MarineDash is a newly launched online service designed to connect vessel owners with prospective charterers. The service will cater initially to vessels for hydrographic and geophysical survey, ROV and dive support, geotechnical sampling and environmental studies.
The company owners believe MarineDash will satisfy a growing industry need, particularly within the offshore renewables sector. With considerable experience within the industry, they understand the difficulties faced both by charterers and vessel owners. Company director Heather Blackford comments: "During my time managing tenders for a geophysical survey company, finding the right vessel for a project was an ongoing challenge. We never had a complete picture of the available vessels in the market, and the overall uncertainty influenced our tender responses. We anticipate the demand for spot charter vessels to continue to intensify as more contractors move towards a chartering business model and offshore wind farms become larger and move further offshore."
Lack of Digitization
This sentiment is echoed by fellow director Peter Burlingham, who has found that the lack of digitization can prove problematic for vessel owners. "Working with vessel owners on their marketing activity led me to the realization that there often isn't enough information on owners' websites to satisfy client requirements. This can lead to unnecessary delays as charterers and owners exchange information that should be readily available to allow both parties to win work more efficiently. Often, a simple omission of features or a lack of good photography in key areas could lead vessel owners to miss out on being shortlisted for work. MarineDash aims to overcome this with a consistent, minimum dataset for each vessel, along with quality photography to aid the tender submission process".
The company recognizes the valuable role that vessel brokers play within the industry, and the service is designed to make the process easier for them too. Heather explains: "Vessel brokers will be able to access the listings of the vessels that they manage, update availability and respond directly to enquiries from the site. Although MarineDash may make the initial contact, we appreciate that extended discussions and negotiations follow until an agreement is formed. MarineDash is just the first step in the process."
Optimizing Vessel Listing
MarineDash will allow prospective charterers to search and filter vessels by capability, availability, location and other pertinent information to support tender or project managers. Registered users can build a fleet of preferred vessels, contact owners directly through the site, and see a list of previous clients. They can sort by availability, last updated, as well as a range of vessel features.
For vessel owners, MarineDash will optimize the vessel listing to bring out its best features, including copywriting and photo editing, if required. The company can also provide enhanced marketing services, including photography and UAV videography. To support owners during quiet periods, they will also be able to sign up to additional promotion including targeted emails, social media posts and a premium listing on the MarineDash home page. MarineDash will be heavily marketed online using a combination of Pay Per Click and Paid Social advertising. The fact that only verified users can register an account will also reassure vessel owners that they will receive high-quality enquiries from the service.
Environmental sustainability is at the core of the company's mission, with a portion of all vessel subscriptions donated to the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup. The non-profit organization is on a mission to end ocean pollution and has removed more than two million kilograms of rubbish already. It helps keep the oceans clean, protect vulnerable marine animals, provide free educational resources, research ocean pollution for policy change and support the development of innovative technologies.