German shipowner Vega-Reederei and India's Su-Nav Group have teamed up to manage boxships, tankers and bulkers.
The alliance creates a combined fleet of 35 ships, and the intention is to add 50 more technically managed vessels over the next year.
The companies said they want to offer a new "angle" for owners and institutional investors.
"The goal is to offer these customers a competitive pricing model with the advantage of a highly personalised service between two partners with complementary perspectives," they said.
The Brugge family-run Vega, founded in 1919 in Hamburg, has its own crewing subsidiary in the Philippines and China. The venture is also promising access to seafarers in Poland.
Su-Nav is led by chief executive Sachit Sahoonja, who was previously managing director of V.Ships Ship Management India.
Management will be cloud-based, with real-time reporting, the companies said.
Su-Nav managing director Rajat Mehta told TradeWinds that the cooperation came about due to the company's work in Germany.
"Su-Nav is managing all vessels of Hamburg Bulk Carriers (HBC) and Sachit has been visiting Hamburg meeting other clients. We were introduced to Vega through HBC and we started talking," he said.
Mehta said talks are now taking place to add more ships.
"We intend to market aggressively in the European and Asian markets - we have an excellent model for shipowners and institutional investors who are looking for personalised service instead of a large shipmanager," he said.
And the two sides are open to other companies joining the venture, particularly on the tanker side, Mehta said.
Scale is vital
"Institutional investors and owners will benefit substantially from the economies of scale of this fleet," the companies added.
The partners plan to work on expanding their shipmanagement and crewing offices in China as part of the drive to add 50 more ships.
Vega controls two handysize bulkers, a supramax, two product tankers and feeder containerships, while Su-Nav manages 16 tankers and bulkers.
The Indian company is headquartered in Chennai and has offices in Singapore, Poland and China. Su-Nav has its maritime academy in Chennai.
Consolidation on the rise
Consolidation in the shipmanagement sector has picked up pace in recent months, partly due to owners chasing efficiency by shifting in-house operations to third-party providers.
Italy's Premuda established a joint venture with Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) to consolidate domestic management services, while V.Group has expanded its managed fleet in deals with Danish bulker owner Falcon Maritime Group and Greek boxship owner Costamare.
Norwegian shipmanager OSM Maritime has also been very active, acquiring John Fredrisken-controlled Frontline and Golden Ocean Group's in-house shipmanagement company SeaTeam Management.
Also in 2020, OSM has taken over the management of GC Rieber's six offshore ships, and added 37 vessels from the fleet of Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Skipsrederi.