Columbia opens optimisation control room

Socrates Theodosiou (left), co-CEO of Tototheo Maritime and Mark O’Neil, President of Columbia Shipmanagement Socrates Theodosiou (left), co-CEO of Tototheo Maritime and Mark O’Neil, President of Columbia Shipmanagement

Columbia Shipmanagement has opened a performance optimisation control room that aims to improve operations by connecting technical, commercial and crew management.

When the facility in Cyprus is fully functional it will be manned by qualified personnel optimising vessel safety, crew rotation and training, performance (speed, consumption, delay, weather routing), disaster avoidance, maintenance (including preventative maintenance through sensor and camera technology), and contractual compliance.

The room will be run through a web-based system that can be easily uploaded to other Columbia locations and clients’ offices to allow remote monitoring.

Captain Pankaj Sharma, control room manager, Columbia Shipmanagement, said: “Centralising our operations will give us the ability to better deal with fast-changing scenarios and developments as they happen. Our goal is to have even faster decision-making and greater visibility by using modern technology to achieve cost-efficient vessel operations.”

Mark O’Neil, president, Columbia Shipmanagement, added: “This project is a tangible example of how digitalisation and technology can be harnessed for optimisation of vessel operation and management. Not only will it make us more attractive to our clients and potential clients, it will also make our clients more attractive to the market through optimised operation. The performance optimisation control room demonstrates Columbia’s commitment to its clients and to the provision of a thoroughly modern, digitalised and optimised service.”

Radio, satellite and communications specialist Tototheo Maritime assisted Columbia in setting up the control room. Socrates Theodosiou, co-CEO of Tototheo, noted that the facility was only possible thanks to recent advances in technology.

“"The leaps in communications and connectivity technology have been tremendous and we expect to see more changes in the coming years," he said. "Data has become a valuable asset for any organisation and we have all come to realise how important information is to daily operations and to strategic decision making; but it has to be the right information, delivered to the right people at the right time.”

Natasa Pilides, Cyprus’ deputy minister of shipping, cut the ribbon at the new facility on 14 December. She said: “The launch of the control room is a vivid example of the Columbia Shipmanagement’s dedication to safety and optimisation of performance. This new addition to the company’s advanced technological systems will enable efficient monitoring of the company’s fleet and prompt rectification in case performance issues arise.”

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