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SSY invests in shipping analytics to keep control of data

Simpson Spence Young's chairman says client data gathered through the company’s shipbroking activities will not be commercialised

Shipbroker SSY has taken a stake in Gothenburg-based Marine Benchmark, which uses freely available data, via Automatic Identification System signals. The data company has extensively surveyed greenhouse gas emissions for the world fleet and is in the running to provide a global benchmark relating to such data

THE world’s largest privately held shipbroker has taken a minority stake in a Swedish maritime analytics company.

London-based Simpson Spence Young has bought a “significant” share of Marine Benchmark as it seeks to retain control of its own data, expand analysis, and establish new indices for shipping greenhouse gas emissions.

The move was announced a month after SSY invested in another technology start-up, Signal Ocean, which provides data for the dry bulk sector.

“We have a huge amount of data which is flowing through the veins of the company,” SSY chairman Mark Richardson told Lloyd’s List. He declined to say how much, or the value of the investment.

“This is along the same strategy [as Signal Ocean], where we will be helping them [Marine Benchmark] to develop products. But will also be keeping in control of our own data, which I think is important. As a company, we don't want to just give this away to third parties and give away our true value.”

SSY clients are looking for the interpretation and analysis of big data, Mr Richardson added.

Client data gathered through the company’s shipbroking activities wouldn’t be commercialised he said.

Gothenburg-based Marine Benchmark was established eight years ago and uses freely available data, via Automatic Identification System data, according to its website.

“The question is how do you disseminate and analyse [the information] in a way that lets you produce it into useful tools that can interpret either present trends, but also future trends, together with using machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Mr Richardson.

Marine Benchmarks has extensively surveyed greenhouse gas emissions for the world fleet. The Baltic Exchange is also partnering with a maritime analytics company that focuses on greenhouse gas monitoring.

Asked whether any benchmarks or analysis of greenhouse gas emissions would compete with what the Baltic Exchange was doing Mr Richardson said: “Definitely. There’s a number of people looking to be the benchmark.

“We’re all looking to assess different parts of the fleet as to what their green standing is. I don’t think anybody has cracked that nut yet. Marine Benchmark has done a lot of work on that and we will be coming out with instruments to benchmark those issues and emissions going forward.”

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