Ship chandelling solutions for a volatile market Mario Pais Angola Oceanbizz

The growth achieved here in one year could take five years in Europe.

Mario PAIS General Manager OCEANBIZZ

In Angola, a dynamic marine and logistics sector

March 8, 2021

Mario Pais, general manager of Oceanbizz, talks to The Energy Year about the evolution of Angola’s marine sector and how the company is positioning itself to compete in this changing environment. Oceanbizz provides marine supplies and services including ship chandelling, freight and forwarding, and logistics.

What are your expectations for Angola’s marine sector in 2021?
The marine sector is always surprising. I believe that 2021 will be a better year than 2020. We will see how the market stabilises after reacting to Covid-19. There will be challenges. Covid-19 has restricted operations worldwide across all sectors. Oil production is facing a lot of difficulties related to this.

How has the sector changed in the last five years?
Since the year 2000, we have seen a boom in Angola, and during the last five years there have been many new companies opening and closing. Either way, there is a market for everyone.
The last five years for Angola have been marked by crisis, and this has been particularly challenging for those competitors with large and expensive structures. On the other hand, there has also been a lot of development during the last five years. Even during 2020, we kept evolving due to our well-based structure and the continuous formation of our workforce.

How would you describe your company’s activities and strategic approach?
Our company is about five years old and we are 100% Angolan-owned. We’re a marine services provider for any type of service you can imagine. We don’t say no to anything. We want to be a one-stop shop for marine services and that is how we introduce ourselves to our clients.
We keep evolving month by month. We have a lot of projects and are always planning ahead for the objectives we want to accomplish. Our main focus in the beginning was logistics supply, mainly in ship chandelling and the supply of provisions and spare parts. Nowadays, it still is our main area of expertise, but we have also expanded our operations to several other areas such as bunkering, certification of instruments and others.
Our company is 100% local. We don’t have any expats among our staff. We only work with local people, and they are all highly trained. We’re always evolving our team, which has given us quite a boost.


How do you compete with companies that have a bigger structure?
We compete with our quality of service. The fact that you are a big company doesn’t mean that you have an ideal structure. With a smaller company structure, we are all synchronised with each other – from the stevedore to management. Everyone knows exactly what to do and who to communicate with. If you’re in a bigger company, you might not have this connection to your colleagues or to the company itself. We love our company and are dedicated to it. This is one of the advantages that allows us to compete with the bigger companies. But above all, our quality of service excels. This is our strong point.

What current clients and projects do you have?
We’re working with several oil service providers such as Seaways, Smart Tankers, Thor Industries, SVS and Sovereign Global, among others.

Which ports do you usually operate from?
We mostly operate from Luanda. It’s central and serves most of the country. Namibe is interesting due to the fishing grounds. Benguela could be a viable port for expanding Oceanbizz’s operations in the next 10-15 years. The country is still not ready to extensively develop outside of Luanda.

How do you want to grow in the next few years?
We tend to do things quite slowly and thoughtfully. We work calmly and steadily with 90% certainty. (Business can never be 100% certain.) We also have other projects ongoing. Oceanbizz is not only operating in oil and gas logistics; we are also in other sectors such as the processing industry and food distribution. We have many projects in 2021, but we always aim for steady growth.

Why is Angola a good place to set up business?
The country itself presents opportunities, not only in oil and gas. Africa is difficult, but the opportunities are strong and yield bigger results. This comes with hard work. You may work three times harder than you would in Europe. But the growth achieved here in one year could take five years in Europe. It’s about not only the margins, but the opportunities and the connections with certain clients. Investors will find people to be friendly here, and that everything becomes easier over time.

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