HARBOUR craft operator Tian San Shipping has come full circle in its 40-year history.
While it started out employing an all-Singaporean crew, when fewer locals joined the industry in the 1990s, Tian San had to look to foreign hands to man their fleet. At one point, their crew was about 90 per cent foreign.
Now, says Tian San's business development manager Mark Ko, it is returning more to its Singaporean roots, although it is no longer as easy as it used to be to recruit urbanite Singaporeans to man their vessels.
"The harbour craft industry is a bit different. A lot of Singaporeans have lost their sea legs. Those who go back to this industry may find themselves not used to it and may get seasick," he points out. "So there's that curve we have to overcome as well."