MARITIME TECHNOLOGIES

OPERATIONAL TOOLS

Front-line executives and their managers are challenged daily at their intensely demanding jobs. Our ops tools are designed to be intuitive and cut to the chase to reduce workload. These low-cost SaaS solutions meet flexibility, security and compliance requirements, integrate and synthesize disparate data sources into a scalable analytics engine that is cohesive with other systems for future integrations.

Below are 3 examples: each for a ship-operator, a shipping agent, and a port services provider.

COS is the only system specifically tailored for the chemical tanker chartering operations. Its modular plugins give an operator flexibility to pay for only what is needed: Voyage Ops Manager;  e-DA Manager; Guided Voy Simulator; Auto-Doc System; Vendor Manager, etc. Each module helps users cut precious time to focus on creating values on subject matter expertise.

AGENSEE is a ship-agency operation system that helps small and medium sized companies which rely mainly on manual processes currently. It includes a principal appointment interface, a check-list for the boarding officer, document automation & management, BI, port clearance interface, etc. With it, agents are future-ready and able to start offering digitalised services.

B-a-L is a booking and tracking SaaS platform for launch operators in port area. Operators can rid of costly omissions & errors common from manual booking systems. It also improves customers experience (no more arguments on proof of service rendered), standardises accounting & processes, cuts risk of frauds, and raises productivity. 

SHIPPING DIGITALISATION

Digitalisation is fundamental for maritime transformation to align with adjacent industries in logistics, trade, finance and banking. We help companies adopt and adapt at lowest cost possible to enable such digitalisation process. Intimately understanding maritime industry various nuances and intricacies helps us develop relevant solutions at fractions of the time and cost other IT vendors require. For eg. we created a simple yet beautiful website for a shipping co. at US$2,500 and delivered it within a week, because we could quickly grasp the specifications and develop the product within a few short scrums. 

Our project team adopts an agile methodology in developing our products. On the right is a typical sprint cycle and development model we follow. 

CYBER RESILIENCE

Shipping digitalisation must accompany cyber resilience for it to work effectively and safely. Cyber security is not just about a technology or a hardware, but it includes processes and practices designed to protect computers, networks, programs and data from attack, damage and unauthorised access. To achieve cyber resilience, such security includes both cybersecurity and physical security.  

Building cyber resilience requires coordinated efforts throughout an information system. This includes Application security, Information security, Network security, and User education, all of which we will advise our customers, in each of our digital shipping applications.  

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INTERVIEW WITH COO, JAMES KIM

What is really unique about Chemical Shipping (vis-à-vis other segments of shipping)?

James: 1) other bulk cargoes like oil, ore, or even container liners move in one direction, chemical cargo has more myriad ways of flows to/fro multiple ports and berths. 2) chemical cargo is not generic: there are hundreds of different types of cargoes and grades by multiple producers, users and traders involved. that leads us to: 3) the hardware: chemical ships have multiple segregations. voyage options and decisions for which cargoes to combine to where and how are much more varied, furthermore 4) while there may be some standardisations, many ships are built for specific needs. with this multiplicity of factors, optimal loadable quantity and performance of a ship can be a BIG VARIANCE. ironically, this also makes for an attraction and a low entry barrier into chemical ship operating as each operator believes in his one-upmanship within that big variance.

How is that uniqueness important in what you and ShipsFocus are doing?

James: maritime shipping faces various issues, like in 1) HR: people with great skills and experience are aging and leaving the industry, while new ones are not catching up fast enough; 2) PR: constraints to improving its image as an industry that has a wide spectrum of jobs ranging from off-shore to land-based; 3) TALENTS: shipping lull in the last decade did not help in attracting talents; 4) 24/7 nature it’s hard to sell ‘work-life balance’; 5) SYSTEMS: experience, know-how and network within a knowledgeable person are not captured systematically over time.

Our role is to fill gaps, bridging 3 major gaps: (1) between the ‘Old’ and ‘New’, (2) more and better use of data (3) optimising the ‘variance’ and efficiency. there are not many people in this unique space, and on such pursuits. to make it work, we have to cater to this uniqueness, using our unique knowhow, experience and network.

Which part of your background is most helpful to what you are doing now?

James: I believe it’s my background as a ship-owner and operator. I was with Hanjin first in VLCC and then Aframax, then to Chemical Tankers. that gave me tremendous opportunities adjusting from one to another. there were so many varieties and details in high frequency I had to know and adjust to. i became sensitive to the uniqueness in Chemical shipping. coincidentally, Hanjin was undertaking a PROCESS INNOVATIONS initiative, and I was required to provide inputs for a chartering and operations system, including on how it should work. unfortunately, users had to work for the system when it was developed, not exactly a system i dreamed of.

What is the biggest challenge in marrying tech and shipping, and what is your specific strength in this respect?

James: mainly it’s people’s fixed mind-set that’s the biggest obstacle. people say they are busy, while tech can help, they are reluctant to adopt such change. it’s a chicken and egg issue. our strength is the ability to cater to the specific and minute details that make chemical shipping unique, and the network we’ve gained trust from previous roles we played as shipbrokers. we get better chances than the tech people to hear the pain points and thus introduce the right solutions.