German ship-management software company Hanseaticsoft has made a breakthrough in Japan in a deal with local shipowner Fukujin Kisen.

The private family-owned shipping company has agreed to use Hanseaticsoft’s software to accelerate the digitalisation of its fleet.

Hanseaticsoft, which was acquired by the UK Lloyd’s Register Group in 2017, has traditionally had a strong foothold in northern Europe where its clients include companies such as NSC, Peter Dohle Schiffahrts, Rigel and Atlantic Lloyd.

It has been looking to expand in the Far East and it opened an office in Singapore in 2018 to lead the marketing drive in the Asian region.

The deal with Fukujin Kisen involves Hanseaticsoft’s Cloud Fleet Manager (CFM) product.

Fukujin Kisen, headed by chief executive Toshiyuki Seno, is a major shipowner in the country with a 140-year history.

According to VesselsValue, it controls a fleet of 48 ships, valued at more than $2bn, of which 35 are bulk carriers. It also controls four post-panamax container ships.

CFM is single cloud-based product that is used by employees, crews and external partners, for data exchange. It helps ship managers to streamline workflows and processes.

Fukujin Kisen has its own internal ship-management operation with offices in the key Asian crewing and operations centres of Busan, Shanghai and Manila.

The deal will be viewed as a breakthrough in the Japanese market, where shipowners have tended to use local suppliers.

Many private Japanese owners have been regarded as a little slow in digitalising their operations and the potential market is huge.

Streamline and improve

Masaki Takabatake, manager at Fukujin Kisen, said the new system would be a “key accelerator” for the digitisation of the company’s ship-management operations.

He added that he had “high expectations” for future development. “This platform will streamline and improve all our processes and identify areas for improvement. This will enhance our business performance and help us reduce costs,” he said.

Hanseaticsoft’s chief executive Alexander Buchmann said: “CFM will digitise the company’s ship management and improve operations, decision-making and communications between vessels and land-based staff.”