Challenges in the integration of Data Management Systems (DMS) in ship operations

  • Pengfei Zhang School of Law, Dalian Maritime University, China
  • Lasith Anthony De Silva Solent University, United Kingdom
  • Sriram Rajagopal Senior QHSE & Training Superintendent, Anglo-Eastern Group, China
Keywords: Data Management Systems (DMS), Ship operations, Process technology, Maritime, Software


While the rapid growth of emerging technologies is changing  the practices of industries worldwide, the global maritime industry has been conservative and reluctant to make any significant changes in their management practice. Data Management Systems (DMS) have become increasingly important in many other industries, such as banking and finance, health care, shopping, and different educational institutions, including universities, academic institutions, and journals. However, ship managers have not adopted and integrated DMS to a similar extent in ship operations. The related reasons may include inadequate knowledge, prevailing management practices, a lack of incentives, and high capital expenditure (CAPEX). In this research, 5 key hypotheses were developed based on existing knowledge and scholarship, drawn from a variety of sources in both the public domain and private databases. Primary data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and online questionnaires to test these hypotheses. This article identifies and critically examines some key issues of DMS with respect to ship operations and how it can be used in ship operations to improve management efficiency. DMS currently marketed does not address the industry’s requirements, hence, it should be customised to suit the industry’s needs by asking vessel managers for their requirements rather than DMS writers assuming them. Training in DMS software is a weak point and, hence, needs more attention. DMS packages should be made more user / operator friendly and intuitive by paying more attention to the UDI to minimise training requirements and barriers to acceptance. Finally, this paper concludes by introducing some recommendations and proposing a model framework for the integration of DMS in ship operations.


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How to Cite
Zhang, P., Anthony De Silva, L., & Rajagopal, S. (2020). Challenges in the integration of Data Management Systems (DMS) in ship operations. Maritime Technology and Research, 2(4), 187-207.