Page 50: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2017)
The Workboat Edition
Image: © 2017 Crowley Maritime Corporation
Crowley strategically invests in marine tranport as- sets, including tankers (above) to support domestic oil transport, and LNG-fueled ConRo ships to keep ahead of environmental regulation.
our capabilities, bringing new scale and headlines, Crowley insists that to be ef- trick is turning that data into actionable would severely reduce and in some cases capability on the domestic transportation fective any step change starts internally information to whichever end the com- replace the human element onboard ves- side,” said Crowley. “While we see the with its own people. “When we bring pany seeks, from ef? ciency to safety to sels. As will other technology investiga- energy sector being downsized, we see in new technology, much effort is spent pro? tability. tion, Crowley is intrigued but not yet the potential for government business to around change management, to have em- “We see the data coming at us from a convinced on autonomy.
increase.” ployees understand why we are making number of directions, whether it’s from “It is hard to visualize what this is go- the change,” he said. “You need to em- the companies building our engines or ing to be and how long it will take to get
Disruptors brace new technologies, and understand AIS information or container tracking, there,” he said.
In recent years many sectors of the lo- if you don’t head in this direction, there the list goes on forever,” said Crowley. “There is no question that the technol- gistics business has been turned upside are consequences. Culture change and “What’s missing is the integration of all ogy is there, and it’s only going to get down with increasing competition from people are the start.” of that information and presentation of it better. When you’re on the water things technology ‘disruptors,’ tech-driven so- Ultimately, Crowley views people and to customers in a way in which they get can and do go wrong that require human lutions from the Amazon’s, Google’s tech as inextricably linked to realize full more value.” With so many disperse sys- intervention. But I think that autonomy and Uber’s of the world which have ef- investment and ef? ciency value. “It’s re- tems tackling the integration portion is will only serve to improve safety, im- fectively rewritten the ‘business as usu- ally easy to buy the new technology, it’s arguably the hardest, yet most important prove capability of vessels in terms of al’ playbook in many sectors. When talk much harder to get something out of it,” piece of the puzzle. ef? ciency. There will be many cost ef? - of technology disruption turns to Tom Crowley said. “We are putting a lot more The challenge of technology integra- ciencies realized as autonomy continues
Crowley, he approaches it with his stan- effort into the ‘getting something out of tion is magni? ed within the walls of a to develop.” dard even-keeled pragmatism. it’ part. At the end of the day Amazon is 125-year-old organization as diverse The big question on autonomy is not “I think it is incumbent upon us to pro- in the business of moving goods from a Crowley. “It is a much more dif? cult really about replacing crews, rather how vide the right transport solution for our the point of manufacture to the point of scenario to introduce new platforms and it in all of its forms may help to make the customers, to understand our markets, to use; that’s the business we’re in, that’s integrate them across all units to work job of mariners more safe and ef? cient. understand our customers,” said Crow- where we want to understand our cus- properly together and ultimately deliver “Our biggest challenge onboard vessels ley. “If others want to come in, that’s tomer’s needs.” value to the customer,” said Crowley. with respect to our crews is we have great, that’s the way the world works. The deluge of data does not stop shore had to give them so many more admin-
Our job is to do a better job. We’ve in- side, and in fact the proliferation of istrative duties onboard, and we haven’t
The Data Binge vested a lot in company culture, to get Hand-in-hand with market disruption helping crews onboard to better man- spent enough time making their life our employees to think differently on the is the evolution of data management age administrative duties has been, and more simple. This (topic) is a top prior- way in which they should do things, to and autonomy on the water and, in fact, remains, the biggest challenge for Crow- ity for me, but the question remains: will think differently about the way the com- throughout the entire logistics chain. It ley. With that the conversation naturally autonomy help or will it make it more of pany should do things.” is little secret that managers in every in- shifts to the burgeoning trials of autono- an administrative burden? At this point
So while the new tech might grab the dustry are deluged with information; the my on the waterfront, technologies that it’s hard to tell.” 50 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • NOVEMBER 2017
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