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Saturday, October 20, 2018
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For Shippers, Big Data is a Big Asset

Posted to Maritime Reporter TV (by on November 1, 2016

Despite the industry downturn, shippers are expressing strong interest in big data and digital technologies as they prepare for the road ahead. Jess Hurwitz, Executive Vice President and CTO at Accuritas, explains.

MR: This is Greg Trauthwein. I’m the editor of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News. We’re here with Maritime Reporter TV at the SHIPPINGInsight 2016 in Stamford with Jess Hurwitz of Accuritas. And Jess, I appreciate your time.

Jess Hurwitz: Thank you. Honored to be here.

MR: Well, Jess, to start off, could you give us a brief explanation of Accuritas and its offering to the maritime sector?

Jess Hurwitz: Absolutely. Accuritas helps global transportation leaders learn how to make data-driven, intelligent decisions through the use of business intelligence analytics, consulting, and big data solutions.

MR: We talk about big data often in our pages, on our videos. The market today, as you know, is relatively tough. What I’m trying to get at is the reality versus the theory. What do you see on the streets as far as people adopting your solutions?

Jess Hurwitz: Well, in shipping, change is always slow and that’s something that we’re preaching — that they have to kind of accelerate change. But what we’re seeing — even dealing with the very tricky markets right now — is a tremendous interest, especially from C-level executives, they know that they companies have problems, they know that there’s changes that need to be made and are long overdue, they know that there are pain points in using data. So we’re finding that there is tremendous interest. We like to equate it to the effect of almost like training for a marathon. You know you’re going to be doing a marathon in two years — you need to start training. The other thing would be is that I think the feedback we’re getting from many in the shipping industry is that with so many changing variables in this challenging market, that ultimately when the market does come back, things are going to be very different than they were in the past, and they’re realizing that they have to be doing something different now, and then getting ready to deal with market issues now to be more competitive and be more agile when things do change, if they want to be at the front of the pack versus the back.

MR: As I said, big data — digitization is a huge topic in our pages. As you know, the maritime market is very diverse by vessel type. When you look at the market as a whole, do you see whether one or two particular sectors, or niches, that you would say is more evolved in the adoption of the types of solutions that you offer?

Jess Hurwitz: I don’t know if I could generalize it that way. I mean, we’ve had tremendous growth coming out of the tanker sector over the last couple years, and I can probably attribute some of that to the financial aspects of just the market being, for tankers, a little better and more gentle than it’s been for bulker owners. But honestly, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest in bulker owners over the last six to eight months. We’ve had some very large bulker owner deals close as a response to that. Their interest is there and, again, they know that things are going to come back and they’re going to be different, and they’re going to be ultra-competitive, and they really know that they need to be in shape and ready for that.

MR: Excellent. I know you’re giving a chat, actually, you’re on a roundtable and you’re giving a talk. If we could focus on the talk, could you give us a little insight on what you plan to present, and what the main takeaway will be?

Jess Hurwitz: Sure. The presentation that I’m going to be giving is on the changing face of data in the shipping industry and how rapidly it’s evolving. I’m basically going to speak about some of the hidden aspects of developing an information asset for shipping companies. Although they always aim and focus on the ships being the biggest asset, a lot of them don’t realize that they data is also very valuable to their company in a lot of ways. And in some cases, there’s kind of some other pieces of data that they might not be sure of how to gain access to or what they should be looking at to actually do that.

MR: Okay. Again, this is Greg Trauthwein with Maritime Reporter TV. Jess, thank you very much for joining us.

Jess Hurwitz: My pleasure. Thank you.

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