Paul Mazzarulli is the Baltic Exchange’s newly appointed representative in the USA. Baltic Briefing meets him to find out how he hopes to expand the Exchange’s presence in the region.
Full of energy, Paul Mazzarulli says that he’s relishing his latest challenge: representing the Baltic Exchange in the USA.
A representative in the USA is a first for the Baltic, and one which Mazzarulli believes will be of huge benefit to US headquartered companies in the chartering and trading hubs of Houston and Connecticut in particular.
“The Baltic’s showing a real commitment to the US and I think that the Baltic offers so much more than the American market currently realises,” says Paul Mazzarulli.
Whilst many companies will use the Baltic Exchange’s data, many are unaware of the practical benefits of the disputes resolution and escrow services, as well as the importance of having an influence on the routes reported and vessel descriptions used.
“These are changing times for the shipping industry and I think it’s vital that the Baltic offers a forum for US members. The 2020 sulphur cap, ballast water management regulations and blockchain are all big challenges and opportunities for an industry which is currently going through a generational shift,” says Paul Mazzarulli.
From a commercial point of view, the 2020 sulphur cap is a major issue for the shipbroking industry to address.
“Will it lead to a two-tiered VLCC market split between scrubbed and eco-ships and how do chartering desks account for this?” asks the new Baltic representative. “The Baltic clearly has a big role to play here and I think that it’s vital that the US firms have a voice in this debate,” he adds.
The Baltic will be holding a Baltic US Advisory Council (BUSAC) in Houston on 25 October, at which members will be able to share their views and suggest solutions.
The Baltic’s showing a real commitment to the US and I think that the Baltic offers so much more than the American market currently realises
Whilst the towns of Stamford, Westport and Greenwich in Connecticut have traditionally been at the centre of the American chartering and trading industry, Houston is fast emerging as an ever-more important chartering hub. Strategically located, with low taxes and in the Central Time Zone, Houston is the main US office a range of international shipbroking and shipping companies including Braemar ACM, Clarksons, Howe Robinson and SSY as well as established Connecticut shops like MJLF and Weber. Over the past five years Houston has seen strong economic growth and a net growth in population as ever-more international and US companies choose to base themselves in Texas.
According to Mazzarulli, the American international shipping community is split between Houston and Connecticut. Whilst the East Coast has its own well-established shipping organisations such as YSP New York and the Connecticut Maritime Association which facilitate great networking, in Houston there is “an absence of professional camaraderie.”
He believes that the Baltic has a great opportunity in Houston to bring the disparate shipping and trading community together through its networking events.
The 49-year-old Baltic Exchange representative says that he’s already spent 47 years in the oil business. His late father founded the oil brokerage PVM Oil Associates and he remembers the telex machine spitting out information at home and the excitement of ships and their cargoes moving around the world.
After seven years in the market analysis & consulting group at PVM Oil, Paul graduated from Pace University School of Law and then joined the credit and contract group at Sempra Energy Trading. He became a Baltic Exchange member when joined MJLF in 2003 and led their FFA brokerage effort, and was also the Chairman of the FFA Brokers’ Association (Tankers) at the Baltic. He subsequently joined Noble Group to manage its clean oil operations; between 2006 and 2010 he established and managed the biofuels and freight desks at Evolution Markets in New York.
In short, Paul Mazzarulli has lived and breathed tankers all his life and looks forward to building the Baltic’s presence.
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