It's fascinating to learn more about Bahri Dry Bulk's strategic vision and how it aligns with the ambitious goals of Saudi Vision 2030. Chartering Manager Sarah Al Qahtani's insights, as shared in the interview, provide a clear picture of the company's commitment to transforming the kingdom into a pivotal regional and global player. The emphasis on securing the supply chain within the kingdom reflects a holistic approach to economic development and stability.

The plan is to increase market share in terms of aggregate cargo-carrying capacity per annum and to expand and diversify the fleet, demonstrating a forward-thinking strategy. This expansion not only signifies economic growth for Bahri Dry Bulk but also positions the company as a key player in the global shipping industry.

It's evident that Bahri Dry Bulk is actively shaping its role in the global supply chain, focusing on safety, efficiency, and growth. This aligns well with the broader goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and its dedication to being a proactive force in regional and international maritime trade.

We would like to introduce Sarah Al Qahtani, Chartering Manager at Bahri Dry Bulk, to Robban Assafina readers.
I completed all my academic years in the UAE and I graduated from the American University of Sharjah, majoring in International Relations. I was introduced to Bahri via a Talent Graduate Development Program (GDP) and joined the Commercial and Operations department at Bahri Dry Bulk. In the beginning, I assumed the role of a Senior Analyst in Operations, overseeing key responsibilities such as fleet management, voyage planning, and optimization. Simultaneously, I underwent a training at Clarksons in the dry cargo division. Coupled with training courses on shipping investment, operations, and chartering from the Baltic Exchange, Lloyds Register, DNV, and others.

I have recently assumed the role of Chartering Manager for Bulk Carriers at Bahri Dry Bulk. In this capacity, I oversee the commercial facets of the business unit, including chartering vessels and formulating a strategic, efficient, and profitable employment process. Beyond this, my responsibilities extend to negotiating contracts, cultivating new business opportunities, and managing projects and business relationships.


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How did you discover your passion in maritime?
Joining Bahri Dry Bulk, led by President Eng. Mohammed Bin Battal, has been the turning point of my career journey, as this is where I discovered my passion for the maritime industry. The dry bulk industry stands as the lifeblood of the global economy through which major goods traverse our interconnected world. The dynamic nature of maritime transportation and logistics captivated my interest as I realized the profound role and impact one can have in contributing to the enhancement of the efficiency, reliability, and security of supply chains worldwide.

So what is a chartering and what are your visions?
As a Chartering Manager at Bahri, I embrace the role of a responsible shipowner,  overseeing the commercial chartering and operations of our Bulk carriers at sea. My focus lies in maximizing fleet revenue, minimizing operational costs, and ensuring an elevated level of customer satisfaction. This entails negotiating and securing charter agreements with various stakeholders, optimizing fleet voyages, and ensuring the seamless movement of goods in accordance with international standards.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have always been at the forefront of maritime shipping and logistics on a regional and global scale. Today, I envision a narrative of even greater triumphs supported by our CEO, Eng. Ahmed Al Subaey, who has charted the way forward to build upon our remarkable achievements and script the next chapter of Bahri's extraordinary journey. 

Tell us about your participation as speaker and moderator at the Smart Maritime Network Conference in Dubai 2023.
I’ve had immense pleasure and a great opportunity to speak and moderate at the Smart Maritime Network Conference in Dubai, wherein I showcased Bahri’s Digitalization Journey from a Ship owner’s and Ship Manager’s viewpoints, along with my colleague from Bahri Ship Management, Jaideep Vohra.  We understand the magnitude of Bahri’s contribution to global supply chains, and Bahri’s ability to inspire and encourage the language of change and collaboration. Therefore, we wanted to be an active participant to raise awareness and help transform the entire maritime space, harness this potential of connected and automated systems , synergize across different domains within Bahri and the outside world, and take advantage of the possible improvements in efficiency, safety, quality, and our environment footprint. 


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What do the maritime awards, like the latest TMS Bulk Shipping Company of the Year award, mean to a global player such as Bahri?
We aspire to be a leading global dry bulk transportation and logistics provider through innovation and setting high standards in the industry. Awards validate our commitment to excellence and industry leadership, representing recognition for standing out in a highly competitive field and we'll continue raising the bar and prioritizing the well-being of our people, streamlining operations, and meeting global transportation and logistics needs.

As a Saudi woman, how do you see Saudi Arabia as a country of great developments and progress taking place on all aspects, in light of Saudi Vision 2030?
The vision has promoted a dynamic and forward-thinking environment cascaded from a visionary leader, his Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to a visionary nation. There’s been a shift wherein individuals have not only embraced a heightened sense of ambition but have also cultivated their personal visions within the broader mission of the national aspiration. Such shift affirms that the entire nation is advancing commendably in its pursuit of Vision 2030, and beyond. 

Bahri Dry Bulk has recently reflagged its vessels. What message does this convey?
We have strived to reinforce the Kingdom’s established position in the maritime sector, by completing the reflagging of all our vessels to the Saudi Flag. The induction of our fleet into the National maritime fleet of Saudi Arabia has enhanced Bahri’s global ranking in the International Maritime Organization’s rank list and increased its the size and efficiency, thus achieving sustainability in the Kingdom’s supply chains.

Are there any plans to expand the capabilities of the fleet?
We are embarking on an ambitious journey, expanding and diversifying our fleet, cargo book, and market reach. Our objective is to capture the Kingdom’s inbound and outbound cargoes, securing vital supply chains. Our Mega projects in the Kingdom are amplifying the demand for dry bulk commodities. Therefore, we strategically invested in various vessel segments and identified key cargo segments with high growth potential. This strategic move has yielded success, highlighted by our recent acquisition of two cutting-edge Eco and young Ultramax vessels allowing us to maximize our competitiveness. 

How can 2023 be assessed? And what are Bahri Dry Bulk’s plans for 2024?
Bahri Dry Bulk successfully navigated 2023's challenging market conditions with its adaptable business model via strategic fleet positioning and optimized operational efficiency, ensuring alignment with future demands. We are establishing ourselves as a premier global provider of dry bulk transportation, achieved through innovation, adherence to industry-leading standards, continual expansion, and diversification across various geographies and commodities.

Robban Assafina, Issue 89, Jan./ Feb. 2024, Maritime Host, pg. 75


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Issue 89 of Robban Assafina

(Jan./ Feb. 2024)


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