This year Hong Kong maritime stalwart Chellaram Shipping celebrates being in business for 45 years.

It, therefore, came as a surprise that the celebratory party it held to mark the occasion took place in Singapore.

The reason was simple, Chellaram director and chief executive Vishal Khurana told TradeWinds. With Hong Kong travel restrictions only just lifted, the company deemed it more convenient for its foreign guests to meet in Singapore, where many of the company’s maritime partners are based.

Chellaram can trace its roots back to Madras, India, where in 1916 the late Kishinchand Chellaram established a textile business that would later grow into an international trading company.

When first set up in Hong Kong in 1979, Chellaram operated three UK-built newbuildings. Today the company, which is still owned by the Chellaram family, operates a 19-strong fleet of handysize, ultramax and kamsarmax bulk carriers with a total capacity of just over 1m dwt. Two more ultramaxes are on order.

Khurana said that decarbonisation is now the company’s main focus area. It is actively looking at and evaluating various alternative fuels and green technologies.

When asked what green fuel or technology he thought showed the most promise, Khurana said the jury was still out.

“There are a lot of options being developed and we are following them all very closely,” he said.

The Chellaram fleet, he added, is a young one with an average age of three years and is, therefore, very efficient. The company prefers to keep its fleet young, selling vessels once they reach the 10-year mark.