London: Maritime and offshore e-marketplace ShipServ’s 2012 Internet and Social Media Use in Shipping Survey shows that the industry, arguably one of the slowest to fully embrace the internet, is becoming more savvy with the World Wide Web.
The third annual survey looks at digital use in the shipping industry amongst leading shipowners, shipmanagers and major suppliers with the aim of building an understanding of how trends in business-to-business e-commerce and social media are impacting the maritime sector.
The results of this year’s survey show a continued general trend to increased internet activity through e-commerce with over 25% of companies surveyed now completing all their purchasing activity – both sourcing and buying – over the internet – an increase of 10% from 2011.
But a lack of understanding still exists about the use of the internet in the shipping industry and alarmingly over 40% of companies are not measuring the success of their activity in either an online or offline capacity.
The use of social media platforms continues to grow with over 50% respondents increasing their use in last 12 months, but a quarter of respondents surveyed said they currently didn’t use social media in a business capacity.
LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for shipping companies and suppliers with 65% of respondents having a company profile, 45% of respondents said senior management had little or no interest in social media.
Mark Warner, business development director, ShipServ, said: “The use of the internet as a business tool to either advertise, source or buy maritime products and services has continued to grow as more companies become more familiar with using online as a purchasing medium. However, it is noticeable from the survey that not all companies are actually measuring this activity, which seems bizarre given that analytical tools such as web analytics and purpose built dashboards such as ShipServ’s Supplier Insight Report can provide real insight into actual return on investment.”
On the growth of social media Warner added: “In past surveys, social media has often been described as a ‘waste of time’ but the last year has seen a real shift in opinion and this has been helped by noticeable campaigns by leading shipping companies such as Maersk and Teekay. However, there are still sceptics over the usefulness of social media in the industry and this is highlighted by a lack of support from senior management.”
The full results of the survey are now available as an infographic and can be downloaded at http://www.shipserv.com/info/wp-content/uploads/online_survey_2012.png. [06/11/12]