By Richard Hepworth, managing director of Trelleborg Marine Systems
After the success of our first Barometer Report, and the debate it sparked, I am pleased to say that the second edition of the Trelleborg Marine Systems’ Barometer Report, in association with Lloyd’s List, is now available.
This year’s report has thrown out some motivating topics for industry discussion going forward and some interesting comparisons can be drawn between the results this year and last.
The 2011 report features the same topic areas as last year, with some new ground covered. We have included a focus on industry guidelines, the role of PIANC, compliance and materials testing this year, and the results make for some interesting reading. We have concentrated on product design, production and installation standards, whilst examining the levels of aftercare offered by manufacturers and trading companies.
Some good news from this year’s report: compared to last year, twice as many respondents are anticipating an increase in capital expenditure (up 25% on 2010). This trend will stimulate a supply chain that is already thriving and on the whole, will benefit the market.
We need to work to convince specifiers that their increased purchasing power should be used to buy into quality products. It is understandable that customers are looking for low cost procurement, however, we want to raise awareness of the need to consider wholelife costs when buying new products.
Although upfront costs might be lower, the products offered by low cost, non-manufacturing suppliers will not be tailored to the needs of the port, may not meet PIANC standards, and, due to the lack of technical and manufacturing capability, will not offer a high standard of maintenance and aftercare – all these factors combine to raise the cost of the product over its lifetime, and ultimately, cost the port facility more.
We still have work to do, but are confident that by working with PIANC and wider industry, we can ensure that the quality of manufacturers’ products will prevail in the market, making ports and harbours safer and ultimately, reducing the cost to the customers we supply.
What are your views on the growth of non-manufacturing companies supplying berthing and docking products?
Should PIANC take a stronger stance on the enforcement of their guidelines?
What would you like to see done to improve industry standards whilst PIANC’s 2002 guidelines are updated?