GL Say Shipping Should Invest in Software Technologies

Monday, May 14, 2012

Germanischer Lloyd suggest shipping companies under-invest & fail to gain benefits of modern marine software applications

Shipping is highly underinvested in modern software technologies. Only 0.7% of the investments that go into new vessels go into software technologies. With rising fuel prices and operating costs leaving the industry facing ever slimmer profit margins, Germanischer Lloyd (GL) experts showed how the increased deployment of the latest maritime software systems could help to fight this trend.

“Looking at ship operating costs we see a steady, rising trend,” said Dr Torsten Buessow, Vice President of GL Maritime Software, at a GL Exchange Forum held late April in Singapore.  His calculations, based on an analysis of the development in operating costs of three typical ship types, 3,000-4,000TEU container vessels, Panamax dry bulk carriers, and 15,000-20,000 dwt general cargo vessels, show an estimated growth rate of 13% from 2010 to 2014.

“There is a great deal of potential for the shipping sector to invest more into maritime software,” said Dr Buessow, “the sector’s investment level is just one fifth of that of the oil & gas industry. Software and new technologies can help ship owners and operators improve their cost positions and competitiveness.”  

The use of maritime software is on the rise and benefiting more and more ship managers and operators. For instance, around 150 vessels worldwide have adopted GL HullManager, a hull integrity management tool, as operators increasingly give the same attention to ships’ hull structure as they do to the condition of their machinery. As well as improving management efficiency through a 3D model of the vessel which can be linked to visual inspections and thickness measurement, the software can help to cut down on a vessel’s inspection and repair costs.

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