Funded PhD Studentship: International Market Research - Business Strategy Planning for an Innovative Internet Platform Servicing the Needs of the Global Merchant Shipping Industry

Swansea University - Business

Start date: January 2018

Project Description:

Two thirds of the globe is covered by water, circa 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry utilising 90,000 merchant vessels. Shipping is a key facilitator of international trade and global economic development.

Ships often trade in harsh environments with demanding cargoes. Hence, the maintenance of ship condition and up-keep is of critical importance to a range of stakeholders including ship owners, their financial backers, ship insurance companies, the various regulatory bodies and the end users (“Consumers). In recent years, a growing demand has been placed on ship inspections in response to growing regulatory, financial and other pressures on stakeholders to understand and monitor their ships’ conditions- a trend which anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future.

Ship inspections are carried out by a global community of marine surveyors (“Producers”), many of whom work alone or in small companies which seek ship inspection work for Consumers via a network of traditional intermediaries and through largely unconnected channels. Currently, there is no single common market place for such Consumers and Producers; the market can therefore be described as disconnected and unorganised.

Research Carried out by Idwal Marine Services Limited, a subsidiary of the Graig Group of Companies, demonstrates that the current spend on ship inspections is circa $600million (USD) per annum highlighting a significant sector-specific business opportunity.

Idwal Marine Services Limited is wholly owned subsidiary of Graig Shipping PLC. Graig Shipping will celebrate 100 years in business in 2019. Graig was established at a time when shipping coal mined from the Welsh mountains was being exported in volume globally. Since that time, Graig has risen to the challenges of international trade and prospered; always alert to the risk and opportunities facing it and agile to move into new markets after thorough risk/return evaluation.

Established in 2009, Idwal Marine provides Consumers with high quality ship inspections. Since its establishment, the company has grown rapidly and in October 2009 launched InspectMyShip.com; an industry-leading online platform where consumers can obtain fixed priced instant quotes for shipping inspections and digitally receive inspection reports and critical data in a format and level not previously seen in the industry.

Idwal Marine is looking to expand upon this success by further developing the InspectMyShip.complatform into a truly global market place where global independent ship inspectors can connect their services with Consumers via a common platform which enhances the availability, speed and quality of their services, at a cost which is clear, transparent and value for money.

The platform will also open collaborative opportunities with other complementary service partners who can augment the inspection experience and enhance Consumer experience.

Eligibility

Academic requirements:

Candidates should have a first class or upper second class (2.1) honours degree and an appropriate Master's degree with a merit in a related field (Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance) and an unquenchable thirst to work within a unique industry amongst talented individuals and in an environment which encourages challenging and innovative thinking.

Residency criteria:

Applications are welcome from International Students on the understanding that the tuition fee is only partially covered.

Funding Details

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus an annual stipend of £14,296.

There is also £1,500 of Postgraduate Research Allowance which is available to use in years 2 and 3 of the PhD.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Wales