Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers inducts SA stalwart

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2024


Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers chairman, Durand Naidoo, welcomes South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents CEO, Peter Besnard, as an honorary fellow.  Source: ICS

South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents (Saasoa) CEO Peter Besnard has been inducted as an honorary fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS).

ICS chairman and CEO of Bunker Services, Durand Naidoo, who was one of three fellows of the institute to nominate Besnard for the honour, said the former Evergreen senior vice president had made an "enduring impact" on the maritime sector. Besnard's career in maritime started in the 1970s and has spanned several decades and roles.

"Peter Besnard epitomises the essence of maritime excellence, his illustrious career spanning decades and marked by unwavering dedication to the industry. As CEO of Saasoa, his exemplary leadership and profound expertise have set a standard for all," Naidoo said.

Besnard started his career with Safcor as a boarding clerk and went on to lead Evergreen Ships Agency SA as senior vice president.

"Beyond his professional realm, Peter's active engagement in committees and his commitment to fitness underscore his holistic approach to life and work," Naidoo said.

Honorary membership is open to those who have made a significant contribution to commercial shipping and have been nominated by at least three fellows. It is the highest honour bestowed by the institute.

Besnard has held various roles within the industry that have covered every aspect of the agency business, be it from the office, overseeing port side operations, cargo handling and senior managerial functions, resulting in the development of an intimate understanding of every aspect of agency business. He was appointed CEO of Saasoa in 2013.

"In the early part of my career I attempted to undertake the (maritime) course through Natal Technikon (now Durban University of Technology) and there were insufficient applicants.

I then applied for a second year and the same thing happened - and I never got around to it," Besnard said.

"I eventually got my LBE (learn by experience)."

He said he had learned early in his career from a ship's captain that "shipping is big money" and industry professionals must be cautious to avoid making a costly mistake.

"It has been a long journey because you can never say you are an expert or know everything because every day you learn something new.

"When I was advised I had been nominated for the fellowship it was a mix of surprise and the cherry on the top," Besnard said.

He actively participates in various committees and working groups such as the Transport Education and Training Authority, the Ports Consultative Committee, and the National Ports Consultative Council. He is known for always being willing to share his valuable knowledge and experience and for mentoring and advising industry newcomers.

Outside of business, Besnard is a fitness fanatic and begins each day with a 5am gym session, Monday to Sunday. He is a dedicated family man and in his downtime, loves nothing more than supporting his grandson from the side of the sports field or watching his beloved Manchester United.

Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers inducts SA stalwart | Freight News