Future of Shipping Poll returns
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Would a Google Ship be beta?
Will shipping ever catch up with its automotive and airline counterparts in terms of harnessing information technology?
Shipping is years behind its automotive and airline cousins in harnessing information technology and urgent investment is required, especially as the pool of well qualified seafarers gets ever tighter, according to one of the industry’s most famous analysts.
Speaking at a breakfast in Hong Kong organised by our sister title, SinoShip, and sponsored by Rightship and DVB Bank, Dr Martin Stopford, president of Clarkson Research Services, went so far as to suggest shipping needs to mirror the self-driving Google Car (pictured).
“We are so old fashioned we don't even realise just how far behind we are with the latest technology,” Stopford said.
The lack of qualified crew is one of the most pressing issues facing the industry, he noted.
“You’ve got 58,000 deepsea ships, that’s 58,000 qualified chief engineers, it’s tough to get them today and there’s a feeling that in 10 years time you are on a real loser there,” he said.
What he proposed is to look at how owners can “deskill” onboard jobs.
“If you can lay your hands on some expertise it is much better to have it in the office and be doing the difficult, technical stuff from the office, not on the ship,” he said, noting that this is exactly what the car industry has done.
“Take your BMW into the garage,” he said, “and they don't get out a spanner, they plug it into the computer, download all the information and the computer tells them what circuit board to plug in.”
Stopford hit out at owners for failing to invest properly in technical expertise.
“I think there is a lot to be done on the technical side in rebuilding the expertise which in 50 years of cutting costs most companies have taken out,” he said, pointing out just how few shipping firms have technical directors these days.
As far ... More>>