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Too many ship managers offering a 'commoditised service'

Columbia Shipmanagement control centre
Too many ship managers have commoditised the service they put out, expecting clients to ‘swallow’ what they offer, says Mark O’Neil, president of Columbia Shipmanagement.

Ship managers need to recognise changing needs and expectations, he said, and respond to the massively changing face of shipping in which there would be more and more vertical structures due to the “inevitable march of consolidation”. O’Neil was speaking at a seminar discussing ‘The ship manager of the future’, organised during London International Shipping Week

Shipping needs to be “de-romanticised” and seen as a piece of the logistics chain that is “no more sexy” than railways or haulage, said O’Neil – “we need to look at it in a much more efficient framework”.

He described the term ‘third party ship management’ as an anachronism, and said modularity and flexibility were the future. “Second party ship management is a much better term – we can have joint ventures, profit sharing, different modules and structures.”

Read more: ‘It is the people that matter’: Columbia Shipmanagement

During the seminar, CSM used a live link to Limassol to demonstrate the way in which its Performance Optimisation Control Room monitors and benchmarks vessels’ performance.