Q&A: Michael Schwank, President of Tideworks Technology



Michael Schwank, President of Tideworks Technology


With the collapse of Hanjin and everything else that is going on; nagging overcapacity has meant the shipping lines have been running for so long with very tough margins. Apparently now, some governments that have been propping those lines up are no longer willing to do so, so I think we're in for some very rough times in the next 2-3 years, as there's some stabilisation to the supply/demand curve.

What does that mean to us? Well you've got primary customers who are begging for cost reductions and trying to save every penny they can. They are serviced by terminal operators that are trying to do the same thing in a tough environment, which then means they are doing it with their vendors, such as Tideworks. So we have to bring to them an extremely value-driven solution, making sure that it is tailored to what they need and helps them reduce their costs.

There's some light at the end of the tunnel but the current automation projects often take a lot of capital investment. Right now, so many terminal operators and shipping lines are only looking into 'how do I save money?' So while that’s the case we all have to deal with it, and in the meantime, guys like Tideworks are very interested in bringing that value to the customers.

That being said, we also have to stay ahead of the curve in the technology space, that's why we're continuing to innovate. We can't just stop doing anything new because everything is about costs, we have to figure a way to continue to innovate and figure out a way to operate as a business which is significant in this industry…

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