The year ahead...
... may become a challenging one - following the augurs in the Western Press.
However it may turn out, you may like this little quote of Petronius Arbiter from 200 B.C. as much as I do:
„We trained hard - but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.“
To me this is a friendly reminder that facing challenges and trying to solve problems with the same kind of measures that lead to them may not be the best idea. The instruments we are used to employ for problem solution are embedded deeply in our thinking and the cultural foundation that was laid much much longer ago than one may be conscious of.
Being aware of this may make a challenging year a fun year!
All the best to all of you!
What is it that gives our lives reason?
For many of us this time of the year allows to stop for a moment, to look around, hold the breathe and to remember well and see things clearly: it is the ones we love, our passions, the ones who are in need of us.
May all of you find that moment for yourselves this festive season!
Christoph, Sebastian and the whole [bluester] Team
Adding assurance, reliability and safety
Solid, globally undertaken qualification and verification of providers of maritime support services is a demanding task for vessel owners and ship managers.
For service providers it can be very tricky to prove the solidity and reliability of their service offerings just as well.
The vetting and verification services offered exclusively to the users of the [bluester] MarketPlace take this problem away.
With BV Desktop Verification now available, another very important element is added to the benefit of [bluester] users.
Both, ‘Vetting by MarTrust’ and ‘BV Desktop Verification’ not only reduce time and cost of transactions significantly; thanks to the impartiality and expertise of these globally renowned 3rd parties, assurance, reliability and safety is added to both sides of the [bluester] marketplace.
Together with the uncompromisable ranking system already installed on [bluester], and BV On-Site-Vendor-Inspections soon available, global direct contracting of maritime support services has never been easier.
Learn about BV Desktop Verification and Vetting by MarTrust by clicking on the below link!
Join the [bluester] MarketPlace today! Start buying your maritime support services online now!
#ShipCon Cyprus 2018
What an amazing opportunity to make friends!
Thanks to all of you at #YoungShip Cyprus and the many, many people I had the chance to get acquainted with over the last two days!
TOGETHER we make things happen!
[bluester] presents the BWTS Finder @ the International Ballast Water Technology Forum in Shanghai
Our good colleague George presented the [bluester] BWTS Finder @ the International Ballast Water Technology Forum in Shanghai yesterday. About 200 attendees from ship management companies, ballast water treatment system manufacturers, shipyards, repair- and consulting companies, classification societies and Chinese government officials gathered at the famous Sunrise on the Bund Hotel to discuss practical problems and implications of BWTS retrofit projects.
Representatives of the IACS Classification Societies presented on regulatory system and installation requirements, a selection of ballast water treatment system manufacturers elaborated on the advantages of different technology types in respect to vessel`s operational requirements and participants from technical advisors, shipyards and repair companies shared their experiences of completed retrofit projects. The importance of choosing a system matching a vessel‘s operational area was stressed by all parties.
Especially in this respect the [bluester] BWTS Finder received appraisal from attendees as a very handy and efficient tool to facilitate the comparison and evaluation of technical parameters of all the different manufacturer‘s models available on the market. The impartial nature of the BWTS Finder which solely compares vessel‘s technical requirements and conditions with technical parameters of available systems was acknowledged both by ship managers and system manufacturers as very helpful to match technical system demands and supply.
Special thanks go out to Benjamin Witt who, involved in the development of our tool from the very beginning, attended the conference from DNV GL Maritime Advisory and headed the Q&A session after George‘s presentation.
Thanks for visiting us @ GASTECH, Barcelona!
Great to see you around!
Visit us @ GASTECH 2018 in Barcelona!
We are happy to welcoming you in Hall 3, booth M 105!
Let us show you how to reap the benefits of our MarketPlace for your organisation!
Looking forward to seeing you, travel safe!
Thank you all for visiting us at SMM in Hamburg this year! Great to see you around, to get connected and to catch up in person! That is what we are living for!
Special thanks also to all colleagues at Bureau Veritas who had the gratitude to share their booth with us. Your hospitality and co-operation is truly phenomenal!
PS: For all those who asked for sound when watching the video we displayed at BV booth, watch it again:
Bureau Veritas and [bluester] enter into co-operation
As from today, by co-operation agreement signed on the SMM in Hamburg, Bureau Veritas is integrating its digital platforms with the [bluester] online marketplace and providing independent vendor qualification services to its users.
Desktop and global online verification of [bluester] listed service providers by Bureau Veritas will add to the safety, reliability and efficiency of direct contracting through [bluester] as service providers’ qualifications and documentation will benefit from impartial validation.
Deep integration of the [bluester] platform into Bureau Veritas’ own digital tools VeriSTAR Info, My VeriSTAR, BV Approval Explorer and PSC Ready provides added value and benefits to the [11,000+] Bureau Veritas customers. BV customers will have access to the [bluester] marketplace via a single sign on and receive special user benefits. Once registered with [bluester], BV customers access the portal with the click of a button from their familiar BV desktop and mobile platforms. The special benefits inter- alia include easy transfer of data.
For Matthieu de Tugny, COO, Marine & Offshore, Bureau Veritas, “partnering with [bluester] is a strategic decision for Bureau Veritas: we believe that smart online applications, focused on the enhancement of dedicated market processes in the Maritime Industry, are an important element of digitization in the maritime sector.”
Through the cooperation with Bureau Veritas, not only for the first time in shipping a global marketplace for maritime support services is accessible, but market participants can also rely on the commercial and legal information shared by buyers and suppliers. This significantly adds value to the allocation process of the entire industry. Additionally, the highly secure user ranking installed is another element that makes the use of our online platform beneficial for all ship managers and service providers.
[bluester] in a nutshell
Visit us @ SMM 2018 in Hamburg!
We are happy to welcoming you in B3, EG, Booth 101!
Looking forward to seeing you there, travel safe!
If you have not seen our new company video “[bluester] in a nutshell“ yet, click here!
Catering to your demands - two new colleagues join [bluester]
To allow for the smooth management of the 650 vessels on our marketplace, and to support the growing use of our BWTS Selector and RFQ Generator App, two new colleagues have joined our team.
Nurbegim‘s and Akbar‘s tasks focus on data maintenance and platform operations. They are the first two members of a remote co-worker group we are setting up in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Our Hamburg based colleague Hilola, who joined us in December last year, has been appointed to lead the team. Hilola also originally comes from Dushanbe, and in parallel to working with us is pursuing a Masters Degree in Business Management at the Hamburg School of Business Administration.
Being there for you, and making your life easier, is the reason we continue to build our company. If you have not yet joined our platform: get on board and experience the ease of buying Maritime Support Services online!
Bluester GmbH becomes corporate member of Transparency International - Deutschland e.V.
Effective as of June 2018 Bluester GmbH is corporate member of Transparency International Deutschland e.V.
Transparency International e.V. with its more than 100 national chapters globally engages in the promotion of transparency and prevention of corruption. By aiming to be leading examples, individual and corporate members of Transparency Germany put transparency and prevention of corruption into practice at different levels and various sectors of society – in Germany and worldwide.
Transparency in business becomes a practiced principle with openly communicated and respected rules, plans, processes and actions; with people within business organisations acting visibly and understandably, reporting clearly and freely on their activities; and with allowing the general public to hold businesses to account. In this sense, transparency is based in the values of integrity, solidarity and justice. Such it counters corruption which is held to impact societies in a multitude of negative ways. Corruption in many scientific studies was found to shrink national wealth; to distort competition and to hinder the development of fair market structures; ultimately to deteriorate the social fabric of society.
Christoph Kiese, CEO of Bluester GmbH, comments on the admission of Bluester GmbH as corporate member of Transparency International Deutschland e.V.: “Through our corporate membership at Transparency International Deutschland e.V. we want to underline the principles we have built into the processes of our online marketplace: business cooperation on a win/ win principle, compliance with rules and regulations as well as true, open and fair competition. At the same time we want to leave no doubt that we as a company adhere to the principle of transparency and our values of sincerity and integrity. Everyone in our industry knows that
business preferably handled in dimmed light in the worst case costs lives. So we walk the talk and want to encourage others to follow us on this.”
Member of the Board of Transparency International Deutschland e.V. Andreas Novak explains the reasons for the registration of Bluester GmbH as corporate member: “With our individual members and our members from the corporate world, we fight for a world free of corruption. By supporting transparency and offering a platform for transparent and fair competition, Bluester GmbH can play a part in this struggle in Germany and abroad. We welcome Bluester GmbH as a corporate member of Transparency Germany.”
[bluester] RFQ Generator
If you are a Ship Owner/ Manager, a Port Agent or a Service Broker: start using and benefitting from the [bluester] RFQ Generator!
- Compose fully professional and comprehensive RFQs for Technical and Professional Maritime Support Services
- Create RFQs that contain all relevant information needed - commercial, technical, regulatory
- Make sending back and forth of e-mails for service scope clarification unnecessary
- Allow for perfect service preparation, execution and debrief
- Enable easy service related ship/ shore communication
Attending Posidonia from the 4th until 8th of June in Athens?
Learn about our new online service and smartphone application, the BWTS Selector
If you are attending Posidonia you may like to learn about our new online service and smartphone application BWTS Selector developed in cooperation with DNV GL Maritime Advisory.
The BWTS Selector
- delivers an impartial, product specific list of BWT Systems technically and operationally suitable to be installed on a specific vessel
- offers an easy to use tool to select BWT Systems along own preferences (consumptions, operations, etc.)
- delivers professional full style RFQ‘s for easy and efficient purchase of selected BWT System
factors in/ includes information on 80+ makers with any approval (not restricted to systems with DNV GL approval!)
Meet us in Hall 4 stand number 4.115! We give you an insight on how it works!
Sotiris Kambanellas joins [bluester] Advisory Board
We are very happy to announce that Sotiris Kambanellas, President of YoungShip Cyprus, Cyprus Shipping Chamber Committee Member and Advisory Board Member of MaRITeC-X will join the [bluester] Advisory Board from the 1st of June 2018. With the assignment of Mr. Kambanellas the [bluester] Advisory Board is complete.
The role of Mr. Kambanellas is to advise us on aspects of Finance and Business Expansion which is of special relevance for the development phase we have entered into.
The advisors who have been with us from the start of our company, Mr. Prof. Dr. J. Rod Franklin, Mr. Prof. Dr. Christian Barrot and Mr. Dr. Robert Wuttke continue to give us their highly valued support in the fields of Business Strategy, Diffusion of Innovation and Scaling of Operations.
[bluester] ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Prof. Dr. J. Rod Franklin, Dean of Programs, Adjunct Professor of Logistics, Academic Director of Executive Education at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg
Professor Franklin, an engineer and operations manager by training and experience, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science Degree in Engineering from Stanford University, a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard University and received his Doctorate in Management from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Professor Franklin has held management positions at Kühne + Nagel, USCO Logistics, ENTEX Information Services, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Cameron Iron Works. In addition, he has been a consultant for Booz-Allen & Hamilton, Theodore Barry & Associates and Arthur Young & Co.
Professor Franklin mainly advises on the topics ‘management of creation’ and ‘company strategy’.
Prof. Dr. Christian Barrot, Professor of Marketing and Innovation and Dean of Programs at Kühne Logistics University, Hamburg.
Prof. Barrot is an expert on Diffusion of Innovations, Social Networks, Customer Relationship Management, as well as Electronic Commerce and Service Management. He studied Business Administration at CAU Kiel and Norwegian Business School (BI) in Oslo and holds a Ph.D. from the Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel. Since 1997, Prof. Barrot has gathered extensive industry experience as an entrepreneur and consultant for many leading ventures in the internet and telecommunication sector.
Professor Barrot’s advice focuses on ‘marketing’ and ‘diffusion of innovation’.
Dr. Robert Wuttke, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor
Over the last 10 years, Dr. Wuttke has made some 120 early stage investments in Germany, Europe, and since mid 2013 also in Silicon Valley (here 60+ investments alone). He focuses on software, market places, and disruptive technologies. Before and next to Angel Investing, Dr. Wuttke is also founder of a global Online Dating Group where he served as CEO until mid 2012 and since 2016 a co-founding investor in enmacc, the leading bilateral energy trading platform in Europe. He started his career at Bertelsmann where he held Managing Director positions and later became an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital, before starting his own internet businesses.
Mr. Wuttke mainly gives advice on ‘operational management and scaling of start up companies’.
Sotiris Kambanellas, Financial and Shipping Executive
Sotiris Kambanellas, President of YoungShip Cyprus, Cyprus Shipping Chamber Committee Member and Advisory Board Member of MaRITeC-X, has a broad range of expertise in Shipping, Finance, Business and Controlling. As Certified Chartered Accountant and Member of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, Mr. Kambanellas has been holding positions as Financial Executive with top international companies like Rickmers, Fleet Management and Melco. His passion for the Maritime Industry has driven him to create an outstanding network of people very much engaged and involved in shaping the future of one of the worlds most influential industries.
The focus of Mr. Kambanellas` advice lies with Finance and Business Expansion.
Degree Courses in Shipping
For high school graduates springtime means an exciting period before entering the adult world – reflecting upon one’s future, considering careers and choosing corresponding studies. This can be a very challenging task, especially when it comes to multifarious industries – such as Shipping.
The offer of sector-specific degrees is enormous. But simplified – depending on the importance of the nautical, technical or economic component of the study program, one can differentiate between the ones preparing for a career at sea, and the ones – on land. Still, of course, not to forget numerous combination courses.
Not only the variety of programmes is challenging – ironically, also the advantage global mobility aggravates the difficulty of choice, since there are numerous high schools accepting international students all over the world worthy of a recommendation.
In Germany alone there is a wide offer of (international) degree courses in the fields of Maritime and Nautical, Training, Logistics and Supply Chain Education.
For example Maritime and Nautical studies are strongly represented in the North, inter alia at the Wismar University of Applied Sciences,Technology, Business and Design, at HSBA - Hamburg School of Business Administration and at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremerhaven:https://www.hs-wismar.de/en/
And there are so many others to be found!
Luckily, to help us deal with the information overload and to ensure a better orientation, there are Online catalogues like EduMaritime: https://www.edumaritime.net/
– offering a global overview.
Maybe there is something for you, too?
OSM Ship Management joins [bluester]
OSM Ship Management has joined the [bluester] marketplace and platform to supply its needs for Technical Services for more than 100 vessels. In a trial period starting as of now, OSM will source and handle Underwater Services for its managed fleet through [bluester]. Underwater Inspections, Class Surveys and Cleaning Services will be purchased on [bluester].
Peter Schellenberger, Managing Director of OSERV Pte Ltd, the Supply Chain Management Division of the OSM Group explains OSM`s decision: „The concept of the [bluester] marketplace is very compelling. We need transparency and efficient processes to contract with the best Providers of Technical Services for our managed fleet. [bluester] offers both. We are convinced that the way this intelligent matching marketplace is set up is to the benefit of us as buyers, but also for the suppliers of services. We encourage all Service Providers already working with us to offer to us through [bluester]. It will make interactions much easier and cost efficient.“
Christoph Oliver Kiese, Managing Director of Bluester GmbH, comments on the onboarding of OSM on the [bluester] platform: „We feel very rewarded with OSM joining our platform. We know that it is the most innovative companies in our industry that truly understand the benefits of our independent and impartial platform. [bluester] is not competing with any ERP or CSM software; nor is it comparable to a Service Network or Service Broker. The value we add to Ship Managers and Service Suppliers lies in the open, impartial and transparent marketplace we offer and in the way we enhance their interaction and communication through established processes. This shall become more visible in the course of this year when Classification Societies and other third parties will start offering new customized auditing and qualification services to both sides of the [bluester] platform.“
Other Ship Owners and Managers already using [bluester] inter alia are Nordic Shipping, Orion Reederei, TMS Ship Management, Albros Shipping, INOK TM, Bremer Bereederungsgesellschaft, Schiffahrtsgesellschaft Oltmann.
You have got nothing to lose! Or have you?
Why sharing information makes you benefit
I very much like this small and concise article Roar Adland, Shipping Chair Professor at University of Norwegian School of Economics, published a couple of weeks ago on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-you-should-consider-data-sharing-roar-adland-ph-d-mics-
). Sharing business information is a good thing. The more information there is the better decisions can be (given of course the capacity and capability to process and analyze the data).
Business success ultimately is not about owning your business data, it is about the conclusions you draw from it and even more it is about what you make out of your conclusions, how you derive and implement actions from your conclusions into your business. This is hard to be taken away from you. And you need to keep moving anyway, there is no vital and successful business that does not change constantly. Truly understanding this will lead you to realize that in fact you could not only share your data but even the conclusions you draw from it. There is nothing to lose. You are as smart and capable as you are, if you do not share and if you are not transparent you can only stay as smart and capable as you are; if you do, there is at least the chance that you become smarter and more capable. And even if you don`t, you have contributed to the larger benefit of all and ultimately will get your share of this. Even if it was only the trust and cooperation that you help to foster in society.
Sharing of course does not mean to ‚give away something‘ - without getting something in return. Sharing means reciprocity, allowing all who share access to what is being shared by all. The principle is not Facebook or Google, it is Open Source. This obviously is the only principle one should see respected to properly protect one`s interest when sharing and being transparent. But who would be so stupid to give own data to Facebook, Google and the like?
Leadership for Millennials
In his previous blog-post Christoph touched upon the topic of leadership, which somewhat reminded me of Simon Sinek’s speech on Millennials in the Workplace - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU&t=754s
- this video was so big when it came out, you’ve probably seen it; the time I did, I felt grateful and sad at the same time. And here is why.
Every couple of years emerging generations are being given a new name: labeled as ‘lost’ and ‘silent’, boomers, not so long ago X - like the unknown factors in math. Now it's Millennials making trouble. And while the problematic nature of generational differences seems persistent, and the question how does the changing mentality of youngsters impact the working environment goes along with it, what shifts apart from the wording is - the context.
I am grateful for Sinek being so sensitive to the current context and pointing out the issue of a low self-esteem, impatience, asociality of social media and our sweeping addiction #guilty, and of course - environment. And I am sad, because he is right: indeed, as a rule the decisive power and responsibility is in the hands of those who accuse of being - to quote Sinek - ‘entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused, lazy’.
Many might be familiar with being in a conference room, where mobile devices are off and forbidden - which is a just thing; but as soon as you leave the meeting, same people expect you to be available 24/7 on various messengers and apps - isn’t that a contradiction, interfering with healing your addiction? Isn’t that a double standard, undermining your ability to build a trustful relationship? And any attempt to develop self-esteem and patience crashes under the pressure of unrealistic demands and deadlines. And after all, it is your problem.
But not everything is so bad, it can be different. When you are lucky enough to meet a true leader. Attentive to your needs and understanding, who teaches you patience and integrity on an own example, and who motivates and inspires you with own devotion. A role model you can follow.
One may agree with Sinek and one may not, it is up to you; as to me, for starters I’ve bought an alarm clock.
Does empathy make a good leader?*
Empathy, by many, is believed to be the most important and most required social skill of a - „modern“ - leader. Many would agree that a higher level of empathy is the soft skill that makes one of two leaders with the same personal and technical skillset the better leader.
If a leader's task and responsibility was to take and allow for decisions and their implementation within a society the leader is in charge for, this may hold true. But if the task and responsibility was taking and allowing for decisions and their implementation that makes the particular society - and also the societies it is connected and inevitably intertwined with - prosper and benefit, empathy may fall short, in fact, could be detrimental.
Every human being is equipped with empathy. In reality empathy is not a (social) skill. Empathy is not acquired through education, training and practice - it is a human condition and trait. Humans are empathic creatures by nature. There may be different levels of the capability to feel what others feel. But even sociopaths or those on the Autism scale show remarkable potential of empathy.**
Empathy is an (emotional) process which we may not have any control of, as (recent) scientific studies suggest. It even can be felt for fictional or dead persons.
Empathy is biased. It evolved in small groups of humans facilitating the necessary help for each other in the struggle of survival. Therefore empathy was not designed to transcend borders of groups or societies as this would have been counter productive for the survival of their own group. Social experiments and common sense prove that people have more empathy (for peers) to whom they resemble. The human empathy is just not that often run on strangers or people who are simply different.
Empathy is being employed for „quick wins“: its focus shifts rapidly if a subject requires lots of empathy to change for the better (in the eyes of the one feeling empathy).
Empathy is closely related to taking sides in a conflict. Humans have a very strong tendency to take position for either one or another party in a conflict. After taking position, empathy amplifies conflicts: through empathy the feelings of the favored party are being felt, just as the feelings of the opposite party; without being a „real part“ of the conflict empathized emotions may fuel and thus amplify the conflict.
Empathy withholds no moral compass. There are no true, universal values in empathy. Nor can empathy itself be a true and universal value. Empathy can be had for „positive“ or „morally desirable“, „good“ emotions - just as for „negative“, „morally undesirable“, „bad“ emotions. It is the sadist´s joy to feel the victim`s pain.
Empathy can be used to achieve socially undesirable or morally wrong goals: if there is a core qualification for manipulators, it is empathy. Empathy allows the manipulator to exactly understand other`s desires or fears and to play to them. Politics is showing a perfect example in the U.S.A. since the last presidential election campaign.
Empathy is first of all self-serving, egoistic: it is for the benefit of the one having/ feeling empathy - not for the one it is had/ felt for; it is enriching and brings joy to the life/ emotions of the one who feels it; not (necessarily) to the ones it is being had/ felt for.
Empathy establishes a power gap when felt and communicated, related to negative emotions: the person empathy is being felt for is the victim (of negative emotions); feeling the „victim`s pain“ distinguishes between an active, powerful and a passive, powerless role.
So: is it all wrong about empathy and being empathetic? Of course not. You cannot stop it anyway. And if there was a choice to have more or less empathy the choice should of course always be to have more of it. It is what you make of it - as with all programs having been installed in humans. If well educated, properly trained good reasoning and reflection is being added to empathy you may end up in becoming a compassionate person, a person feeling for another, willing to take care of that other person's needs as of your own. That shall be a good basis for decision making, leading to a prospering society. Just as in the old saying: the more you love, the more you understand; the more you understand, the more you love. A leader having understood and practicing this principle has figured out something about right.
*This small article to a great part is inspired by the German book „Die dunklen Seiten der Empathie“ written by Fritz Breithaupt and published at Suhrkamp publishers 2017. Similar books and scientific articles are to be found in the anglo-saxon scientific community as well.
**If it is true that empathy is connected to „mirror neurons“ than it may be possible to train these mirror neurons during the development phase of a human brain. „Trained“ mirror neurons then should allow for a higher potential of empathy.
Meeting at Seatrade Cruise Global?
Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA March 6-8, 2018
If you are thinking about how to bring virtual LinkedIn connections into real life, I’d be happy if you would consider a personal meeting with me at the upcoming Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
But we may arrange by other means as well.
[bluester] employs EU funded Innovation Assistant
[bluester] is proud to announce having been awarded with funds from the German Federal State of Schleswig Holstein according to the IAR as part of the subsidies program of the European Union EFRE, for the employment of an Innovation Assistant to further develop its platform. The Innovation Project funded is carrying the work title “Adaptation and Implementation of an Online Marketplace for the Chinese and Chinese speaking Market“.
The innovation project consists of developing [bluester] as an online marketplace to the special requirements of the Chinese and Taiwanese market. Part of the project is the systematic identification of the market and target group-specific conditions by the Innovation Assistant with the goal to transform the results of this research into processes of the [bluester] online marketplace that can be established as a standard for all participants from China and Taiwan.
The last to be the first?
Development of Online Marketplaces in the Maritime Industry
From a pair of socks to a yacht; train tickets, plane tickets or a room in a hotel - practically any kind of product or service can be purchased online. And while the idea of electronic commerce is perfectly commonplace for all of us these days, it is only several decades ago that the very basic systems of it have been introduced.
Since its beginnings in the 1970s, the convenience, transparency and safety in the commercial use of the Internet have improved exponentially. Major advances occurred in between 1990s and 2000s, after the launch of the first web browser, which subsequently encouraged different kinds of businesses entering the online market each year.
In this period, characterised by an excessive rise of e-commerce, the most prominent online marketplaces of today like Amazon and eBay were released. As the IT industry recovered after the dot-com bubble collapse and e-commerce finally took root as a stable business concept, these companies refastened, gained market share, and became dominant to their field. Over time, online markets established themselves as one of the most successful business models online, and respectively redefined the fundamentals of the entire retail sector, including informational and trade transactions between businesses.
In diverse industries - metal, glass, rubber, textile; or automobile manufacturing, building construction, electronics, fashion - B2B online marketplaces steadily emerge and replace former distribution channels. Aiming to address specific interests of both customer groups, e-procurement sites respond to purchasers’ need for an industry resource for information, more offer options, choice availability and industry pricing transparency. Suppliers for their part, benefit from exposing products and services to a larger audience, and therefore can strengthen their reputation and optimise sales.
Despite of a long history of e-procurement sites in shipping, which started with the launch of ShipServ in 1999, a marketplace for ship supplies and spares, B2B platforms remain a significantly less widespread concept than in other industries, where their usage has become common sense. Sellers in the industry, well adapted to present themselves on proper websites or to offer their products and services via online shops, are very welcoming marketplaces as enablers of business; buyers though oftentimes still regard marketplaces as function to be somehow represented or integrated into their ERP software solutions, which, of course does not properly reflect the value proposition of marketplaces - variety, market overview and transparency - efficient communication and coordination between buyers and sellers - improved performance of value chain processes at lowered transaction costs - trust - easy and secure contract establishment and execution - to again name the most obvious.
Only in the last couple of years, following the example from other highly fragmented transportation sectors like aircraft or railroad, shipping companies have shown willingness to transpose their purchasing of products and services to online marketplaces. New Internet platforms with a variety of business focus have emerged, catering the unmet industry needs: from the ones for chartering like VesselBot, or for freight shipments like Freightos, FreightHub or Kontainers; for marine fuel trade like ClearLynx or BunkerEx - more and more B2B platforms are steadily entering the scene.
To meet rising interest and changing demands of both business groups and to reinforce efficient exchanges, these online marketplaces constantly evolve, being enhanced and updated with new technologies and innovations. As challenging as it may be, it is worth the price: not only because of the obvious value for the respective professional fields, but also with the growing confidence in using tablet devices and smartphones - it is not difficult to imagine, that more and more B2B transactional exchanges will happen online, until this trend someday becomes a self-evidence in the maritime industry just as ordering socks on Amazon. As conservative it may be, shipping has always evolved and constantly re-invented itself. Maybe the outcome of this very long digital path it is taking is the emergence of something that will serve as an example for other industries. Maybe the last will be the first one day.
Here for you, when you need us
To cater to the growing usage of our marketplace, on the 15th of January, four new colleagues have joined [bluester]. To support your business, and to be there for you when you need us, with expert advice and assistance - this is what we are building our company for.
If you have not yet registered: get on board, and let us help you get rid of the hassle of your day to day life!
Maritime Industry in Transition
Various objectifiable signs indicate that the Maritime Industry has stepped into a phase of transition - leaving behind the years of long, sheer struggle of survival of the vast majority. The many rewarding personal encounters I have been having in the past year affirm this sentiment.
Everyone following public discussions in the industry is aware of the buzzwords flying around. Annoyance aside: buzzwords indicate formation of common sense. „Digitization“, „automation“, „big data“ or „sustainability“ and „efficiency“ - we believe this is reason for optimism.
The best way of predicting the future has always been to shape it - with day to day, hard work. Every moment, every routine requires taking decisions - and it is these decisions that are making our future.
What do we base our day to day decisions on? It is our values and beliefs. It is our culture. This may come across as buzzwording itself. Telling from own experience though it takes some effort to fully internalize the truth of this „self evident“ claim. And even more so, it is a struggle to become and stay aware of how own values and beliefs form decisions - allowing to take better decisions, every day.
It is a responsibility we all share: to be the change, to prove sincerity and integrity, prudence and determination, while facing challenges and upcoming times; to partake knowledge and skills and to pursue cooperation and common solutions when addressing collective problems.
Few industries are having a global impact such as the Maritime Industry. Taking the best decisions every day to transition Shipping into a new era is the responsibility we have for society.
Picking up on regional demands
Interest raised during participation at NEVA exhibition in St. Petersburg, Russia, in September this year, resulted in the 3 largest and most respected Russian Ship Managers signing up their fleet with [bluester].
To have competent assistance to cater to the increasing demands from our Russian users Alexey Zakharov has joined our team as Business Development Manager in Russia.
As a maritime professional with a longstanding background in the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, Alexey has profound knowledge and competence in the fields of servicing marine equipment, structural engineering and vessel operations.
We believe Alexey is a perfect match to further develop our offerings to your needs. Picking up on special regional characteristics shall bring benefit wherever you operate and we are about to further put in practice this idea.
Alexey is looking forward to be your point of contact in Russia and Russian speaking countries.
What is it that gives our lives reason?
For many of us this time of the year allows to stop for a moment, to look around, hold the breathe and to remember well and see things clearly: it is the ones we love, our passions, the ones who are in need of us.
May all of you find that moment for yourselves this festive season!
Christoph, Sebastian and the whole [bluester] Team
EU-China Blue Industry Cooperation Forum in Shenzhen City
The Blue Industry Cooperation Forum, held from the 08.-09.12.2017 in Shenzhen City, China, drew together Chinese government officials, maritime experts and company executives as well as representatives from the EU. Overall goal of the gathering was to reinforce the cooperation of stakeholders and key players in actual and most important areas of the maritime industry and ocean governance.
Following an invitation from the Chinese government, [bluester] participated in the panel on the Digital Transformation of Shipping. Discussions held under the motto of aspiring to win-win solutions matched very well with the [bluester] business philosophy. The application of a consistent and holistic approach on problems not only led to very inspiring individual exchanges; [bluester] also established new partnerships, among others with OceanX, a Shanghai based company set to become a major digital ship application provider.
Want to attend MARINTEC CHINA 2017? How to make it work for you
1. Clarify your goals.
What do you expect: to get up to speed with the latest maritime industry issues, trends and products; to get new clients, or to recruit new vendors and partners? Plan your attendance in accordance with your goals.
2. Use the trade show events and conferences.
Get familiar with the list of everyone attending the events for easy networking opportunities and read through the conference agenda ahead of time in order to get an overall overview: https://lnkd.in/gH-femZ. But…
3. Be selective.
In a large hall with 2,000+ exhibiting companies, you may get overwhelmed and never make it to the people who you most wanted to talk to. Plan and create your personal list, prioritising the ones you can build valuable relationships with: https://lnkd.in/gBkSuu7. Nevertheless…
4. Leave room for spontaneity.
Unwind and socialise. Interact with different people, even with those who seem to be outside of your core objectives, and you will be surprised how these conversations evolve into very pleasant and beneficial ones.
5. Have fun!
Enjoy the company of your peers in a casual atmosphere over coffee, lunch, or cocktails - after all, this life is not completely taken up by work.
[bluester] available on DNV GL Veracity
With Veracity DNV GL has created an open and secure portal for digital innovation and industry collaboration.
As a user of the DNV GL Veracity you benefit from an easy access to [bluester] platform via ‘single-sign-on’ and special starter bonus of 100,- Euros per vessel until end of the year 2017!
Better be good
Safety of Life at Sea should not allow for compromises on account of the people who carry our daily life’s goods across the oceans. Gambling on it not only puts their lives at risk, but also threatens the economic well-being of a Ship Owner/ Manager. While the latter is industry's collective knowledge - a detained and suspended vessel is known to be a very costly exercise - it is far less evident to most that individual misbehavior brings tribulations to the entire industry.
Taken as a case study, 2016 Annual Reports on Port State Control (PSC) of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) reveal, that despite of the general trend of improvement in the quality and performance of shipping over the last decade, a large number of substandard and unsafe vessels is still operated in both regions.
This state of affairs conditions new international regulations and convention requirements entering into force for the entire industry in order to minimise substandard shipping. As an example, for the purpose of raising awareness, gathering data and assert the level of compliance, Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CIC) are being held. In 2017 for instance, the Maritime Authorities of the Tokyo and Paris MoU on PSC launched a joint CIC on Safety of Navigation, presupposing approx. 10.000 global inspections to be carried out - affecting the operations and thus economies of all Ship Owners and Managers.
Dealing with the consequences of detentions in general is much more cost-intensive and stressful than warding them off beforehand. Having the right tool at hand, the hiring of best quality Service Providers at best prices to help ensure Safety of Life at Sea is not that difficult at all in the modern age of shipping. So, better be good! It is not only for your own sake but also for the sake of your peers! And it doesn't cost you much.
According to the Annual Report on PSC for 2016, 17.845 inspections were carried out in the Paris MoU region. As a result, 683 ships were detained due to serious deficiencies. Thus the detention percentage has shown an increase from 3.4% in 2014 and 2015 to 3.8% last year, which is the highest level recorded since the introduction of New Inspection Regime (NIR) in 2011. Moreover, for reasons of multiple detentions, the number of ships with refusal of access almost doubled: from 11 in 2015 to 20. In the Tokyo MoU region 31.678 PSC inspections took place in 2016. With 1.090 vessels detained, a decrease of total detention rate over the last three years was stated: from almost 4.0% in 2014 and 3.7% in 2015 to 3.4%. All in all, despite of the general encouraging development stated by Paris and Tokyo MoU over the last 10 years, the high record of detainable deficiencies on ships trading around both regions remains an issue.
Meeting at Marintec China? Shanghai, December 5-8, 2017
If you are thinking about how to bring virtual LinkedIn connections into real life, I’d be happy if you would consider a personal meeting with me at the upcoming Marintec in Shanghai.
But we may arrange by other means as well.
Press Review: Schiff & Hafen
From misty notions to true benefits
DNV GL and Deloitte set an example of how blockchain technology can help to improve reliability and transparency in the Maritime Industry.
[bluester] enters into a partnership with MarTrust
To give our users access to professional counterparty due diligence services we have entered into a partnership with MarTrust, a Marcura Group company.
For a minimal annual fee, suppliers registered with us receive a ‘Vetted by MarTrust’ status, signalling to all Ship Owners and Ship Managers that they are a trustworthy, ‘ready to go’ service supplier. Additionally, shipowners and managers may request on-the-spot checks of a potential business partner.
Martrust is an indepenent and specialised financial services provider to the Maritime Industry. As a Marcura company it is strategically connected to leading global financial institutions and has unparalleled insights and resources which allow it to vet companies across the shipping supply chain with highest efficiency and accuracy.
Christoph Oliver Kiese, CEO of [bluester]: "The partnership with MarTrust delivers another very clear value add to our users. Counterparty due diligence is a regulatory requirement and by giving access to MarTrust’s expertise and excellent service, we allow our users to substantially reduce compliance risks and to carry out reliable and secure transactions."
Domenico Carlucci, Managing Director of MarTrust, commented on the collaboration: “The problem for ship owners and managers is that, sometimes, their banks do not have a thorough understanding of the maritime industry, or access to the relevant information or contacts to complete compliance checks quickly and accurately. As a result, these processes can end up being burdensome and costly for the concerned parties – the banks, ship operators and ship management companies alike. Our tailored services help customers avoid that. We are very happy to provide our services to users of the [bluester] platform under the special agreement established, and we look forward to offering our efficient payment solutions in the near term to them, as well.”
[bluester] now available on My DNV GL!
As a user of the My DNV GL portal you now have easy access to [bluester] via 'single-sign-on'. Log on to your My DNV GL account and start buying Maritime Support Services online today!
As a user of My DNV GL you will be granted a special starter bonus of 100,- Euros per vessel until end of October 2017!
Meeting at NEVA Exhibition? St. Petersburg, September 19-22, 2017
I will be attending the upcoming NEVA exhibition in St. Petersburg.
Happy to meet you there!
If you are interested in making personal acquaintance, kindly state your interest within the moreganize calendar we have set up.
Reserve an appointment with moreganize
In need of a SHIPYARD? Find it on [bluester]!
If you are looking for a Shipyard for your fleet in service, simply search from our most current listings! Free of charge and without registering an account!
Following our vision to become the one stop portal for Buyers and Suppliers of Maritime Support Services, buying of Shipyard Services for fleet in service will become available on [bluester] next. For now, just benefit from our updated directory.
Sail safe - the smart way!
[bluester] is hiring!
We need you to support our rapid growth!
Can you relate with us?
- We believe in people cooperating and working together
- We dedicate our creativity to connect people
- We want to make business safe, transparent and easy
- We base all our decisions on sincerity and integrity
Join us, we are [bluester]!
Press Review: THB
Website and Service Relaunch
Since we have started our online marketplace in September last year, we have been learning from our customers every day.
With great support we have evolved our platform, and have now brought it to the next level: from today using [bluester] you can buy and sell Maritime Support Services with the click of a button - if you like, even on your smartphone!
Our new website explains the new concept and all features. If you are interested, just visit bluester.net, please.
We want to thank all of you sincerely for your fabulous support!
We couldn't be more grateful.
[bluester] as application on My DNV GL
DNV GL and [bluester] have entered into an agreement on the implementation of [bluester] as an application into the My DNV GL platform.[bluester] is the first external application to be integrated into DNV GLs digital service platform which is being used by 8500 customers per month.
My DNV GL gives single sign-on-access to very selected digital services and useful maritime information, that help Ship Owners and Managers to carry out their tasks safer and smarter, easier and more efficient. Services range from easy ordering of surveys and audits (for DNV GL classed vessels) to fleet overview and status tools to online access to technical experts.
[bluester] CEO Christoph Oliver Kiese stresses the fit of [bluester] services with the My DNV GL service portfolio: “The services that can be bought on our marketplace to a large extent are being requested in conjunction with statutory requirements. It is a logical step to give Ship Managers ease and efficiency in buying these services along with the ordering of services to be delivered by a classification society such as DNV GL.”
My DNV GL users will have access to [bluester] by "single-sign-on": once they are registered they access the [bluester] service through the My DNV GL portal with the click of a button - there will be no need to operate different websites in parallel.
Special benefits for My DNV GL users include easy transfer of company and vessel data as well as a free user budget in the value of 100,- Euros per vessel registered.
If your fleet in service is with DNV GL use your My DNV GL, access to experience a new way of doing business!
If your are not a customer of DNV GL, start buying Maritime Support Services online by registering here!
Look & Feel
The interest, feedback and support we have received up until today for [bluester] has just been overwhelming. A huge thank you to all of you!
For those of you who want to see and try first-hand what we have to offer at [bluester], we have opened up some test accounts. Just log-on to access them and learn how easy it is to get connected for Maritime Support Services through [bluester]!
Just experience our look & feel and become part of our growing community!
Maritime Industry - where do we go from here?
2016 has been a harsh year for our industry. Again.
How can we survive? Markets are unlikely to turn around.
Will competition intensify? Consolidation increase? Supply chains get squeezed out?
We believe: cooperation and fair, open competition to be a way out of the continued dilemma. Thinking of prodcution chains as of chains of cooperation will get our industry away from harmful cost cutting to long term shared value creation. Fair and open competiton will create the best outcome for all businesses involved by enhancing the ratio of quality and cost.
From our point of view digitilization is another important factor to get our industry back to prosperity. We believe reasonable implementation of digitilized processes to be a major source for value creation in our industry. Digitilization is not about getting rid of people by letting algorithms do their job; it is about supporting people in what only they can do by taking away time and resource consuming tasks that can easily be performed by machines.
Out of this belief online marketplaces for ship managers and suppliers of maritime support services like [bluester] are being created. They make sourcing and selling of maritime support services easy through digitilized processes. They are connecting offer and demand automatically. Some of these platforms, like [bluester], have built in processes that enable value chain partners to cooperate easily and even competitors to benefit from each other. Digitilized, fully integrated and automated processes which do not force users to change existing ways of doing business, finally allow us to concentrate on what matters most in our industry: human relations.
Cooperation, fair and open competition and reasonable implementation of digitilized processes shall have us facing better times sooner than later.
[bluester] supported by the European Regional Development Fund
In conjunction with a major funding received from the German Government and the European Union.
[bluester] from today operates under the legal form of a German GmbH.
Funds received are being employed to develop further features for bluester.net – making it even more easy for Ship Managers and Suppliers of Maritime Support Services to conduct business with each other.
State of the Art in Shipping
When it comes to Maritime Support Services such as Safety Services, Diving Services, Radio-/ Navigation Services, Inspection of Lifting Equipment/ Gear and Loadtesting: how do you handle today?
As a Ship Manager: how do you source, contract and handle maritime supply services?
As a Service Supplier: How do you market, sell and handle your services?
Find out your options and how they compare!