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Dryad Maritime: Beyond security

Portsmouth: Dryad Maritime is branching out. What started out as a dedicated maritime intelligence company is now offering a far wider range of services. The tagline of the firm reflects this change, now describing the UK outfit as a maritime operations company.
Graeme Brooks, ceo, explains the rationale for the switch. “Piracy is not our clients’ top priority these days,” he says.
Dryad is positioning itself as a voyage management service provider, helping charterers, shipowners, managers and Masters to plan, monitor and optimise vessel and fleet performance. For the past year Dryad has been conducting live trials of its new Voyage Efficiency Service (VES), designed to trim costs in voyage planning and help clients  to comply with the key IMO global regulation change in 2015, MARPOL Annex VI.
All activity takes place from the company’s operations room on the south coast of the UK, something Brooks describes as “akin to an air traffic control centre”.
“The challenge for a client is making decisions based on a massive volume of sometimes conflicting data,” Brooks says. “Dryad, as an integrated operations management firm, takes clients’ voyage details and we make the pain go away. We save time and money through efficiency routing.”
The company manages routing options data including currents, weather, bunker fuel usage and risk all in one.
Despite this repositioning of the company, Brooks is quick to stress, “We are not running away from our roots in the safety and security side of the business, instead we are augmenting our core with additional synergistic services”
However, Dryad has a different point of view on the issue of how to handle piracy to many of its peers.
“For companies to simply continue to put security guards onboard every vessel is like continually taking antibiotics,” he says, adding: “Our approach is to first look at the threat and the ship’s vulnerability and then prescribe a solution accordingly.”
As with the entire suite of services now offered by Dryad, the key to handling piracy, Brooks says, is to assess the risk before managing it.
Up next for Dryad is the opening of a Singapore office, due likely by the start of next year. [18/06/14]

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