Wilhelmsen Ships Service’ (WSS) was a sponsor of last month’s Smart Shipping event in Singapore, with Business Director Ships Agency Frederic Fontarosa describing it as an ‘essential conference for the industry which is certain to root itself firmly in the international maritime events calendar’.
Held from 17-18 October at the Four Seasons hotel, the event was attended by over 170 delegates representing over 40 of the world’s leading shipowners, ship managers and shipyards. Hosted by NHST Events/Tradewinds, Smart Shipping enabled key shipping executives to speak candidly about how they believe the sector can become more efficient, reduce and control costs, improve performance and stay compliant.
According to a post-event report, the single biggest idea to come out of the conference was the view that although the current economic climate means that smart shipping practices will continue to thrive, corporate inertia remains the biggest obstacle to the success of any initiative.
The report goes on to say that speakers and panelists were quick to agree that smart shipping is not a single, revolutionary idea or concept that is going to transform the industry – but rather a combination of innovative thinking, technologies and processes combined with a greater understanding of the human element.
Chairing the session on day two of the event, entitled ‘Walking the talk: from rhetoric to reality’ Mr Fontarosa explained that the ships agency is one of the most critical links in the maritime chain but that to operate effectively, the ships agent must be able to offer four key elements: predictability (in terms of cost and deliverables), efficiency, consistency and most importantly, transparency.
He explained that WSS is actively looking at ways to improve these elements and is working with its customers all over the world to ensure smooth and efficient port calls as well as making improvements in communications, service provision and monetary transactions, providing real business solutions.
Following the conference, Mr Fontarosa said that from his perspective it had been a great success, with many delegates actively taking part in discussions and sharing ideas, experiences and their vision of what Smart Shipping is now, and will become over the coming years.
He summed up; “To me, Smart Shipping is about looking at things differently: taking advantage of new technology, new processes and innovations to bring solutions to the market that can ultimately improve efficiency and enable competitive advantage.”