Fernandes Maritime Consultants LLC Celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary with the Opening of an Office in Houston
“I too will something make, And joy in the making. . .” Robert Bridges, “I Love All Beauteous Things”, has long been an inspiration to me, and after Hurricane Katrina—and my fiftieth birthday—brought home to me that life is finite, I decided that it was time that I, too, something make, and on July 17, 2009, Fernandes Maritime Consultants LLC came into being based in New Orleans.
When the moment of truth emerged, I was honestly blown away, humbled by the number of messages of support that were backed by jobs in hand, and so it has been for these ten years. Today, when I look back at the 500 inspections we carry out each year, I think first of those who made it possible: my family first and foremost, my colleagues and mentors—especially Mr. James Dolan and the late Mr. Henk Van Hemmen of Martin, Ottaway— our friends, notably Capt. Max Hardberger, each of my colleagues, Capt. Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, Danut Iacobescu, Jasjit Jaswal, Capt. Tose Jacob, Capt. Max Hardberger, and Capt. Robert Ender, and not to forget, the glue that holds it all together, Karen Fernandes.
But, most importantly, I thank you, our clients, who gave me the confidence to form FMC so many years ago, and who’ve given us the chance during this exciting decade to prove ourselves and our ability to bring real-world problem-solving skills to our challenging profession.
As I look back at the decade that has flown by and ask myself what has kept us going in this volatile industry, I decided that FMC’s motto would be, “We’ll Make a Difference”. It has always been my philosophy—which is shared by all of my colleagues in FMC—that our task is not just to inspect and report, but to address the cause(s) of the problem. This often includes going beyond causation analysis into finding ways to resolve problems, and in that way FMC has committed itself to the philosophy that “We’ll Make a Difference”.
As one example, the Mississippi River has been experiencing record high river conditions this year, with a record number of ships experiencing, among others, fouled anchors. Of course, this often happens at the most inopportune time, when a vessel has to depart, for example, from a loading buoy where overstaying means the vessel incurs demurrage of up to $9,000 an hour! Getting a crane barge to raise the anchor often means a 24-hour or more wait, translating to around $300,000 a day between demurrage, salvage, tugboats and pilots. However, we at FMC have been able to use our experience at sea and in the Mississippi River to bring a “quick response” to stuck anchors, with notable successes in releasing and raising stuck anchors that otherwise would have resulted in huge losses.
And now as we look at the decade ahead, buoyed by our experiences here in the Mississippi River and our office in Mobile, Alabama, we have decided to open an office in Houston. We’ve found that a majority of vessels that call at the Mississippi River also call at Houston or another port in Texas, so, better to serve these vessels’ interests, we are opening an office at Houston.
Our Houston address is: 11811 East Fwy # 550, Houston, TX 77029
Tel: (24-Hr) (832) 888-0344; Mobile: (504) 982-1234
In conclusion, I am humbled by the opportunity that my mentors, my colleagues, our clients, and this great country have given me and my family. I am proud that my colleagues and I have been able to use this opportunity to serve the shipping community and our valued clients in ways that we believe bring both experience and innovative thinking to the ever-changing challenges of ocean transport. As Fernandes Maritime Consultants LLC begins its second decade of service, we promise to bring this same level of competence and dedication to each and every assignment, and I thank you again for your support.