Niels Juncker: a leader in marine cleaning sector backs the Blue MBA

Environment, Health and Safety, Insight, Maritime Education and Training, News, Oceanology, Person Profiles, Pollution, Safety and Security — By on August 21, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Niels Juncker

Searching for possibilities in a $1bn-plus market, supporting the growing focus on safe chemicals and clean environment, and helping the shipping industry in its fight for survival; taking the latest chem-tech and quality equipment to a business area which values its traditions yet is open to players aspiring to leadership.

These are the missions of Niels Juncker, a member of the Class of 2019 of the Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics at Copenhagen Business School, who is adamant that marine cleaning must always be carried out with scrupulous care and oversight.

Mr Juncker is general manager for sales and new business at Navadan, a global supplier of marine cleaning chemicals for tank and bulk vessels and of cleaning equipment. His responsibilities include operation, supervision, analysis of markets, process optimisation, procurement and project management.  Navadan is based at Karlslunde, Denmark.

His senior management portfolio is typical of most of the participants in what is known as the Blue MBA, a two-year part-time programme of high standing in the maritime world. His enrolment in the course is of a piece with the priority he has given throughout his career to his ongoing education in skills and leadership.

Mr Juncker said: “The importance of competent advice on marine cleaning is often underestimated. The vessel operator has many daily tasks and marine cleaning is an area where experts must be consulted. The major risks that shipowners need to avoid are:

*Wrong chemicals or insufficient guidelines – bringing huge risk for crew during handling, risk of environmental pollution, extra cost for additional use of chemicals and finally a vessel which will not be approved for the next cargo in time.

*Insufficient personal protective equipment or wrong labels – crew must follow all instructions from suppliers. A trusted supplier will always guarantee that safety data sheet and labels are correct compared to the delivered chemicals.

*Delays in delivery – the shipowner needs to calculate the risk of delay when doing business with the chemical supplier.

*Damage to vessel – a cleaning chemical must be balanced in being effective against cargo residues yet avoid damage to a ship’s coating or paint. Navadan has worked hard to solve this issue and received approval from all major manufacturers of coating.”

Niels Juncker


Mr Juncker summarised: “Navadan has more than 25 years of expertise which every day saves our customers from many problems and – finally – costs. For instance, we come across (less serious) suppliers, where products are not handled and documented correctly, which endangers the safety of crew and other handlers.”

He warned that certain chemicals developed 20 years ago were still on market. “The more responsible shipowners will pay a little extra to ensure that cleaning chemicals do not harm our environment and – even more important – do not present a risk to crew during use.

“For product tankers the regulations have always been more strict and only IMO approved chemicals must be used. On dry bulk vessels the regulations lag behind. Navadan’s own chemists guarantee that latest knowledge is implemented into the products and is available to our customers.”

He underlined: “Correct equipment is more important than ever before. Safety of crew and environment must be observed. Responsible shipowners care about the Corporate Social Responsibility profile and need to trust that delivered equipment does the job. Many shipowners realise that the cheapest equipment delivered from local suppliers ends up being the most expensive solution when equipment breaks down during a cleaning operation. Navadan devotes almost 50 % of our profit towards developing our product line, because we see great potential when we strengthen our customers’ position in their market through good advice and expertly updated solutions.”

He said that in marine cleaning, “the market has for too many years been dominated by a few larger suppliers. Today companies like Navadan can cover all needs within cleaning of vessels when it comes to expertise, chemicals and equipment. And in contrast to the (still) dominating companies, we focus exclusively on the cleaning task.

“Navadan supplies most of the largest shipping companies in the world, but still some tend to take supply from ‘the big boys’ because of old manuals, fixed procedures, out-of-date purchase systems or just because it seems a safe choice. Navadan customers are among the most successful shipping companies, because they have realised that there is a choice – and money to earn if they make the right choice.”

Before joining Navadan in 2016, Mr Juncker worked in optimising vessel efficiency, fuel saving and online performance monitoring.

He earlier had operations manager positions with AC Ørssleffs Eftf, a company operating a dozen multipurpose vessels in global commerce; Clipper Elite Carriers ; AP Møller/Maersk Line; and looking after a fleet of 35 vessels at Unifeeder.

He says that Navadan has enjoyed growth rates of 15-25 % yearly “supported by smart customers.” He assesses the market for cleaning operations including equipment as probably larger than $1bn – “and Navadan has just begun taking what we believe should be our full part!”

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