The results of a three year study designed to draw up a pan-industry set of usable and comparable Key Performance Indicators to measure quality ship management services will be unveiled by InterManager, the trade association of in-house and third part ship managers, at its Annual General Meeting in Singapore on November 17th.

In a separate move, the AGM announcement will also mark the movement into ownership by InterManager of the KPI initiative. All industry stakeholders including InterManager and non-InterManager members are welcome to attend the AGM which will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, 190 Orchard Boulevard, Singapore from 14.30 hrs onwards.

Partly funded by members of InterManager and partly funded by the Norwegian Research Council, the three-year project to develop meaningful and measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) has been developed by a steering group of industry representatives nominated through InterManager and project managed by Norwegian research company Marintek.

Mandated to improve ship management quality through “self regulation with verification”, InterManager, which represents a worldwide fleet of more than 2,500 ocean-going ships and some 100,000 crew, intends in the long-term to make the KPIs available to the whole shipping industry via a web-based system.

Unveiling the project to delegates at the recent 3rd International Ship Management Summit during Singapore Maritime Week, Ole Stene, President of Intermanager said: “We must understand the importance of a quality shipmanagement sector worldwide – and when I talk about shipmanagement, I mean in-house as well as third party. Up to 25% of the world’s fleet is under some sort of shipmanagement today and this number is expected to grow to about 35% of the world fleet in the next five years.

Svein Sorlie, Senior Vice President for Group Business Development with Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA, Norway and Chairman of the KPI Steering Group, said: “Through the Shipping KPI standard we have created an enabler for improving the performance of the industry, making the industry even more adapted to the changing priorities of the market. The Standard is a living embryo and it has to be nourished, raised and trained in order to reach it full potential as a valuable tool for the industry.”

Mr Stene added: “The escalating levels of international and regional regulation mean that the days of the substandard operator are over. There is no hiding place for the shipping cowboy,” he warned.

“This is where a strong, industry-embraced KPI programme can benefit. A pan-industry and common set of KPIs will measure and, ultimately, improve performance. Not only measure performance as far as company-to-company comparisons are concerned, but allow the individual practitioners an opportunity to see where their performance is strong but more importantly where it needs improving.

Mr Stene continued: “KPIs are essential if shipping is to improve not only its operating efficiency moving forward but its image as a safe, responsible, profitable and career-enhancing industry for the years to come. Now I am pleased to formally announce that InterManager has completed the first phase of its KPI Project. The detailed definitions of the KPIs that will be proposed as standards of the shipping industry have been achieved. Their stability, strength and measurability have been tested, and we intend to uncover the details of our KPI work at the occasion of the AGM of InterManager in the same beautiful Singapore, on November 17.”

Guy Morel, InterManager General Secretary, advised that InterManager will immediately start a second phase of development whereby stakeholders, including other members of the shipping industry (shipowners, classification societies, charterers, ship builders, ports, insurers and suppliers, etc) as well as the major regulatory bodies (IMO, Port State Control organisations and regional regulators etc) will be invited to critically review and comment on the results, with the goal of achieving a definition of commonly accepted shipping KPIs. This effort is not meant to replace individually developed KPIs among all players of the industry, but is hoping to create a common language for the better communication between these players.