Subscribe to RSS

Tag Archives: barometer report

PORTS CRYING OUT FOR EXTERNAL SUPPORT FOR EQUIPMENT SPECIFICATION

Our latest Barometer Report revealed that the majority (77%) of consultants and contractors don’t know the correct ratio of ingredients in a superior rubber compound for use in fenders.

To me, this suggests a huge gap in specification knowledge and product awareness, and that needs to be addressed. As we’ve talked about frequently in this blog, the performance and lifecycle of fenders vary dramatically based on the type of rubber used, and within that, the compound composition of the rubber.

And whilst many lacked awareness of the importance of compound formulation, what’s more, 50% of those surveyed don’t know if suppliers apply bespoke Velocity Factor (VF). 53% are also unaware if suppliers apply bespoke Temperature Factor (TF).

The application of VF and TF on a case by case basis is essential in determining fender performance and lifecycle. First introduced by PIANC, VF and TF should be applied to fenders depending on the compound composition of the rubber to accurately ascertain performance in the field, under varying compression times and temperatures.

Its no surprise then, that the study also revealed 86% of those surveyed would find it useful to have a system that can easily test suppliers’ compounds. The need is there, and it’s time for suppliers to react to it, evolving offerings to provide the required education and substantiation.

I’d like to get your thoughts on the matter. Do you feel that the level of knowledge within the industry is up to scratch when it comes to specification? Let us know in the comments section.

The full results of Trelleborg’s latest Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/Resources/Downloads-2/

LATEST BAROMETER REPORT LAUNCHED AT PIANC 2014

It goes without saying that the PIANC World Congress represents a landmark event on the maritime calendar. And, with such a wide range of stakeholders from across the industry attending, it provided the ideal platform for us to launch our latest Barometer Reports, which highlight a broad spectrum of issues pertinent to the industry.

To celebrate the launch of the reports, we took the opportunity to host a roundtable at the event that discussed some of the key findings. Against a backdrop of increased and varied demand, one of the main messages from the report was that there is a much more optimistic outlook on investment than in previous years.

In fact, the vast majority of respondents expect both capital and operational expenditure to grow over the next twelve months. With optimism returning, the roundtable delved in to the opportunity for port owners, operators, contractors and consultants alike to begin to navigate towards a more strategic, whole life approach to the design and construction of port infrastructure.

I took to the stage at the AGA luncheon and closing plenary to discuss how port infrastructure is evolving, and how stakeholders across the industry can best keep up and capitalize on the opportunities offered by new trends such as automated technologies. In addition, our technical expert, Mishra Kumar, discussed the importance of applying bespoke Velocity Factor (VF) and Temperature Factor (TF) when specifying marine fenders, and how rubber compound composition impacts these two key factors, as well as performance and longevity.

We also had a comprehensive team of sales and technical experts on stand to take visitors through our latest innovative products and solutions, including our brand new Port Performance Tool. Whether you’re a port owner, operator, engineering consultant or contractor, the new Tool allows you to discover just how well your port’s performance measures up against the industry average.

Trelleborg Marine Systems was Platinum AGA sponsor and exhibitor at the 33rd PIANC World Congress 2014, in San Francisco, California, U.S. The PIANC World Congress 2014 took place on 1 to 5 June 2014 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis.

TAKE PART IN OUR PORT PERFORMANCE ROUNDTABLE!

At the PIANC World Congress, which takes place at the beginning of June, we’ll be launching the results of our latest Barometer Report, in which we’ve surveyed 200 port owners, operators, contractors and consultants on a range of issues pertinent to our industry.

Our Barometer Report contains the results of a regular industry survey, which seeks to gain insight into the issues that are impacting port infrastructure.  Calling on the views of hundreds of port owners, operators, engineering consultants and contractors, the report seeks to understand the challenges they are facing and what they think the future holds for the marine industry.

One of the key findings from this year’s report was that the outlook on investment is much more optimistic than in previous years.  In fact, the vast majority of respondents expect both capital and operational expenditure to grow over the next twelve months.

With optimism returning, we were keen to delve in more depth in to what this will mean in practice for ports, as they make up lost ground caused by the economic downturn.

Strategic investment in port infrastructure has suffered over the last few years, but with a brighter economic outlook, we’re keen to understand how those responsible for procurement will react: which aspects of infrastructure are the most in need?  How are terminals coping with increasing vessel sizes and throughput? Which regions are leaders and laggards?

We’re seeking to address these questions, amongst others, at an exclusive Port Performance Roundtable which we will be hosting at the PIANC World Congress in June, and we’re looking for port owners, operators, contractors and consultants to share their experiences and have their say on the findings from the Barometer Report.

If you’re a port owner, operator, contractor or engineering consultant and you’re attending the 33rd PIANC World Congress in June, we would like to hear from you.  To have your say on the issues affecting the industry, register your interest in the Port Performance Roundtable now http://ow.ly/wMBbA.

Trelleborg Marine Systems is Platinum AGA sponsor and exhibitor at the 33rd PIANC World Congress 2014, in San Francisco, California, U.S. The PIANC World Congress 2014 takes place on 1 to 5 June 2014 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Visit us on stands 400 and 402.

HAVE YOUR VIEWS HEARD IN OUR LATEST BAROMETER REPORT

We’ve recently launch our latest Barometer Report survey, to gather views and opinions from across the industry, covering issues from investment and throughput to maintenance and downtime.

We want to hear about your experiences, good or bad.  Fill out the quick, multiple choice survey and you’re in with a chance to win an Apple iPad.

For the first time, we’re splitting the survey into two distinct groups, one for port owners and operators, and another for contractors and consultants – to explore potential differences in attitudes and opinions between the two.

If you’re a port owner or operator: how’s your port performing?  What do you think are the issues most heavily impacting the industry?

Or if you’re a contractor or consultant, are your client’s keeping pace with rapid change, or have they started to fall behind?

PORTS CLAIM PIANC CERTIFICATION KEY TO COMPLIANCE AND REGULATION

The results of our latest Barometer Report show that the majority (65%) of port owners, operators and contractors request and check PIANC certification to ensure that marine fenders are sold as described.

Although it’s reassuring to see that the majority of respondents do request certification, it’s important that owners and operators understand exactly what to look for. PIANC is undoubtedly an important standard bearer for quality and performance, but it doesn’t have the legal mandate to enforce standards across the industry.

At present, it’s too easy to gain PIANC certification, with some of the more unscrupulous traders using this to their advantage by applying certification to entire product lines or factories, rather than to specific product batches and compound formulations.

In comparison to last year’s report, which revealed that just under 80% of respondents were struggling to get to grips with unscheduled downtime, this year’s Barometer reveals that, alarmingly, over 90% are now suffering, which suggests to me that the emphasis placed on checking certification in theory, is not necessarily translating to best practice.

It’s therefore imperative that equipment specifiers, for mission critical equipment such as fenders, begin to take necessary steps to ensure that the products they are buying are truly “as described”.

I’d like to get your thoughts on the matter. How much importance do you put by third party certification and design approvals when procuring mission critical equipment? Let us know in the comments section.

The full results of Trelleborg’s latest Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/Home/

PORTS STRUGGLING TO TACKLE UNSCHEDULED DOWNTIME – AND AT WHAT COST?

The results of our latest Barometer Report show that unscheduled downtime is on the rise. In comparison to last year’s report, which revealed that just under 80% of respondents were struggling to get to grips with the issue, this year’s Barometer reveals that, alarmingly, over 90% are now suffering.

The majority of respondents in this year’s report estimated that unscheduled downtime costs their facility at least £100,000 per year. We suspect that this sum may be just the tip of the iceberg – the relationship between unscheduled downtime and revenue extends further than just the direct costs of the terminal or berth not being in operation.  The less tangible cost to ports in damaged relationships with shipping lines and other stakeholders should not be underestimated.

The fact that traffic flows and vessel sizes coming through ports are steadily increasing makes it essential that ports look to update their infrastructure in order to keep pace with change. However, many may be struggling to upgrade their facilities quickly enough, which can exacerbate the issue of unscheduled downtime. Inadequate infrastructure means more incidents, more downtime and lost revenue.

This begs the question: why are so many failing to address the issue? I’d like to get your thoughts in the Comments Section.

The full results of Trelleborg’s latest Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/Home/

DON’T MAKE DO, MAKE CERTAIN!

The results of our latest Barometer Report show that many of the port owners, operators and contractors surveyed may be jeopardising operations by ‘making do’ rather than proactively upgrading facilities to maximise efficiencies and improve safety.

Although the vast majority of respondents believed that port safety would benefit from the use of new technologies (mooring line tension monitoring, environmental monitoring and speed of approach monitoring), it’s clear few are actually reaping the rewards, with over half of those surveyed admitting to only using human or manual guidance.

Automated solutions offer a chance to improve safety and boost operational efficiencies – a significant opportunity for ports to proactively upgrade infrastructure and ensure they stay ahead of the curve.

However, with so many only using human or manual guidance during berthing – rather than making use of Docking Aid Systems (DAS) or Global Positioning Systems (GPS), many may be putting their facilities at risk of becoming antiquated. This begs the question: why are so many jeopardising their operations by ‘making do’ rather than maximising efficiencies and improving safety?

The full results of Trelleborg’s latest Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/Resources/Downloads-2/Barometer-Report-3-NEW/

TESTING TIMES

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems.

It’s essential that port owners and operators can have confidence in the products they procure, and the reassurance that they have been through thorough and robust testing procedures.

As evidence of this 90% of respondents in our Barometer Report believe that both lab and full scale testing is important in the manufacture of docking and mooring products.

However, I remain concerned that the industry might just be paying lip service to the importance of testing, as, despite these encouraging results, it appears that good intentions are not necessarily translating into best practice.

How so? Well, a quarter of respondents also admit to being concerned only with price rather than where a product comes from.

As PIANC documentation for is not regulated, it’s important to check all paperwork carefully and ask suppliers for clarification over PIANC type approvals. Situations have occurred where compliance has been claimed for all of a supplier’s factories, processes and products when only one location or component of a product range meets the criteria. Don’t risk throwing good money after bad by procuring solely on the basis of price – make sure you’re getting the best possible product over its service life.

Short-cutting on quality and maintenance is a risky game to play.

BREEDING A CULTURE OF LOOKING AT LONG TERM COSTS

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems


Encouragingly, over half of the 260 port decision makers polled in our recent Barometer Report believe that maintenance budgets will increase over the coming year.  Additionally, 90% of owners, operators and contractors cited maintenance as a critical or important factor for consideration in the upgrade of port operations. This is especially good news considering that over a quarter of respondents attributed a decrease in the levels of port-side maintenance to budget pressures.

Cause for concern?

However, the importance placed on maintenance overall does not seem to be translating to the specification of berthing, docking and mooring equipment.  The report shows that when asked specifically about procurement of such products, only 4% of respondents believe maintenance to be the most important consideration – ranking it sixth on the list of priorities. In fact, its perceived importance in the purchase of docking and mooring products has declined by 5% compared to the 2010 Barometer Report.

This suggests that there’s work to be done across the market to breed a culture of looking at long term costs.  We are increasingly seeing a lack of focus on whole life costs and when you factor in the low prioritisation of maintenance, it’s sure to store up trouble ahead for ports.

Short term savings, long term implications

Despite good intentions, it seems that short-term cost savings are taking precedence when it comes to specifying berthing, docking and mooring equipment. There is clearly a gap to bridge between understanding the importance of maintenance, and the actions taken in practice.

Berthing, docking and mooring equipment is a vital component in the safety and efficiency of the port environment, so it’s essential that specifiers give these products the significance they deserve.

Speculate to accumulate

Moreover, by sourcing high quality, low maintenance products at the outset – rather than taking retrospective action only when something goes wrong – port owners, contractors and consultants can avoid unnecessary risks and costly downtime.  Certainly a focus on maintenance at the beginning of the project will naturally lead to whole life cost savings.

If you’re interested in gaining further insights into marine industry predictions for 2012 and beyond you can download the latest Barometer Report here www.takesthepressureoff.com/barometer2

We’d of course welcome any comments or feedback on the survey outcomes and your experiences of sourcing quality berthing, docking and mooring equipment.

INCREASING BUDGETS PAVE THE WAY FOR A MORE EFFICIENT 2012

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Richard Hepworth Video - Barometer Report 2

The results of our recent Barometer report indicate an encouraging increase in the capital and operational expenditure of ports over the next 12 months. It’s believed that this will mostly go into improving efficiency and increasing the capacity of port terminals – good news for port operators, contractors, consultants and suppliers alike (not least for ourselves).

Where this investment will be allocated and how best efficiencies can be achieved is the immediate issue but looking further down the line, the industry needs to become much more focused on whole life costs rather than short term savings. Because beyond the budget sheet a far more worrying outcome is emerging as a commoditised marketplace makes way for lower cost, lesser quality suppliers.

Indeed, 2012 may be looking brighter as spend is on the ‘up’ but let’s not put a downer on the forecast by forging partnerships with lower-cost suppliers and traders that are actively misusing PIANC accreditation. Port downtime and efficiencies go hand-in-hand with product quality and if the latter suffers so does the industry as a whole.

Hear my views on what sits at the heart of the biggest issues currently facing port decision makers and join our movement for better regulation and enforcement of product standards @MarineInsights on Twitter.