Posted on 28 February 2022

Barry McNally, Vice President, explains how we’re using digital tools to shape the company’s future.

Barry McNally is Stolt Tank Containers’ Vice President. He re-joined us in 2021, to once-again lead the department he established more than 16 years ago.

Upon returning, Barry was very proud to discover that the digitalisation trajectory he’d started one and a half decades ago was still going strong. “Processes and tools, such as the customer demand forecasting system and yield-based pricing tool, that we developed and implemented in 2005 are still in use, and are as relevant today as when they were first deployed.”

This doesn’t mean development efforts stopped in 2005. It was only the beginning of a quest to propel Stolt Tank Containers to the forefront of the industry, by utilising technology to revolutionise customer service and price competitiveness. Opportunities for improvement are constantly being examined and upgraded, with tools such as mySTC and a new and improved version of the yield-based pricing tool, currently being rolled out.

Changing the course of the tank container industry

Barry explains why digital tools are so important to the future of the tank container shipping industry: 

“Our industry is incredibly complex, not just in terms of all its physical and regulatory aspects, but also in terms of how information is shared between all the different parties. Historically, information exchange has been very inefficient, with every party having to separately enter the same information into their own systems, having obtained it by phone or email. That’s a lot of time wasted. And as time is money, it means higher costs for everyone. Not to mention higher risk of error.

“With the right digital tools, we can streamline this whole process. We see the future of the tank container industry as one where every piece of data is only entered once, then flows through the whole network between us, our customers, service operators, regulatory bodies, shipment recipients and every other relevant party.

“By becoming more digitally connected and digitally enabled, we’re progressing well towards our  aim of having the best decision-making tools in the tank container industry, and using those to be the easiest company to do business with.” 

Creating the tools for a better future

The tools Barry and his team have developed include the mySTC customer portal and various internal tools for planning tank container repositioning and yield-based pricing.  

mySTC is an upgrade of mySTCtanks. Having learned from customers that they found mySTCtanks a bit cumbersome, Barry’s team developed mySTC to be much more user-friendly.
Read more about mySTC >>

Tank positioning efficiency

Having our tanks in the right place at the right time, without needing to move them around empty, is vital for cost-efficiency, and that gets passed on to customers. Our container repositioning planning tool and yield-based pricing tools, used in tandem with our demand forecasting system, show us what we need to do to optimise tank usage. Having our tanks where customers need them is an absolute prerequisite. By forecasting this and minimising potential revenue losses from repositioning, we maintain a business model which supports both customer demand and the lowest-possible pricing.

Watch this space

Barry concludes: “In an industry that’s all about physical movement of goods, it’s easy to forget the role digitalisation plays in providing customer service. We have a very powerful vision of how information technology will continue to transform this industry and are continually working on developing and improving the tools which keep us at the forefront.”  

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