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Read about what is new aboard the Softship

2017

Softship expands senior leadership team

Nik Wittern, Sales Director Softship.SAPAS

Softship has expanded its global sales team with the appointment of a new Sales Director for its operations across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America. The move follows the launch of the company’s ‘Softship Advanced Port Agency Solution’ (Softship.SAPAS) software, a cloud-based workflow management system designed specifically for ship agents.  

Nik Wittern takes up the role of Sales Director with primary responsibility for developing the company’s regional profile amongst ship agency businesses. He joins the Hamburg-headquartered global IT company with a wealth of sales, marketing and project management experience across the maritime and logistics industries spanning ship owners and container leasing companies through to ports and engineering companies.  

Softship, which provides a range of software solutions for container lines, break-bulk and ship agency businesses both large and small, claims that increased demand for its Softship.SAPAS software is a response to sustained pressure on ship agents and their ability to operate at a profit.  

Nik Wittern, commented:

“Ship agency is not a high margin business, but these companies – which are critical to the entire shipping supply chain – face sustained pressure on their ability to operate at a profit and provide a high-quality service. Softship.SAPAS technology, which is designed specifically for ship agency businesses, can enable them to operate every element of their business efficiently. From rapidly generating automated offers through to managing port calls and sending flawless disbursement accounts while they are on the move in port. This gives them a significant advantage over agency businesses that cannot operate with the same agility.”

Finances under control

Our latest newsletter covers finance-on-the-go and the business advantages of an intelligent data interpreter:

2016

Unique multiplatform cargo tracking service for any kind of cargo

Read more about how Softship's Web Operation Center can help you boost your customer serivces in Softship's eNews 55:

Port Agency : Sophisticated tariffs with a simple click

Learn more about how Softship.SAPAS - Softship’s Advanced Port Agency Solution - can help you easily organise even the most complicated tariffs in the eNews 54:

Industry’s first cloud-based solution for port agents launched by Softship

Softship announces the launch of the industry’s first cloud-based, comprehensive solution designed specifically for port agents.

Softship Advanced Port Agency Solution – or Softship.SAPAS – is a unique pay-as-you-go tool that manages all port agency and husbandry activities in a single on-line solution.

Softship’s executive director, Thomas Wolff explains:

“Port agents provide the critical link between the charterer or owner and the port. They arrange port services, crew changes, manage port expenses and much more besides. Most agents are small companies who run their businesses on phone calls, spreadsheets and notebooks. Softship.SAPAS allows the agent to structure and control all this information and to manage efficiently the wide range of activities required when a ship makes a port call. Importantly, Softship.SAPAS is available from any internet connected PC or tablet making it completely portable for agents who are often on the move.”

Key functions of Softship.SAPAS include:

Master data: A user defined database to store and retrieve the huge amounts of information required to service the ships when in port.

Tariffs: Port tariffs can be extremely complex. Softship.SAPAS stores this information and calculates accurate costs.

Offers: This facility combines vessel information with external costs such as pilotage, berthing and bunkering to accurately estimate the cost of a port call. Softship.SAPAS generates a professional estimate that can be presented by the agent.

Port calls: Softship.SAPAS manages all activities (vessel, crew, port authorities, customers, suppliers and more) required while the ship is in port. It creates a checklist, statement of facts and a disbursement account that can be presented when the vessel departs.  

Wolff says:
“We listened carefully to the needs of port agents when we were designing Softship.SAPAS and we are confident that this tool will go a long way to help them manage their daily activities and present a professional image to their customers. We have ensured it is easy-to-use and requires no training or software installation. There is no upfront cost and agents only pay for what they use, when they use it.”

More information on Softship.SAPAS is available from http://www.softship.com/sapas

Website Relaunch

January 2016

We are delighted to announce our new-look website which has been redesigned, reorganized and updated in time for the new year. We hope it makes it easier for you to learn about our products, our services and our company.

Significantly, we have ensured that the new site is fully responsive and optimized for desktop and mobile devices.

We’ve streamlined all the relevant information and grouped together the more dynamic information (news, newsletters, blogs and more) in a new area that we’ve called our logbook.

Details of all our products are given in two main areas for ship owners and agents.

We’ve summarized our core services in a separate section and, of course, you will also still be able to find comprehensive information on our company and its network.

Do please take a look at our new site - we hope you enjoy your visit and we look forward to your feedback!

2015




Softship launches VOYCES Pro and VOYCES Pro Add-ons

June 2015

Building on the success of its established vessel scheduling software (VOYCES), Softship has now launched VOYCES Pro and VOYCES Pro Add-ons to deliver a range of added-value services.

These services have been created to meet customer requirements and include:

Vessel reporting

Onboard software to translate and transmit standard vessel reports directly to shore-side applications allowing operators to update and amend schedules accordingly.

Bunker management

A revolutionary facility allowing an analysis of the full impact on bunker consumption caused by vessel delays and schedule changes.

Capacity planning

This links with Softship’s booking software to give operators an at-a-glance view of load factors and capacity availability for an entire voyage.

Seamap

The ability to map and compare real AIS positions of vessels alongside their scheduled position and highlight differences.

Statement of facts

Reporting of port call events, confirmation of cargo loaded/discharged and bunkers received. All corresponding port costs are automatically calculated

Checklist

A facility to ensure all common tasks required whilst a vessel is in port are authorised, completed and checked.  

On launching the new packaged applications, Softship’s executive director, Thomas Wolff said:

“We always listen to our customers and this new package has been developed to meet real concerns and issues that are currently being voiced in the marketplace. Bunker costs, for example, represent a very significant slice of a carrier’s costs and our customers wanted a tool which would allow them see, immediately, the impact on bunker consumption for a variety of schedule change scenarios. VOYCES Pro and VOYCES Pro Add-ons enables this alongside a range of other new and topical tools.

These new software applications are currently being rolled- out to operators in Europe and the US and I am pleased to report that these carriers are delighted with the functionality and the value it is bringing to their business.”

For more information about this exciting new software application, contact sales@softship.com.





Enhanced service and support in Asia

February 2015

We are continually investing in our service and support network to ensure we meet all our customers’ requirements. Both our Singapore and Manila offices relocated in January and benefit from upgraded infrastructure.

Together, they can deliver a 50% increase in service capacity to accommodate the growing demand for our products. Both these offices are fully staffed with experienced customer support and technical experts who are trained to deliver the high levels of service that our customers demand.

The focus of our Singapore office is on offering our entire service and product range to our customers in the Asia Pacific region. Back office support for our global client base is delivered from Manila and this includes ongoing product development, support and quality assurance.

2014

User conference celebrates Softship’s 25th anniversary

October 2014

 

Our user conferences are always a highlight in the Softship calendar and this year – our 25th anniversary year – we welcomed our largest number of participants ever. Held in Hamburg, 21 clients attended the two day event.

Conference participants were briefed on a number of new initiatives and were given the opportunity to discuss Softship’s products with the software experts and to give their own feedback on new and potential developments.

Of particular interest was the Softship LIMA roadmap where the conference heard about Softship’s plans for the additions and enhancements to be made to the Softship LIMA suite over the coming 24 months. This was a unique opportunity for our clients to help shape our future thinking on this pivotal software solution.

Also included in the two-day event was a presentation of the new VOYCES PRO application which generated some significant interest as did the new Statement of Facts facility with a focus on port cost calculations, the new Finance solution and the WebReportingCenter. The conference also heard from the Softship User Group who presented a range of customer perspectives and views on the future direction of the software applications.

As it was our anniversary year, all participants were treated to dinner and a tour of the Port of Hamburg by boat. This was fitting way to cement relationships and encourage more informal discussions.


Softship celebrates 25 years in shipping

May 2014

This year is our 25th anniversary and we are celebrating our growth from a Hamburg based operation to a global provider of shipping software solutions. Today, we operate from Hamburg, Singapore, Antwerp, New York and Manila and we employ over 100 people to ensure our software is up-to-date and fully supported for all our customers.

From 1989 to 2014, we have expanded our customer base starting in Germany and then growing into Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. Our software is now installed in more than 120 companies and is being used on a daily basis by thousands of users.

We have been able to achieve this through keeping abreast of technology changes and understanding the evolving requirements of our customers. Additions and modification to our existing applications and the creation of brand-new solutions ensures we deliver the automation, efficiencies and business support that a cutting-edge shipping line requires to remain competitive.

We have enjoyed the challenges of our first 25 years in business and we look forward to working alongside our customers and our staff for the coming 25 years and more.


Softship celebrates 25 years in shipping

May 2014

This year is our 25th anniversary and we are celebrating our growth from a Hamburg based operation to a global provider of shipping software solutions. Today, we operate from Hamburg, Singapore, Antwerp, New York and Manila and we employ over 100 people to ensure our software is up-to-date and fully supported for all our customers.

From 1989 to 2014, we have expanded our customer base starting in Germany and then growing into Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. Our software is now installed in more than 120 companies and is being used on a daily basis by thousands of users.

We have been able to achieve this through keeping abreast of technology changes and understanding the evolving requirements of our customers. Additions and modification to our existing applications and the creation of brand-new solutions ensures we deliver the automation, efficiencies and business support that a cutting-edge shipping line requires to remain competitive.

We have enjoyed the challenges of our first 25 years in business and we look forward to working alongside our customers and our staff for the coming 25 years and more.


Record financial performance

April 2014

In 2013 we recorded our best financial performance since the company began trading in 1989. Sales for the year grew by around 9% to reach Euro 10.63 million which created earnings before tax of EUR 0.84 million – this was an improvement of 24% on the 2012 figure. After tax, our consolidated profit reached EUR 0.51 million.

The board decided not to announce a dividend (EUR 0.16 per share in 2012) and to carry forward the net profit of EUR 384,612 to the current year to fund planned company growth. We have a robust and realistic strategy in place for the current year and expects to see sales grow by a further 5% in 2014.


Making headlines

March 2014

Our software continues to make headlines in many of the industry’s key print and on line media. Increasingly we are being sought out to supply commentaries, thought leadership articles and to contribute to wider features on maritime technology. The “in the press” pages of the website’s media section hosts the Softship media articles. We are always pleased to contribute original ideas and perspectives on how we see the future of technology unfolding within the maritime industry.

2013

New software rollouts

November 2013

We continually update our solutions to ensure they remain completely relevant for our global customers. Three new launches are planned planned between now and mid 2014 and they include:

  • EDI Guard version 6 available now – this new version will feature a secure FTP facility, instant email alerts for benchmarks, sophisticated load balancing, future-proof technology and a  built-in click-and-go upgrade feature.
  • MasterData – a web version of this application will shortly be rolled-out
  • VOYCES – our flagship operations solution will be re-released in Q2 2014 to include a range of brand-new and innovative features.

Please contact us if you would like more detailed information about any of these new software versions.


New European customer

November 2013

This month we’ve signed up a new customer based in Europe. The shipping line has opted to take our equipment management solution which will allow them to take control of their equipment stock simply and efficiently. This application delivers an accurate and up-to-date picture of where equipment is located and also tracks movements in and out of terminals and depots. In addition, it controls the management of leased equipment and analyses the associated costs.

Our new customer has installed this solution at its headquarters as well as in a number of external depots to assist with maintenance and repair processes.


Third quarters financials announced

November 2013

At the close of Q3 2013, we recorded an increase in year-to-date sales revenue of 3.9% amounting to €7.8 million – this is set against €7.5 million for the same period last year. Despite the increase in revenue, our Q3 profit was €0.375 million which is down from the €0.467 million achieved in 2012. EBIT was down from €0.692 million (2012) to €0.618 million.

We are confident that our business plan remains strong and that we will secure new sales in the final quarter of 2013 to achieve the 8% year-end growth we have forecast.


Join the debate

October 2013

We are now blogging on a regular basis to bring our customers and others a range of views and perspectives from the shipping software sector. You can find our blog here on our website and also on our LinkedIn page www.linkedin.com/company/softship-ag

You might want to join our discussion, add your own views or challenge ours. Please feel free to do so. Log onto our LinkedIn page and join the debate – we’d be delighted to hear from you.


New vessel for Softship customer MACS

September 2013

We are always delighted to see our customers continue to grow. Last month we were invited to witness the christening of a new MACS multi-purpose container vessel in Hamburg. The new ship was named Blue Master II and took her name from a previous ship that served the company with distinction for many years. The ceremony was hosted by managing director Dietrich Scheder-Bieschin and his sister, Elizabeth was the vessel’s godmother and lady sponsor.

Good luck and safe sailing to Blue Master II.


Best ever half yearly results

August 2013

The first half of 2013 resulted in Softship’s best ever half year financial performance since the company began trading in 1989. Sales volumes increased by 13% to reach €5.61 million compared with €4.98 million over the same period last year. EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) grew by 7% to €0.481 million (€0.448 million in 2012) and the resulting net profit also improved from 0.310 million to 0.340 million.

Solid business performance including the winning of new customers is behind these financial results and Softship is confident that growth will continue throughout the remainder of the year.


New customers sign up with Softship

May 2013

Three major deals with liner operators were closed during the first four months of 2013. These customers have signed up to our Softship LIMA software suite which provides solutions for every aspect of running a liner operation from voyage management to claims handling.

Global Sales Director Lars Fischer said: "This has been a very strong start to the year. These new customers have signed up for licences covering up to 50 users. Our Softship LIMA software suite is designed to drive cost savings across every department. Our customers are able to simplify their business processes, eliminate duplication and enhance communication between departments and network of agents."


Excellent turnover and result in Q1

May 2013

Softship's Q1 turnover grew by 12.2% to €2.814 million compared to the previous year (€2.507 million). The result rose to €0.185 million from €0.177 million in the first quarter of 2012. The EBIT was €0.261 million (Q1 2012: €0.257 million), resulting in an EBIT margin of 9.3% for the period.

The turnover of customer services amounts to €2.3 million (€2.2 million in the first quarter of 2012). Licences grew to €0.407 million from €0.25 million in 2012. The main share of this growth was delivered by the shipping segment of the Softship group.


Softship reports final results for 2012

March 2013

Softship reports final results for the fiscal year 2012.  The group’s turnover grew to €9.87 million representing an 11.1% increase on the €8.88 million achieved in 2011.

Profit before tax was €0.679 million in 2012, with a margin of 6.9%, which is slightly higher than the preliminary figures forecast. In 2011 the group’s profit before tax was €0.865 million with a corresponding margin of 9.7%.

After tax, the group’s result was €0.43 million (€0.63 million in 2011), this resulted in €0.23 per share (€0.33 in 2011). The equity ratio rose to 73.6% at the end 2012 (71.9% in 2011).
At the annual general meeting scheduled for 21 June 2013 the management will suggest a dividend of €0.12 per share (€0.16 in 2012).

The management plans a business growth of between 8% and 12% and an improved margin for 2013.


New liner software links sales with accounting for the first time

March 2013

We are delighted to announce a partnership with software developer, Comarch to deliver a fully integrated operations and financial software package to the global liner market.

Never been offered before, this ground-breaking business solution combines customer facing services with back-office accounting in a single, seamless solution. By integrating tried and tested software from Softship and Comarch, liner operators and agents will soon be able to fully manage sales, quotations, contracts, bookings and documentation right through to the invoicing, credit control and payment processes. Achieving this level of automation in a fast moving and data-laden environment will significantly improve efficiencies, eliminate duplication, reduce errors and save costs.

Announcing the partnership, Softship executive director, Thomas Wolff said:

"This is a major step forward in helping liner operators achieve efficiencies and reduce overhead in an extremely tough market. Over the last 20 years, Softship has been introducing automation to various elements of a carrier's core activities but this new partnership has allowed us to take the leap that I believe will result in some major cost savings being achieved. There is no other similar product available to owners.

Comarch is a partner that operates to our own high standards of professionalism and customer support. I am delighted to be working with them to provide our industry with the next generation of software applications."

The Comarch financial system (Comarch Financials Enterprise) will be fully integrated with our two primary software suites (Softship LIMA for carriers and Softship ALFA for agents) and will sit on a common Microsoft MSSQL database. This facilitates a speedy and seamless exchange of data from front to back office over an integrated interface. Using our extensive knowledge of the shipping market, the Comarch accounting system will be adapted to suit the shipping sector and will include country specific specifications enabling the new package to be implemented across the globe.

In line with all our applications, this new facility will be fully customisable to suit individual company preferences and processes.