Mr. Fulvio Carlini
First, Fulvio, please tell us how you ended up living in Monaco. I believe you are Italian, correct? Could you please elaborate on your career in shipping and how you acquired skills in chartering?
I am indeed Italian, and I spent all my life-based in Italy, in between Savona, my hometown, and Genoa. I have always been travelling a lot, visiting places and meeting people, and most of my activities are based on personal knowledge.
Five years ago, I had an opportunity to move to Monaco, which is a good shipping place, very international which I like. I also enjoy the advantage of being close to Italy, where I still have relatives, and this gave me another important opportunity, i.e. to leave my Italian company, Multi Marine Services in Genoa, to the full management of my son Simone, which gave him the possibility to grow on his own and out of my shadow. It worked well. After all this time, I can say I enjoy working and living here in Monaco, even if not all that shines is gold, and that’s something we must always remember! This move has also given me the chance to meet new contacts and work in a different environment, meeting with different people in the business, and developing my career in shipping.
I started working as a shipping agent with my father when I was just over twenty and after few years, I decided to become a shipbroker, a goal I achieved after working and studying quite a lot. First, I became a member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers in London thanks to my passing the seven exams in three years, whilst I was of course working. Later I obtained the qualification of Fellow of the Institute. I kept working developing good skills in short sea traffic, with steel and project cargo being my specialities. Eventually, I became the Chairman of the Shipbrokers Committee in FONASBA (www.fonasba.com), the World Federation of Ship Brokers and Agents, which allows me to be in contact with many colleagues and to participate in works with other important associations like BIMCO, where I have a seat in the Documentary Committee.
Who owns Marine Chartering Services and is Monaco a good place for shipping business?
Marine Chartering Services is owned by me and my wife Gabriella, who is a shipbroker as well. The company was created after a few months we moved here. As I said before, Monaco is a good place for shipping business, as it gives a lot of contacts because there are many ship owners based here, which means very good access to the industry. In Monaco, we also have conferences and meetings, which helps facilitate meeting people. Also let us not forget, Monaco is a place that people like and are willing to visit for one or more of the many events happening here.
Tell us about your team and could you share a couple of the success stories that you have had in chartering?
Our team is very small. Gabriella and I have been working all our lives in this business and thanks to the many contacts we have around the world, we have clients almost everywhere. Just to give some examples, we chartered with COSCO one of the first ships that sailed from China to Europe (France specifically) with a big parcel of windmills. We passed via the Arctic route, which shortened the trip by almost a week. We chartered several ships that moved a big windmill plant from northern Finland to Safi, in Morocco. Further, we also moved several TRAFOs around Europe and pieces of machinery from Uruguay to Colombia for a big French Construction group. We are now also pursuing a possible activity connected with the building of the Peninsula in front of Monaco.
Our day-to-day life sees us very busy with the management of Conti Carwil Ltd, a company we own with the Conti7 group from Antwerp, which provides liner services from the Mediterranean, Portugal and Antwerp to Morocco, which is a very important destination country for us.
Are you currently part of any networks or global organisations? If so, why?
As I mentioned before we are BIMCO members, as well as members of the Monaco Chamber of Shipping and, of course, of CLC Projects! It is important to be part of such organisations to be kept updated on rules and regulations, as well as to provide our contributions to their work.
Personal relationships are also paramount for you, I believe. How do you go about getting such relationships?
As I said before, a personal relationship is almost 100% of our business. People don’t choose a shipbroker for economic reasons, after all, we all have almost the same costs as commission which is paid to us by the ship owners, but because people know us. Confidence is the most important factor in our job. Professionalism is basic, people need shipbrokers because they need to have professionals who can to handle their business properly and safely.
Monaco is famous for rich people, James Bond, etc, but is it also a place for ‘normal people’, so to speak? Also, is there a de facto shipping business or community established in Monaco?
Monaco is famous as a place for rich people, first because of its fiscal terms, which allow residents to not pay personal taxes. But to be a resident means to have a place to live, and Monaco is also the most expensive place on Earth for housing costs. This means that for ‘normal people’ as we are, almost all the fiscal advantage we have is eroded by the cost of living, i.e. renting an apartment (to buy is impossible unless you are fabulously rich). There are many people like us in Monaco, which helps to create a shipping community that meet and gather together quite regularly in the Propeller Club, or in a bar in Fontvieille where almost all of us end up quite often at the end of a busy working day.
What do you believe is the strength of Marine Chartering Services?
Our strength is the capacity to look for the right carrier in each specific case, thanks to the huge wealth of experience and the great network of contacts we have been able to build. We are here to serve and to give quick answers to people who are looking for professional Shipbrokers in any kind of dry cargo.
What’s the best way to reach you?