Please tell us about Inchcape’s operations in the UAE?
Globally, Inchcape is focused on port agency and the associated marine services, and the UAE is one of our key markets. Apart from the traditional port agency for all vessel segments, Inchcape UAE owns 11 crew boats. Here we have a large government services department and Dubai is the head office for our Marine Survey and Inspections department.
How did Inchcape perform in the first three quarters of this year?
Last year, we introduced a few new value-added service solutions for our clients. We have been benefitting from these services this year, posting higher activity levels and revenues than the previous year.
What has attributed to the positive results in 2019? Please explain.
To compete in any service industry in today’s business environment, we can’t always hope that the best service provider will be the winner. In addition to high-quality service, you also need to deliver the service in a time and cost-efficient way. One example of how we have worked in that manner is the Bunker Quantity Survey solution, which, to a large extent is unique to Inchcape. This leverages our in-house marine surveyors, port agency and our owned launch boats to offer a highly competitive packaged solution.
We have introduced other similar solutions as well, which have also started to gain traction on the market.
Looking ahead, what are the key opportunities for growth in the UAE maritime sector?
We believe that transparency is becoming a critical success factor for the shipping industry and that technology will underpin the operational and financial oversight needed to make the right decisions at the right time, allowing operators to look for opportunities to limit their costs and enhance their business.
Inchcape Shipping Services is currently rolling an industry leading operating system — Optic — that captures all financial, time and events data from each port and allows vessel operators to access the information in real-time on all platforms. Operators can see as much information as they want, when they want and in whatever aggregation they want.