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Startup Profile 2020: PT Shipmanagement

Germany’s PT Shipmanagement is able to unlock numerous benefits for its customers thanks to it fully digital approach to ship management.

In terms of its service offering, Hamburg-based PT Shipmanagement (PTS) might not seem all that different from any other ship management company out there. After all, the company, which lists engine repairs, dry docking and procurement among its core competencies, is able to provide its customers with the full gamut of services typically associated with traditional firms operating in this field.

However, there the similarities end, for as founder and managing director Patrick Toll points out, PT Shipmanagement is a fully digital operation. Moreover, the company is arguably the first fully digital ship management company in Germany if not the world.

An industry veteran, Toll established the company in 2015 in response to the frustrations he encountered working in traditional, paper-based shipping firms. “I started from scratch to make it a fully digital ship management company,” he says, describing PTS as being “completely cloud-based”. Indeed, while the company does have a physical mailing address, all staff work remotely, a move that the current COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be somewhat inspired.

To become fully digital, though, PTS first needed to find suitable software appropriate to its needs, with Toll revealing that the company currently uses two main systems: Microsoft Office 365 and the full suite of Hanseaticsoft’s Cloud Fleet Manager software.

As such, PTS is readily able to furnish customers with real-time reporting and alerts. This includes inter alia fleet overviews, vessel positions, cargos carried, charter contracts and payments received; crew lists and performance reports; inspection reports concerning the current and historic conditions of vessels; detailed financial reporting; and incident alerts pinpointing any issues that need to be addressed as and when they happen.

Furthermore, the company’s digital set-up means it incurs “much lower costs than traditional ship managers”. PTS is then able to pass these savings on to customers, who in turn “don’t have to pay so much” for its services, which are themselves imbued with a far greater degree of agility and flexibility than would otherwise be the case were a conventional paper-and-phone-call model be pursued.

But these are certainly not the only benefits offered to customers as the company’s digital doctrine also enables it to tap into significant amounts of data that would most likely languish unnoticed in filing cabinets. Prior to digital, “the data was there”, Toll says, “but it wasn’t accessible, it wasn’t readable [and] it wasn’t in a format that you can analyse”.

Now, though, it most certainly is, with PTS able to quickly identify issues, trends and patterns to “easily gain efficiencies or see problems” that other more analogue companies might miss. Moreover, in line with its general open-book philosophy and emphasis on transparency, PTS is keen to share this data and the insights that arise from it with its customers in order to enhance efficiencies, improve planning and pricing and furnish them with all requested key performance indicators (KPIs).

Meanwhile, this willingness to embrace the new is also something Toll sees as clearly marking the company out from the competition. “We have no legacy with us that we have to keep alive, so we have no old systems. Due to that, change is implemented in our processes,” he says, adding that it is “part of our core business” to identify implementable means and methods by which PTS can help the shipping sector as a whole improve performance.

More information on the company can be found at the PT Shipmanagement website here: https://pts-management.de/

About Author

Brian Dixon is a business and industry journalist with more than 20 years' experience writing about ports and logistics. A member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists, he has covered stories on six continents. He divides his time between the UK and East Asia