Marine Online - Digitalisation is the litmus test for service quality

Digitalisation is the litmus test for service quality

News | Published Wednesday, July 21, 2021 10:19 AM

A report by Baltic Exchange feels locations no longer matter as long as the show continues

There is a new way of working today – remotely. Before all of us blame on the pandemic, we should examine how this catalyst propelled us to go the extra mile for our clients.

Not here but always here
Big enterprises with global presences certainly have higher stakes. Marine insurers for example, are one of the essentials for shipowners. UK’s P&I Club’s Chief Executive Ian Gooch, said: “Whilst we do not need offices in every country, we do believe that regional hubs are key.” The Club is one of the world’s leading providers of mutual insurance services for shipowners. Headquartered in London with regional hubs in Athens, Cyprus and Hong Kong, it believes that proximity to its members is critically important.

The Club expanded its Hong Kong office over the past 12 months, as it sees the country as an important regional base for Asia. Gooch notes that face-to-face culture is extremely important in China and that Zoom meetings have not been as popular there as in Europe. Its London headquarters managed to successfully function with mainly homeworking for the organisation’s claim handlers, underwriters and administrative staff.

Sales and purchase
It could be the trickiest sector within maritime. Simpson Spence Young’s Chairman, Mark Richardson, said: “Shipbroking has always thrived on personal interactions, the buzz of the trading floor and building a relationship with your clients. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have made this tough, but thanks to technology we have continued to work well across our network of global offices.” The firm is one of the largest shipbrokers with offices in 20 locations including Singapore, London, Dubai and Shanghai.

In fact, the pandemic should not be the multi-purpose excuse for soft performances especially when the work is service-based. Marine Online has been actively within reach for shipowners looking to expand their fleet or cash out certain assets. Bharat Bahl, Marine Online’s Sales and Purchase Manager highlighted: “Though COVID-19 posted hindrances for the market, it should not be conveniently used to justify absence. In fact, the pandemic created a perfect opportunity for us (brokers) to reach out to them. The initiative reflects brokers’ commitment to the clients, instead of corroborating the transactional relationship - which more often than not results in one-offs.”

Marine Online News Team
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