The latest Barometer Report from Trelleborg has revealed a huge gap in the maintenance requirements of port owners and operators, and the support that suppliers are able to provide. While 75% of those surveyed think that it’s essential or important to have the supplier involved in the maintenance and audit of jetty based equipment, it is also seen as suppliers’ weakest area.
Trelleborg believes the findings point to the need for more supplier involvement across the whole supply chain, with engagement essential at every stage. Suppliers should work with port owners and operators to understand the day to day operational requirements and pain points of the native environment, with consultants to ensure the highest standards of specification, and finally with engineering consultants to ensure that the high standards set out are met.
Richard Hepworth, President at Trelleborg Marine Systems, said, “There’s a need for a shift in the mindset of the market. What we find repeatedly is that the most successful projects engage suppliers from the earliest possible stages, to get input and guidance on what will be the most appropriate solution on a case by case basis.”
“Designing, manufacturing and installing port infrastructure is obviously very complex, and it follows that the process to do so needs to be an iterative one in order to ensure the right solution for an individual project and its stakeholders.”
As far back as 2010, when the first Barometer Report was undertaken, the market revealed a willingness to pay for preventative maintenance – however, at that time, budget pressures were holding facilities back.
With this year’s report revealing a more optimistic outlook on investment than ever, Trelleborg believes it’s time for port owners and operators to demand the maintenance support they need, specifiers to place more importance on ongoing support – and build it into specifications, and suppliers to step up their offerings to rise to the challenge.
Hepworth continues: “It’s time to put supplier support firmly on the agenda – from the engineering study stage, to long after the product is installed and operational. Service should not stop at installation – suppliers need to take accountability for the performance of their products over their entire lifecycle.”
The Barometer Report is an annual survey undertaken by Trelleborg Marine Systems, which calls on the views of 200 port owners, operators, consulting engineers and contractors.