Norbulk Shipping goes paperless in the Cloud



Ship management company Norbulk Shipping is moving towards operating ‘paperless ships’, as it migrates its IT systems to the Cloud.

The Glasgow-based ship manager is working with Cloud Technology Solutions on the project, a Google partner offering cloud migrator services.

Norbulk began the project with a pilot scheme in its Glasgow office. After running the pilot through various levels of the company for two months and receiving positive feedback, it rolled out across other management offices in Riga, Saint John New Brunswick, Manila and St Petersburg.

“We are continually developing our management systems and implementing cloud-based technology has assisted our goal of adopting paperless systems,” explained Peter Karlsen, director at Norbulk.

“With improved communications and transparency, we are able to access and interpret greater amounts of information.  The benefits to the company through this change in information flow are very real – systems do run much more efficiently as a result.”

“As far as the quality systems go and the audits we carry out on the ships, they’re pretty thorough – something that is important in today’s market because there is simply no margin for error. Standards have been set so high now and there is a greater emphasis on quality management systems, the environment, and competent crew.”

The majority of the 80-plus ships managed by Norbulk are run electronically, using the cloud-based technology for daily communication. With the use of the cloud migrator Norbulk says it was able to move e-mail, calendars, contact and appointments from its old mail server to the new cloud-based system.

“I’m always impressed when people come to the office and we are able to show them on a big screen submissions from ships, and all the documentation is there in an integrated management system,” Mr Karlsen added.

“There are still a lot of handwritten forms that need to be filled in, but everything is logged into the system electronically. We have even moved over to paperless purchasing. Everyone is now trying to reduce the amount of paper that’s around.”

“You won’t stay competitive unless you look ahead at advancements and digitisation and how that’s going to improve your businesses going forward.”