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Cruise still counts – The SMS Group benefits from port calls in Southampton total service offering and ride on squads help drive revenues

Tuesday, 24th November 2020

The SMS Group relocated their Southampton base just eight weeks ago; the business has proudly become the only ship repairer based within the Port of Southampton.  

Its ‘total service’ offering has helped drive Cruise ship revenues even in these challenging times; supporting a dozen vessels in one month.

The SMS Group has an enviable reputation as specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the Commercial Marine, Defence, Cruise and Superyachts sectors.

The business has recently moved to Western Avenue, within ABP Southampton’s footprint adjacent the King George V drydock.  The move has helped ensure Cruise related revenue.    
Nicholas Warren, the firm’s Commercial Director, comments: “Cruise is so important to our business.

“Dan Lockyer and his team lead our fit out and marine refurbishment business. Ben Rowe and Dave Chaffers support the ships’ engineering requirements and from the same site in Southampton our sister company Global Services manages the vessels’ procurement and supplies need.”

He goes on to say: “The provision of ‘Ride On Squads’ across both our engineering business and out fit business has enabled us to capitalise on our unique position in Southampton.  
“Short, sharp port calls have allowed us to demob and remob quickly, and efficiently, to the benefit of all our Cruise customers; and our focus on longer-term relationships and the ‘life time’ value of customers ensures that we price correctly and deliver the very best service.  
“This month alone we’ve attended over a dozen ships within the port.”

Dan Lockyer, Head of Interiors, comments: “Changes in the Cruise sector have presented an obvious challenge, but we, in-line with the Carnival Corporation chief executive Arnold Donald, remain ‘cautiously optimistic’.  

“Our pipeline is very strong, our network growing daily, and perhaps more importantly our forward order book looks genuinely healthy.  
“A big win for us has been the ‘Ride On Squads’. They’re lower revenue but allow our customers to make the most of both their budgets and capacity onboard.  

“Our short-term future is focussed on smaller packages of work, but very soon we hope to see a meaningful recovery; both ‘universal testing’ and vaccines will ensure the industry recovers quickly.”

The SMS Group will be investing in both the fabrication workshop and the new mechanical workshop. The site will also benefit from new signage and further investment in the offices.  

The additional capacity will be added to the footprint for the fit out and marine refurbishment team too.

The location will improve the company’s quayside presence and its mobility with the city’s port infrastructure.

> Ship Repairers

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