risk of accidents, and requirements are set for good relations between management and crews.

”Oil companies have noticed that low staff turnover and good relations between land and sea reduce the number of accidents,” says Ingvar Lorensson. ”One oil company we work for even requires that a senior executive from the office ashore visits at least one ship a month.”

Donsötanks’ CEO believes that this way of working favours shipping companies like his, which tries to create a family atmosphere and involvement.

”Those who are interested can be included in decisions and influencing developments. We believe that personnel become more involved in this way.”

Ingvar Lorensson speaks from his own experience. He is qualified as a master and until 2004 he worked on board, later working full-time with operational and safety issues.

”For us in the office, the ships are at the centre of things. The crew on the ships know all about what happens on board. That is why we are so keen on keeping our crews and having the smallest possible turnover,” he says.

”To ensure that our personnel feel good, we try to satisfy their wishes,” says Ingvar Lorensson. All ships have access to the internet, which is especially appreciated by Filipinos on work contracts, who provide about half of the shipping company’s 150 employees on board.

”They work 6 months at a stretch, and for them it is very important to keep in touch with their families. But I also believe they like their work, and many of them have worked with us since the TAP system was introduced in 1997.”

Avoid turbulence

Like so many other Donsö inhabitants, Ingvar Lorensson has grown up with shipping. Since his father and neighbours were all in the industry, he had no hesitations when the time came to choose a career.

”I was born into this shipping company and I have a huge interest in ships. We have a lot of contact with the other tanker companies on the island, both socially and commercially. But not everything revolves around shipping – many people here are actively involved in sport and the church,” he says.

In May last year Ingvar Lorensson was appointed CEO of Donsötank, which now has seven ships. All of them flying the Swedish flag, which is to a large extent based on the attitude of the personnel.

”We have looked into the idea of changing flag, but it’s not only advantages. We know that some of our personnel want to work under the Swedish flag and they would not stay with us if we changed. If there is any turbulence among the personnel, that could affect safety and the cargo owners’ desire to engage us.

Many of those who work on board are from Donsö themselves, or from another island nearby.” According to Ingvar Lorensson, the strong maritime tradition in the southern archipelago of Gothenburg has a good chance of surviving.

”A new generation from out here is on the way into the shipping sector and many in the upcoming generations are taking maritime courses in Gothenburg. It is great that they want to take over after us.”

Linda Sundgren

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