Case study - Ocean Trawlers Europe Ltd: Trade credit insurance for the food sector
How we help to de-risk Ocean Trawlers’ current trade and support their expansion of new products and markets
At a glance
Ocean Trawlers Europe Ltd
To de-risk trade and develop new markets.
Ocean Trawler benefitted from our flexible and prompt approach to increases in credit limits.
How we made it happen:
Through close working relationships and an understanding of their business aims, operation and market.
The underwriters at Atradius understand what we are trying to achieve as a business and do everything they can to help us.
We have been supplying Ocean Trawlers with credit insurance for more than a decade and work closely with their broker in the UK, Credit Risk Solutions (CRS). Dennis Bray, Director & General Manager, Ocean Trawlers Europe, has described us as part of their strategic team and acknowledged that our work forms part of their business process.
When it comes to credit insurance, Ocean Trawlers have two main aims; to de-risk trade and develop and expand new markets.
“Atradius Credit Insurance is a key component of our credit management process”, explained Dennis Bray.
“Although we have strong internal systems and operational controls for our sales teams that work well, credit insurance helps us ensure these systems are robust and that our business is not exposed to undue risk.
“In addition, credit insurance enables us to test markets – both in terms of testing a new product within an established market and building relationships with potential customers in new geographies.”
"If we need to discuss an application in more detail, we normally call our broker who will be in contact with the underwriter. We also sometimes chat things through directly with the underwriters. It is clear to us that they really understand our business and make every effort to help us grow and succeed”, said Dennis Bray.
“At least once a year, we take part in a joint meeting with Atradius and CRS,” he added. “I find these meetings really valuable, as they help in developing our interpersonal relationships and enhance their understanding of our business and our strategic direction.”
Ocean Trawlers has not had to make any substantial claims. However, the minor claims they have made over the past five years have been described as “hassle-free”. They include a debt from a customer who went into liquidation that was paid quickly and easily.
Atradius Credit Insurance is used to support Ocean Trawlers’ sales strategy, which has been very successful in a range of markets over the past few years. For example, one strategic aim was to develop fish fillet sales in the UK and Europe. Over the past three years, the company has more than doubled sales in this market.
Ocean Trawlers benefitted from our flexible and prompt approach to increases in credit limits. Most recently this has included doubling the credit limit for one of their UK customers that wanted to expand sales of a different product for six months. The temporary increase in the credit limit enabled Ocean Trawlers to make those sales and to help their customer achieve their goals.
Another example of a temporary increase in a credit limit applied to a Dutch customer who wanted to expand their stock holding prior to a quota deadline. We were able to grant this extension promptly, enabling Ocean Trawlers to benefit from the sales prior to the deadline.
Ocean Trawlers has benefitted from our understanding of international trade at a local level. Businesses in Togo, for example, traditionally operate with letters of credit. After we liaised directly with a customer and granted a credit limit, Ocean Trawlers is now able to offer flexible terms to their customer.
About Ocean Trawlers
Ocean Trawlers is the world’s largest supplier of North Atlantic cod and haddock. Established in Norway in 1997, the business is now headquartered in Hong Kong and serves customers worldwide with a range of fish, including halibut, Alaska Pollock, redfish, mackerel and herring.
Ocean Trawlers sources products from responsible fisheries and holds Marine Stewardship Council certification for Atlantic cod, haddock and Russian Alaska Pollock fisheries. It is currently the only fish supplier offering Atlantic cod loins and fillet portions fresh-frozen at sea.
To better serve their customers worldwide, Ocean Trawlers operates sales offices in the UK, Germany and USA in addition to their presence in Hong Kong.
In the UK, via their distributors, Ocean Trawlers supply accounts for approximately 20% of the cod and haddock in the country’s fish and chip shops, and 12% of the chilled cod and haddock in the supermarkets.