Pages 1-7: TACKLING CHALLENGES IN COMMERCIAL SHIPPING THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

Punit Oza

Abstract


Three major challenges are shaping the future of commercial shipping today. One, the family owned companies are moving to professional management thereby allowing the chartering professionals to move into a deal-making role, which was usually reserved for the family members in the company. Two, the old-school mentoring and training is nearly non-existent with knowledge gaps existing in senior professionals and lack of patience in the younger professionals entering the industry. Three, information was the key reason why deals were made in past but today the data is universally available and the key to deal-making is the ability to analyse the data in order to extract value for both the shipping company as well the customer. This paper aims to explore how we can leverage technology to confront these challenges. Technology can reskill the chartering professionals with deal-making skills such as negotiation techniques and insight selling. Video and Virtual Reality tools can build sustainable and flexible training modules which can fill in knowledge gaps, while engaging the younger professionals in an interactive manner. A knowledge vault will also be created in the process, helping future generations and securing the experiential knowledge of senior experts. A customized analytics program for the chartering professionals can raise awareness of the value of data among the professionals and provide historical trends and analysis in order to drive more data-driven decision making rather than gut feel based, which is not sustainable. It is also clear that while quite a few tasks can be automated, the relationship-based model of deal making will ensure that people are right at the centre of any successful shipping company.

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