What’s the most important things shipping companies are asking third party managers today? Splash investigates.
Yesterday our shipmanagement 2021 preview focused on crew welfare. Today, the world’s top managers discuss other key items that their clients are demanding this year.
As ever, shipmanagers are tasked with providing their services at highly competitive prices.
More for less and better
As Mark O’Neil, president of Columbia Shipmanagement, neatly describes it: “Our clients are quite rightly demanding optimisation across all aspects of the service provided. More for less, and more for less and better.”
The strive for optimisation cannot come at the expense of quality and that is the challenge, O’Neil says. That challenge can only be overcome by motivated human endeavour enhanced by the latest technology and digitalised processes, the Columbia boss suggests.
The new managers and operators will be data-driven, agile and with a full handle on all operational feedback from the ship
Frank Coles has similar views. Owners are tapping managers for digital solutions to cap costs.
“All owners have been consumed with the crew change costs, but at the same time many have questions on performance analysis tools,” says the head of Wallem Group. “The more progressive owners are pushing for solutions that not only address voyage planning and optimisation but more advanced real time performance analysis and analytics.”
Coles, a self-styled shipping disruptor, says he can see a data-driven future for the industry.
“As in any industry in the flip stage of the disruption, we have the blindfolds on some and eyes wide open on others,” Coles says. “The new managers and operators will be data-driven, agile and with a full handle on all operational feedback from the ship. The smart clients are starting to ask for this now, some remain sceptical. The blindfolds will likely drive full speed into the wall.”
“Clients want, and have always wanted, a high quality service at a price point that provides a platform for their respective bottom lines,” says Rajesh Unni, the Synergy founder echoing comments made by O’Neil earlier.
Our clients are quite rightly demanding optimisation across all aspects of the service provided
Shipmanagers increasingly need to position themselves as “technical thought partners” on challenges and opportunities such as sustainability development goals, digitalisation and diversification, Unni reckons. This means being a constant source of innovation.
The areas of digitalisation and the move to carbon neutrality are high on the agenda for clients of Rene Kofod-Olsen and his team at V.Group in 2021 with many seeing the need for platform systems and expertise that will help differentiate them from competitors by bringing more value to their business.
Kofod-Olsen also predicts more owners post-Covid-19 will reassess their priorities and consider if outsourcing some, or all of their operation, could be beneficial through the economies of scale and flexibility this could deliver.
“Decarbonisation is on everyone’s agenda,” says Carl Schou, CEO and president of Wilhelmsen Ship Management. “Emissions and environment will be among key themes spilling over from 2020 into 2021.”
Kishore Rajvanshy, managing director of Fleet Management, sums up much of what his peers have been discussing by highlighting the top three themes clients are discussing with him at the moment.
“In 2021,” he says, “we expect clients to be asking us the following: given the freight market volatility how do we best manage their rising costs; how can we help them chart a course to meet IMO 2030 and 2050 emission reduction goals; and what is our digitisation road map and how will it help owners meet their efficiency targets.
Look out for Splash’s maritime tech 2021 preview publishing on Monday.