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The future of chartering

New chartering platforms with bold transformative claims have been making plenty of headlines over the last couple of years. To assess the reality over the hype Maritime CEO brought an owner, two start-ups and shipping futurist together to understand what is actually needed to drive the business of chartering forward.

The latest episode of the Dualog-sponsored Maritime CEO Tech Leader Series powered by Ocean Technologies Group started in Hong Kong with Tabitha Logan who oversees chartering for dry bulk owner Asia Maritime Pacific as well as being the co-founder of maritime start-up pitch competition, The Captain’s Table.

Logan said a majority of shipowners felt Covid-19 had fast-tracked digitalisation.

On new chartering tech, Logan said some leaders of the pack had emerged.

Some shipowners have tried to develop their own platforms, others have tapped start-ups while a third route has been for shipowners to become involved in accelerator programmes, Logan explained.

Other companies have taken a wait-and-see approach to see what everyone else is doing, something Logan said was an error as they risked being left behind.

“There has been some hesitation from the industry because we are slightly old fashioned, every one likes to do it their own way, work with their own brokers,” Logan said.

“Having these platforms you can make decisions very quickly,” Logan said, pointing out that all the new readily available data – at a cost – gives those willing to embrace it an edge.

While there are already a whole host of platforms that exist to make the lives of those in chartering easier such as email passing software, voyage calculators, weather analytics, Logan has a growing interest in voyage optimisation software and how to combine everything under one roof.

“Everyone knows that shipowning companies tend to be quite siloed – you have an operations department, you have a chartering department, you have a technical department,” Logan explained. “Information tends not to flow freely between those three departments, not because anyone is not willing to share it, but because it’s an old-fashioned system that has been set up.”

As a chartering manager Logan wants to have access to all the data that her tech and ops teams have to be able to make informed real time decisions about her ship.

“As a chartering manager,” Logan said, “when I fix my ship I want to know how she is performing; is she over-consuming, under-consuming, what the weather conditions are like?”

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