Singapore: A trio of former Maersk executives have formed a consultancy in which they promise to deliver serious efficiencies to clients within the container sector. Container Transport International Consultancy was founded last year by Andy Lane in Singapore, Torben Galst in Copenhagen and Charles Moret in Singapore.
Lane, who helped create the Daily Maersk container service among his list of accolades in his 25 years with Maersk, is a big believer in network optimisation, one of the key service offerings of his consultancy and something liners have been poor at implementing over the years. As well as network optimsation CTI Consultancy offers process optimisation advice both from a commercial as well as operational perspective.
“It’s all about looking at processes and people, and working out if it genuinely has the support of the top people,” Lane says, relating how Maersk’s strong recent financial results are the result of 10 years of changes at the Danish organisation.
There’s a three step way for process optimisation, according to Lane. First, is how lines go about acquiring assets, timing the buy so that ships are bought cheap. Secondly, is how they then go about designing their network. Finally, it is all about how they actually operate the network.
“Anyone who can get those three things right stands to at least break even,” Lane reckons.
Lane’s time at Maersk also included five years with APM Terminals and he has also helped Hutchison with their Panama terminals since leaving Maersk. His knowledge of terminal operations leads him to believe that globally port operators could be doing a great deal more to improve efficiency. All the talk of port congestion around the world, especially in California could be avoided, he claims.
Lane’s research shows that container quay cranes are used only 60% of the time. “There’s so much redundant capacity,” he says.
“Ships are not going to get more reliable unless we change tack,” he urges.
One suggestion is to not allow ships arriving later than scheduled to jump the queue at ports. “These late ships are a virus,” he says, something that can spread and ruin others’ timetables. They should be handled in the 40% of downtime for the cranes mentioned above.
Lane calls for enhanced cooperation, communication and planning between lines and ports to avoid future congestion.