Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. of businessman Dennis Uy is in talks with possible foreign strategic partners to help the local shipping industry survive the coronavirus pandemic.
Chryss Alfonsus Damuy, president and chief executive of Chelsea Logistics, said the company held talks with possible partners with operations overseas to bring value to the business considering their wide experience in shipping.
Damuy said these discussions were still at the initial stages and the company would disclose further details once plans became more definite.
“We are overly cautious on this matter as we wanted to enter into a partnership that will not only bring in financial investments, but also bring in expertise, best practices and value to the overall business,” Damuy said.
He said the company’s significant growth in the first two months of the year was interrupted by the COVID-19 global pandemic which led to the lockdown in the third week of March.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost all industries all over the world and we are not an exception. The shipping industry has been severely affected by the ECQ and GCQ, and unfortunately this coincided with the industry’s peak season,”Damuy said.
Damuy said that in response, Chelsea Logistics immediately revisited future strategies, including strengthening its balance sheet and aggressive fixed asset management by slashing planned capital expenditures and disposing of aging and underperforming vessels.
“To scale up work efficiencies, the Group is now undergoing workforce rationalization to restructure support functions and right-size existing workforce,” he said.
“The Chelsea Group is working aggressively with the goal of achieving business resiliency, to be able to adjust the business to the “new normal” and protect its market share in the process during this crisis,” Damuy said.
Damuy said that for upcoming infrastructure projects such as the Davao Sasa Port and Airport Modernization projects, the company was expecting revenues to come from shares in terminal fees, airport concessions, cargo handling and stevedoring and docking charges.
Damuy said Chelsea Logistics was also considering synergies with existing services in tankering, tugboat assist and freight services.
The company earlier said it would spend P49 billion for the modernization of Davao International Airport and P16 billion for Davao Sasa Port.