Page 16: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Nov/Dec 2018)

Regulatory & Environmental Review

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Digitalization is paving the way for strategic maritime e-procurement

By Kim Skaarup he shipping industry is experiencing seismic chal- face mounting pressure to streamline their operations, curb costs, lenges in today’s market; the turbulent economy of the and maximize effciencies to optimize value across every facet of last few years created overcapacity issues across the their organization.

Tindustry, from which it is struggling to recover. 2018 opened with some small murmurs of optimism for market bal- OPTIMIZATION VIA DIGITALIZATION ance within the container liner sector by the end of the year, but This is not to say that areas for optimization are lacking. In pro- recent analyses of the market indicate this optimism is dwindling. curement for instance, there is ample opportunity for organizations

Tanker markets are equally struggling to cope with unpredictable to switch from transactional procurement – a sporadic, price-per- oil demand, as well as battling increasingly negative public opin- product approach largely driven by individual intuition – to an ion with attitudes towards fossil fuels on a downward spiral. overarching, strategic supply and procurement ecosystem driven by

Furthermore, upcoming regulations limiting the sulphur con- data intelligence, which creates cost and time effciencies and deliv- tent of marine fuels to 0.5% from January 2020, and more broad- ers value beyond the basic price of the product. Such a procurement ly the debate around the reduction of carbon emissions from the model is certainly achievable, but the realization of full potential is shipping industry as a whole, are upending the entire marine fuels largely reliant on the generation of organized data, which can only market and casting shadows over the long-accepted norms of the be created through a purpose built e-procurement platform.

industry, from vessel operations to naval architecture and beyond. The last 12 months alone have seen signifcant advances in

As such, the traditionally cyclical industry has been thrown digitalization, connectivity and the application of data across the into fux, and its transformation into a commercially and environ- maritime sector. Over the course of the next year and beyond, we mentally sustainable beast will not come without cost. To remain are likely to see more developments; however, there are a number competitive throughout this journey, shipowners and managers of challenges to overcome before digitalization can fully fourish.

CREDIT: AdobeStock © Shinonome Production 16 Maritime Logistics Professional November/December 2018 | |

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.