Page 45: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2011)

Maritime Risk

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Warwick Norman, CEO, Rightship, “A vessel, operated properly and maintained to a high standard over its lifetime can be characterized as a good risk. The owner can’t change the fact that the ship was involved in casualties or detained in the past, or has had three name, flag & class changes, etc. What he can demonstrate is current performance.”

SHIP VETTING algorithm based on those safety param- eters to come up with our vetting sys- tem.” Cargill came to the party 4 years later. Significantly, RightShip is now owned in equal shares between three organizations, who represent less than 50 percent of RightShip’s vetting activ- ity. Says RightShip CEO Warwick

Norman, “We have a healthy spread of third party clients.”


RightShip offers online evaluations that support business decisions about the charter of ships. For an annual fee, clients get unlimited 24-hour access to the web-based system. Beyond the obvious advantages of a system that incorporates the largest swath of marine data available on the market today, the

RightShip platform gives clients the competitive and risk management advantages of an in-house vetting serv- ice, without the associated costs.

Speaking to RightShip’s business model, Norman explains, “We bill on a subscription basis, based on historical vetting numbers, built around the client’s particular requirements; vetting criteria, volume of work, etc. For small- er clients, they are using the system, of course, but also tapping into in-house expertise. So, when we look at a partic- ular company’s prospective vessel, we are also wearing that customer’s hat. We are unique in addition to being a Web- based service, there’s also a human being that comes as a part of that serv- ice. The more the client uses the human side, the more that variable comprises of the vetting cost.”

When every business decision ulti- mately comes down to price, the pro- hibitive cost of running a standalone, in- house vetting system drives many char- terers to look for better value elsewhere.

An internal system involves IT costs and the overhead of employing dozens of technical personnel. For smaller mid- size trading houses, the corporate budg- et can be even tighter. Nevertheless,

RightShip’s CEO says that there is more to the decision than just cost alone. Echoing that sentiment,

RightShip client and Manager of

International Marine Logistics for

Huntsman Corporation Amy Hark says, “RightShip was instrumental in helping us to implement a robust and thorough vetting practice, globally, through the use of their web based application which facilitates the process but even more importantly, is supported by expe- rienced Ship Captains reviewing each vessel.”

In-house data can become stovepiped instead of becoming part of a wider pool of data. Within the RightShip serv- er, a customer has the ability to store information that can be accessed enter- prise-wide. Properly genericized, data (using strict protocols) can be shared from a thousand different places, and with a full range of clients. In this way, the charterer fixing just ten ships annu- ally gets virtually the same quality (and breadth) of information available to another client doing 300 times that vol- ume. Warwick Norman insists, “Vetting is an experienced based system, so if you are only doing ten per year, it is going to take a long time to get the kid of data you need to make the proper comparisons.


A typical vetting report takes the form of a 1 to 5 “star” rating system. Three or more tables, each with multiple criteria, are used with points given for various benchmarks. As one of the world’s largest users of port state control data,

RightShip can rate a vessel based on company, operator, high risk flag, third party bloc, age, Class Society, P&I Club and a myriad of other variables. The

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.