Keeping Australia’s Shipping Industry Afloat with Engage Marine

Engage Marine is a rapidly growing business based in Hub Southern Cross, helping keep Australia’s large and essential marine imports and exports running smoothly.

Hub talked to Engage Marine’s Chief Commercial Officer, Rob Chignell, about the company’s journey and their growth since joining Hub Southern Cross.

Tell us about Engage Marine

Engage Marine provides marine services to the shipping industry and port community, organising skilled labour, operations and planning to assist shipping to come in our ports.

The shipping industry is not always visible nationally – most people don’t see the reality of it in their day-to-day lives, but there’s a huge amount of shipping coming in and out of ports. Those are our clients and our audience. With 90% of trade passing through the ports, they’re a key bit of infrastructure for Australia’s economy.

Engage Marine typically exports iron ore in the Northwest, but Australia essentially imports everything that’s not produced here, which is a big market. Typically our business is focused on large resource companies like Chevron 30, CMA, and ANL.

Engage Marine was born of an organisation called Westug, who had a 20-year client relationship with Rio-Tinto. 2 years ago, Westug’s board began to pursue a growth strategy for the company which led to the creation of Engage Marine to grow in wider Australia. As Engage Marine, we’ve broadened our service offering to attract other clients.

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Where are you based?

Our HQ is soon moving to join the rest of the business in Hub Southern Cross – we have operational sites in convenient locations for our team, but we’re focusing on Melbourne to operate our corporate centre.

We began at Hub Southern Cross 18 months ago in a 2 person outfit, and we’ve since grown to an 8 person office, and will shortly move into 10 person office.

It’s been a gradual process as we continue growing the business, and it’s worked well at Hub. Our needs change and developed rapidly and the need for more people and the latest move is prompted by making a conscious decision to move the finance department

What brought you to Hub Australia and coworking?

When we were looking to move to our second office, we considered an alternate standalone, but the team was keen to stay here. We find the experience good and hassle-free, and it works well for our needs.

At Hub there isn’t a need for us to sort out all the logistics, maintenance, utilities and all that – we have a business trying to grow pretty rapidly, so we’ve got a lot of other things to do. By working in Hub, it’s less to worry about and the community vibe is good which is important.

The flexibility of Hub’s coworking space was part of the reason we chose to come here in the first place.
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We were setting off on a journey and needed an environment that would allow us to evolve, and Hub’s vibe and ethos are very much what we’re trying to promote. When we started out on our journey we wanted to find somewhere that would reflect the type of organisation we wanted to be and help us attract the type of people that we want.

Engage Marine has a national footprint and desire to expand nationally, but basing ourselves in Melbourne helps us be ready the future becoming Pan-Australian – Melbourne’s well located to service us nationally.

We also have some of our team dispersed across Australia, so they transit in and out of Melbourne. Hub Southern Cross has the airport bus across the road and makes that commute as easy as possible.

To find out more about Engage Marine, head to their website.

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