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31 October 2011

Growth in ‘SmartShipping’ initiatives but obstacles still exist

Singapore conference hears that companies need to move from compliance to innovation culture if they want to be successful.

London, UK, 31 October, 2011

THE current economic climate means that smart shipping practices will continue to thrive, but corporate inertia is the biggest obstacle to the success of any initiative in the coming months, the inaugural SmartShipping conference in Singapore was told this month.

The event co-hosted by ShipServ and NHST Events/Tradewinds saw over 170 delegates listen to a stellar cast of visionaries from the shipping industry on how the sector can become more efficient, reduce and control costs, improve performance and stay compliant.

The speakers and panellists were quick to agree that smart shipping is not a single, revolutionary idea or concept that is going to transform the industry – but is a combination of innovative thinking, technologies and processes combined with a greater understanding of the human element.

But the biggest stumbling block to any implementation is the internal culture of shipping companies and their suppliers.

Rajaish Bajpaee, CEO of Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said:

“Smart Shipping is about driving innovation and creating value for customers. Technology, processes, people are enablers, but the real driver is the mindset of creating value for customers and driving innovation.”

“Too many companies go down just the basic compliance to regulations route, but these only meet minimum standards and do not provide the required value for customers. Corporate leadership must drive a corporate ‘Smart DNA’ to add value,” he added.

Evidence of smart initiatives in practice were given by a variety of speakers in the  ‘Drivers of SmartShipping’ session including how container giant Seaspan has changed its vessel design through its SAVER programme and how shipbuilder Oshima Shipyard has developed its ECO-ship strategy.

Peter Jackson, Head of Newbuilding and Technology at Seaspan Ship Management said:

“The development of an internal capacity to think in an innovative way is more important than the product itself and it is vital that you build a good team to foster this.”

The importance of the humanware aspect and in particular the vital role of seafarers in any new step change was enforced in presentations by Doris Ho, CEO of A.Magsaysay Inc and Capt. Rajalingam Subramaniam, VP of Fleet Management at MISC.

“The most important element is ensuring that the HR strategy and corporate business strategy are aligned from conception,” said Ms Ho.

One important aspect of implementing smarter initiatives is that the measurement metrics must be clearly defined and explained to all internal stakeholders.

Case studies of fuel efficiency programmes recently undertaken were given by Rune Steen, president and CEO of Masterbulk and Jan Øivind Svardal, VP of project development for Grieg Shipping.

Providing all stakeholders with key metrics and full analysis is vital to get full management buy-in and keep project momentum,” said Mr Svardal.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority provided a subsidy to the Masterbulk fuel efficiency project under its Green Technology program and is working hard to foster an innovative culture.

Cheong Keng Soon, Director of the MPA’s maritime division, said:

“It is innovation that drives improvements in shipping and it is the catalyst for Smart Shipping.  The MPA strongly believes that innovation is crucial for the continued growth of the maritime industry.”The conference was preceded by a Gala dinner at the Asian Civilizations Museum attended by all the delegates.

“Being ‘smart’ is already part of the language of telecoms, IT and sourcing and we felt it was time to ask ‘in today’s business climate, what is smart shipping?’ What was clear from the conference sessions was that a wide cross section of owners and operators are now serious about smart shipping – putting real money and resources behind energy efficiency, smarter crews and technical innovation,” said conference director, Banu Kannu of NHST Events.

Paul Østergaard, CEO of co-hosts ShipServ concluded:

“The quality of speakers and the surrounding debate at dinner and during the conference highlights the value of a forum for discussing new initiatives and innovation aligned to business practice. It has been very clear over the course of the event that Smart Shipping is here to stay as companies look to gain advantages in the current climate.”

Ends

About SmartShipping

The SmartShipping event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore on October 17th and 18th.  Delegates to the conference included representatives from over 40 of the world’s leading shipowners, shipmanagers and shipyards.
Lloyd’s Register acted as strategic event partner and presented the findings of their SmartSurvey during the conference. Sponsors of the event included Atlas Ship Supply, RightShip, Bernard Schulte, MAN Diesel, Princeton Pharmacy, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Satellite Phone Store, AXS Marine, Eniram, HMS, New Course Shipping, Roodhart Marine Services, Ship Equip, Keppel Shipyard, Keppel Singmarine, Keppel Philippines Marine and World Ship Supplies.

About NHST Events

NHST Events produces lively, independent and interactive conferences where knowledge is gained, experiences shared and vital connections made. We consider the ability to adapt quickly and effectively to changing circumstances to be a vital component for every business today and our events offer crucial insight into interpreting market trends. Our clients are high-level company executives and expect a rewarding mixture of intelligent thought-leadership, practical guidance and all-important top level networking from each and every event.

We operate across a number of industry sectors closely aligned to our group publishing interests in shipping, energy and seafood. NHST Events AS was established in 2006 and is part of the Norwegian news organisation NHST Media Group. We operate in London, Oslo, Shanghai and Singapore.

About ShipServ

ShipServ helps marine and offshore buyers to find the best suppliers easily, trade efficiently and build trusted relationships. Our products and services bring buyers and suppliers together online, in print, on ship and in person. We offer the largest online trading platform, the most used supplier search engine, the leading ordering guide and the first online ad network. The high volumes of sourcing, trading and search data our community shares every day helps us deliver better results and more accurate information to both buyers and suppliers. No one facilitates the intelligent, trustworthy matching of demand and supply better than ShipServ. For more information visit www.shipserv.com.
Copyright © 2011 ShipServ Limited. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Media enquiries

Mark Warner mwarner@shipserv.com +44 203 051 0256
Banu Kannu banu.kannu@nhstevents.com +86 186 2136 0996

To see all ShipServ’s recent media releases in one place, please see: http://www.pitchengine.com/newsroom.php?id=1997

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