The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on economies around the world. In the first eight months of 2020, global maritime trade collapsed by as much as 10%, leading to losses of up to $412 billion, according to recently published research from Oxford University, which used sophisticated algorithms and tracking data to follow 100,000 vessels.
For an industry already in constant change, due to new regulations and processes frequently introduced, the future is going to be challenging for shipping companies as the world continues to battle COVID-19. It’s imperative for them to stay competitive and plan ahead to be able to successfully navigate the economic downturn.
One of the ways to do this is by moving their management processes and systems into the cloud, to optimise processes and increase efficiencies. Many companies decided to do this in response to the pandemic. They recognised they needed to have a more connected workforce and ensure the easy exchange of data between crews at sea and teams working remotely.
A study last year highlighted that when companies digitalise their processes; they increase performance, focus more deeply on innovation, and create more value. It also said that digitalisation needs to be on the agenda for shipping companies, because ‘competitors are doing it’ and there is a need to ‘future-proof’ business.
However, there are still some shipping companies that are reluctant to invest in digital systems and software because they don’t understand how easy it can be. They continue to use outdated, legacy technology systems, instead of taking advantage of intuitive and flexible cloud-based solutions to manage their entire fleets.
The reality is that they may get left behind as the world moves through the pandemic, because they are unaware of just how simple it is to move to the cloud. They wrongly assume that changing their software would involve manually transferring all their information and data, which would take significant time and money.
They also worry they may lose vital information especially if data is held in different systems or they may need to allocate extra man hours to get this done.
But this isn’t the case. It is an extremely straightforward process to transfer data from a wide range of older maritime management systems quickly and without staff having to dedicate time doing this. Thanks to a variety of powerful application programme interfaces, or APIs, data can be imported from most maritime systems into a new software solution.
Our team of dedicated data specialists can manage the complete import making sure that no information is lost and ensure the integrity the data is not jeopardised. The team can help, even if the data needs to be cleansed or transferred manually. For those considering updating their systems and procedures, now could be the time to take that leap of faith and move into the digital age.
Benefits of moving to the cloud
Cloud-based software solutions can streamline management and operational processes, helping shipping drive down costs, become more efficient and stay competitive. They enable the real-time sharing of information and data and, with data accessible in one central place, employees can communicate easily, share information and collaborate no matter where they are located.
Business critical information such as important maritime instructions, crew schedules, payroll data and other key communications can be shared by the team onshore with crews at sea and actioned immediately, ensuring the company is responsive and dynamic and can react to any situation.
It also supports better data management and analysis which improves business decision making, performance and success. The cloud facilitates the sharing of data from different sources, which can be transmitted from vessels simply and quickly. Data is synchronised as soon as it is entered into the system and can be accessed immediately by all relevant personnel. Maritime software can simplify daily life and support shipping operations without any additional training required. Our Cloud Fleet Manager is a cloud-based all-in-one software solution for shipping companies which can be up and running quickly without any arduous installation processes.
It can be used in the office, on mobile devices, and on ships. Data is securely saved and readily available in the cloud, allowing employees to access the same materials and work processes wherever they are based.
For those that have avoided the digital revolution so far now is the time to get on board and transform the way they operate their fleet.