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  • Melvin Mathews

Performance: the new word on the block in the shipping industry (Part 1)

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

The Shipping industry has progressed a great deal over the last century. In the last few decades we have progressively made merchant ships operationally safe and thereafter taken swift action to ensure their security. Both safety and security have been predominantly achieved by regulatory waves. These have come one after the other, driven by dangerous accidents and disastrous events.

Recently however on the top of everybody’s mind is how to keep themselves in the green, both environmentally as well as commercially. To set environmental milestones for the shipping industry to achieve is easy for regulators. However the impact it will have on the industry commercially seems to be largely ignored. The basic need to make the shipping industry attractive to do business, commercially viable or even sustainable appears not of particular interest and perhaps outside the purview of regulators.

For a shipping company to operate their ships they need to conform to all the existing regulations. However, to remain competitive and bag future contracts they have to plan not just to fulfil future regulations, but also have in place a strategy to perform remarkably better than their competition. Those that consistently outperform will remain in the industry and those that are regularly beaten will eventually get weeded out. In order to be consistently at highest performance levels, these companies will not just have to scrutinize their performance carefully but also manage their performance proactively.

To ensure ships are continuously at top performance means shipping companies have no choice but to adopt performance management and performance based maintenance (PBM). Many in the industry have been managing the condition of their vessels by embarking on condition based maintenance (CBM). However before CBM was adopted by the industry it was preceded by planned maintenance system (PMS) as a norm. It was nothing but an initial attempt to manage breakdowns.

Is the industry serious about performance? Are the traditional methods of measuring and monitoring performance adequate? How important is timely maintenance?

Let me know your thoughts.

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