DFDS SHIPMASTERS RUN THEIR VESSELS AS PROFIT CENTERS, DO THINGS UNHEARD OF IN AMERICA; MARAD HAS TAKEN NOTE

Six years ago, the Danish shipping firm DFDS, which is principally involved in operation of ferry and passenger ships but also involved in the American trades through ownership of Nordana Line, returned to proven sailing ship methods and instituted a system of "shipboard management," setting up each ship as a profit center with the master functioning as managing director, and deck and engineer officers as directors. The decision turned the company around so that three years later, in 1977, DFDS earnings ranked as "the most profitable shipping company in the world in return on capital." DFDS relies on masters of its ships to prepare their own operating budgets on an annual basis. Masters are given responsibility for manning, maintenance, stores, and all decisions which can be made when ships are in port and at sea. It costs about $25,000 per vessel to introduce the DFDS shipboard management program. This includes time required to instruct masters and ship officers. It is essential that operating procedures and guidelines be clearly established and followed. Beyond that, officers function as a profit center board of directors. The system has affected day-to-day operating costs in a positive way with an estimated average daily cost reduction of about $1,000 per vessel. This is equivalent to 25% for Nordana ships, which average $4,000 a day at sea. Oil consumption, stevedore and tug costs, and downtime have been reduced. When the U.S. Maritime Administration realized what the new management system was accomplishing for foreign owners, it decided, in November, to award a $350,000 contract to three American firms to apply advanced computer and communications technology to enhance shipboard management capabilities in the American merchant fleet. Marine Management Systems Inc. of Stamford, Conn., is the lead contractor in the study, joined by Simat, Helliesen & Eichner of Washington, D.C., and Keystone Shipping Co. of Philadelphia.

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    Howard Publications, Incorporated

    300 W. Adams Street, Suite 600, P.O. Box 4728
    Jacksonville, FL  United States  32201
  • Publication Date: 1980-1

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  • Accession Number: 00303848
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 20 1980 12:00AM