How Data Analytics is Impacting the Shipping Industry

Technological advancements, such as electronic trading in the financial services industry, have delivered cost benefits to many industries while also increasing competition. However, within the shipping industry such a large-scale transformation has yet to unfold, although it’s evolving.

Data analytics is driving incremental value for ship owners and charterers by influencing decisions across the various business functions of the marine business—such as voyage management, vessel operations and manning, as well as chartering and third-party risk assessment. As information collection and integration throughout the shipping value chain progresses, shipping companies are beginning to harness data to make a range of decisions, from managing routine activities to improving operations and driving strategic decisions focused on transforming the business.

In Shipping Analytics: improving business growth, competitive advantage and risk mitigation, an article in the Fall 2015 edition of CROSSINGS, I explain how charterers and ship owners can leverage the power of data and analytics to improve decision making  through the following examples:

  • Chartering: Charterers’ access to cargo ship prices is limited to what is provided by known brokers and ship owners. Could an information portal that aggregates information simplify the process to enable better decision making?
  • Vetting: How can data analytics be used to help charterers, along with integrated oil companies and vetting organizations, analyze the different sources of information and select the right vessel with the least amount of risk?
  • Operations: What role do analytics play in, not only determining the optimum speed, but also in performing cost-benefit analysis of vessel maintenance?
  • Voyage operations: How could a voyage operations dashboard make it easier to track vessels, improve decision-making and make operations more efficient?

We invite you to read the full-length article to learn how shipping companies can better leverage the power of big data analytics.


Kunal Bahl – Senior Manager
Kunal Bahl is a Senior Manager in Sapient Global Markets’ Midstream Practice based in San Francisco. He is focused on Marine Transportation and his recent assignments include leading a data integration and analytics program for an integrated oil company, process automation for another integrated oil company and power trading system integration for a regional transmission authority.