We support the shipping industry to the new era

Interview at NAFS Magazine: From Michael Papageorgiou, Director, Consulting, Shipping Sector Business Development Lead, KPMG in Greece

Interview at NAFS Magazine: From Michael Papageorgiou, Director, Consulting, Shipping...

Recently KPMG published an interesting report with the title “The future of Shipping”. According to this report the most important trend for the Shipping Industry is the Digital Transformation. How can KPMG contribute to this important transformation of the Shipping Industry?

The digital transformation certainly stands out as the main trend for the shipping industry and is an answer to several of the known challenges. Technology solutions come to optimize operations, efficiency and add value to shipping companies in many ways.

The new business environment demands the shipping industry to shift from the traditional business model of selling capacity, to one that offers value to customers. With the increasing need of global supply chains for seamless flow of goods and services, Digital Business is a key enabler for shipping companies today.

Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT/sensors), Big-Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs), Digital Twins and Blockchain, together with the vast amount of data that are now available, are being utilized to optimize operations, enhance efficiency, drive down costs and increase the uptime of vessels. Digital transformation will create smarter, more connected distributed networks and will provide performance monitoring as well as real-time visibility of the vessels. This will massively reduce the lack in communication between the people on the vessel and those on-shore and will set up the foundation for more centralized know-how where data from one vessel can be used to drive improvements in other vessels as well.

Shipping Companies are exploring ways to leverage new technologies to improve the efficiency and productivity of their investments. KPMG has the answers and supports the shipping industry to develop innovative digitally connected vessels, to deliver digital transformation initiatives, to plan the development of the appropriate skills and last, but not least, to include the environmental sustainability of vessels and shipbuilding in the agenda.

KPMG Greece and its global network as well as with our specialized shipping partners form a team with design and implementation capabilities for complex and demanding digital transformation projects. 

We at KPMG believe that our offering provides reliable and viable services which can support the shipping industry to the new era.

Unfortunately after the problems due to the Pandemic, global economy faces serious difficulties in the energy and the supply sectors. How can KPMG support its clients in really harsh situations of crisis management?

Global economy, following the pandemic crisis, faces serious difficulties in the energy and the supply sectors due to recent invasion in Ukraine. The sanctions imposed on Russia's energy sector are expected to have a major impact on the shipping industry, as they will have an impact on commercial operations ranging from shipping costs and routes throughout the entire supply chain. Some risks can be planned for, monitored, and mitigated; but other high-impact, hard-to-predict events are occurring more often.

Due to the unpredictable nature of a crisis and the potential impact on an organization’s viability, it is important for organizations to prepare in advance for both a crisis and a response. As part of our broad range of Advisory services across our network of firms, KPMG professionals assist member firm clients in answering difficult questions like:

  • Are we prepared for a crisis?
  • Do we understand all of our potential risks?
  • Have we thought “outside the box” about our risks and responses?
  • Do we have an appropriate response or responses documented?
  • Do we have the right resources and advisors readily available in the event of a crisis?

Effective crisis planning and response can limit business interruption and the associated costs of a crisis and its aftermath, especially for the shipping industry due to the global nature of the operations. KPMG’s network of firms provide strategic and tactical insights and skills to help enhance organizations’ response to a crisis.

“Nothing is more important than passion and we are passionate about shipping and trying to increase our footprint in this exciting industry” stated Mr Ioannis Bravos Partner and Head of Shipping at KPMG in Greece. How important is Shipping for KPMG?

Shipping is one of the most dynamic sectors worldwide and we are very proud that is a cornerstone for the Greek Economy. KPMG globally has identified Shipping as one of the key areas of our future development thus we work hard to increase our footprint in this flagship industry. 

In an industry that enables intercontinental trade, transport of energy and raw materials, import/export of manufactured goods and as a sequence creates a robust and wealthy ecosystem in terms of economic growth and employment, we are ready to give our best to be the preferred and trusted advisors for the shipping companies.

We at KPMG are passionate to serve our customers, we are eager to deliver solutions, we are committed to provide high quality services and we are thirsty to contribute for the next era of the shipping industry. Our experts have extensive knowledge, understanding and experience of maritime issues and provide a wide range of services to ensure our clients reach their full potential.

KPMG and corporate social responsibility. In what ways KPMG supports the needs of the society especially in these difficult times?

We work together to create positive impact in the communities in which we live and work in, striking a balance between mind and heart, putting into practice our firm's values which govern all aspects of our daily life. Our goal is to ensure that our people, our clients and our communities reach their full potential, knowing that when we coordinate our skills, experience, motivation and passion, we can achieve great things.

In this context, our Citizenship actions are based on four pillars: people, environment, community and life-long learning, aiming to support the following groups: children and students, symbolizing the future, the community of KPMG’s professionals, symbolizing the present, and the elderly, as a token of our respect and to provide support to the communities in which we operate.

We are very active corporate citizens and some of our actions include:

  • We participate every year in Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Campaign and in coordination with HELMEPA cleaning up the beaches around Attica
  • KPMG in collaboration with the Hellenic Book Club for more than 6 years, creates and enriches lending libraries across Greece by participating in KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL), an international program to combat child illiteracy.
  • “KPMG Global Cyber Day” is a social initiative of global reach organized by KPMG International, aimed at educating school-age children, as well as the adults of their environment, about the importance of cyber safety. In 2021 more than 1500 students and parents benefited from this award-winning program in Greece.
  • For the 5th year, KPMG, in the context of the company's social responsibility and on the occasion of the United Nations World Hunger Day and World Food Day, implemented with great success the established action "Cook for Good" ("We cook for a good cause"). The action was attended by 40 volunteer employees, who surpassed themselves and their culinary skills, cooking more than 200 care meals, "breaking" the record of previous years.
  • Our long-term cooperation with ELEPAP has given rise to a plethora of multi-level initiatives for its support. A member of our leadership is a board member offering the business perspective and being close to the needs of ELEPAP. At the same time, the people of KPMG contribute in a number of ways by holding Bazaars at our offices every Christmas and Easter and donating school supplies at the start of each school year. In addition, KPMG offers promotional space at our conferences, as means for ELEPAP to raise awareness of their work within the business world.

The greatest reward is the fulfillment of supporting fellow human beings in need, by implementing on a daily basis actions to protect the environment, to support marginalized communities and to empower life-long learning.