Chinsay’s Managing Director (Singapore) and Director of Product Strategy, Colin Hayward, was invited to give a keynote titled “Digitalisation of Trade – Pathway to Blockchain” at the inaugural Maritime Capital Forum held in Singapore on 17 November 2017, moderated by Andrew Hartley, MD of CLSA’s Singapore office. The forum, jointly organised by CLSA, Singapore Shipping Association and Transport Capital, and supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Maritime Foundation, sought to connect best-in-class shipping companies with institutional and private equity investors as well as technologists.
Here are four key takeaways from Colin’s keynote:
1. THE CHALLENGES OF DIGITALISATION
Chinsay has a long track record in providing an online collaborative platform for freight contract management. The problem experienced in the earlier days was the paper piles of freight contracts, the inherent associated inefficiencies and lack of risk oversight. Two decades on, the Chinsay Recap Manager has digitalised the drafting, validating and issuing of freight contracts for charterers, shipowners and shipbrokers of all shapes and sizes.
Key considerations for our clients have been to deploy solutions that are scalable and flexible so as to keep pace with the changing dynamics of the freight and commodity industries. Concerns are frequently expressed around security, flexibility and scalability. We have often been asked how Chinsay will be relevant in the future given the increasing pace of change and the number of new entrants in maritime technology.
2. OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS OF DIGITALISATION
Colin outlined the opportunities associated with digitalising the contracting process for the shipping industry, “one that sees companies digitising not just the output, but digitalising the entire process, reviewing granular data so it can be used to drive operational excellence and use of Value Added Services.”
Many of our clients have begun to realise the cross-functional benefits of embracing technology. While the benefits of digitalising trade are apparent, business owners need to have a clear end-goal and plan to achieve it.
3. BLOCKCHAIN – WHAT IT IS AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT THE INDUSTRY
At Chinsay, we are increasingly being asked by clients about our view on Blockchain. There is a lot of discussion and some confusion around Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), but still a great willingness to adopt the technology within the freight and commodity markets. It is, however, unclear what problems DLT can resolve for these industries and how it differs significantly from existing technologies.