ONS 2016: Hoover Ferguson Group provides global reach with local service
Since the previous ONS two years ago, the global oil price has dropped more than $50, causing a noticeable effect on the overall activity in the North Sea sector. The whole industry has subsequently made changes in attempts to reduce costs to a competitive level. Hoover Container Solutions has worked diligently during this time by continuing to offer customers the best products, technology and services at competitive pricing.
It has now been announced that Hoover Container Solutions plans to merge with two other leading global providers of container solution products in the energy, petrochemical and general industrial markets. Ferguson Group and CHEP Catalyst & Chemical Containers will join with Hoover to form joint venture, Hoover Ferguson Group (HFG).
The new entity brings together three industry-leading service providers and the combined Hoover Ferguson Group business will offer leading products and solutions through a global network of more than 70 service centers and 550 expert team members. HFG will have a leading market presence in every major energy basin and petrochemical manufacturing center, with more than 110,000 rental units worldwide. HFG will also be a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of a comprehensive range of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and offshore workspace and accommodation modules in addition to specialized custom containers.
This merger enables all three companies to expand complementary products and service offerings, while also broadening relationships with new and existing customers. HFG will offer units on a broader scale on the North Sea coastline with new bases at Bergen and Kristiansund, where Ferguson already has established bases. Plans for further expansion to Norske Havet and the Barent Sea are anticipated.
The merger will add a large quantity of units to the company’s existing fleet and open its new Enviro-Pak compactors (and more) to a larger customer base via a Norwegian footprint. Hoover’s asset management, liquid level monitoring, vehicle and document storage system, Liquitrac, will extend a wide service to joint customers and support the markets initiative with EPIMs LogiticsHub, offering more effective operations through an integrated system encompassing GPS, RFID, barcodes and more.
Current North Sea activity
Pricing pressure in the North Sea market continues as customers are looking for improved efficiency in both daily operations and new business activities. Companies are consistently seeking ways to consolidate their vendors and outsource products. HFG’s global growth will provide an increased range of products and services demanded by customers.
In the North Sea region, Hoover’s Norway management team has been working on a global project to standardize the worldwide Hoover rental fleet design and procurement of cargo carrying units, chemical tanks and related offshore equipment. Once complete, the company will offer a global library of all DNV 2.7-1 type approvals and designs that specifically meet the requirements and standards for each geographical market it serves. This directive will also serve as the basis for selecting partners to manufacture HFG products, which will result in lower costs.
HFG continues to allocate dedicated attention to the offshore sector in order to develop a range of innovative mud skips. A large amount of by-product in the form of oil or water-based mud is generated in the process of offshore drilling, which must be disposed of. HFG has developed a patented mud skip for use in handling this specific cuttings waste offshore and is deploying it in various applications throughout the North Sea.
The mud skip has been designed with an inventive sliding lid mechanism, rather than the more conventional two-hinge latch design. The sliding lid minimizes the risks involved in operating and working with mud skips in a harsh offshore environments. There is no risk of trapping or crushing hands when lifting the lid if it falls, making them safer than the latch-designed skips. Throughout the entire process, there is no need for employees to stand or walk on top of the mud skips to access them; they can operate the skips from the rig floor, eliminating the risks of falls.
Building local connections
The company’s motto is to provide a ‘global reach with local service,’ so it is critical to build strong, positive relationships with the local community wherever new facilities are opened. HFG strives to familiarize itself with local knowledge while simultaneously absorbing elements of the local flavor and culture, hiring a workforce drawn from the local community, and acquiring already-established local businesses to lay the foundation of any new regional entity.
In the UK, Hoover did this via the acquisition of Container Co. (Aberdeen) in March 2014. By joining forces with Container Co., Hoover benefitted by drawing upon more than 25 years’ worth of experience and business relationships already established by Container Co. within the UK market for container solutions. Similarly, in making inroads in Norway, Hoover acquired Consult Supply AS, a Stavanger, Norway-based offshore container provider, in December 2012. The acquisition strengthened Hoover’s reach into the Norwegian market, and it marked the company’s first foray into the North Sea.
HFG has recently opened a new facility in Aberdeen, which forms the footprint for HFG’s new expansion as it supplies a rental fleet of tanks and cargo and waste equipment along with reconditioning, tank cleaning and trans loading services. This facility, along with HFG’s other global facilities, serve to support the growth of the company’s global network and its services to the offshore sector.
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