Ship suppliers are managing to weather the economic storm by putting solid and vetted business partnerships ahead of any major move towards online procurement, according to one of the industry’s trade bodies.
The International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA) said that while e-commerce was clearly part of the ship supply sector, it was the traditional practices of the small to medium sized supply businesses that were proving more resilient in today’s turbulent economic times than “the global behemoths that have been shown to try and fail spectacularly over the past 20 years”.
By its very nature, ship supply is a bespoke business “and one size does not fit all,” said ISSA President Jens Olsen.
He added: “Working with partners such as InterManager, ISSA has been able to flag up the contentious issue of late payment by ship managers and continues to seek innovative solutions to assist both sides in fulfilling their financial obligations timeously. In spite of everything the ISSA membership roll continues to grow in particular in India, Indonesia and certain parts of South America.”
High on ISSA’s agenda is the impact ship supply is having on the environment and it is encouraging its members to implement green policies and achieve internationally-recognised environmental standards under its flagship Green ISSA initiative.
Launched some three years ago, Green ISSA seeks to educate owners, managers and suppliers to best practice in areas such as safe disposal of on-board waste, reduction in packaging (particularly shrink-wrap) and re-usable supply packaging where possible.
Mr Olsen said: “We believe that the modern ship supply industry must have environmental considerations at the heart of its business practices and we are encouraged to see that many of our members are already working towards achieving international environmental standards.”
In addition to complying with international regulations, there are numerous ways in which ship suppliers can ensure their business takes proper consideration of environmental concerns including: Minimising waste; Introducing biodegradable packaging; Ensuring fridges and freezers are operating efficiently and economically; Avoiding unnecessary delivery journeys to vessels; Using vehicles with low emissions or that run on eco-fuels.
Mr Olsen pointed out: “In addition to helping the environment, some of these measures can save companies money themselves – particularly by consolidating deliveries to ports which now charge fees of up to $100 per visit.”