Exclusive Interview with Hannan Carmeli, Founder & CEO of theDOCK

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(Left to right: Barak Lizorik, Business Development Manager, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & COO Noa Schuman, CMO, Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & CEO, theDOCK)

Data is power. An average ship generates 2 GB of data which if used effectively can streamline and smoothen operations remarkably, said Hannan Carmeli, Founder and CEO of theDOCK, a leading innovation company based in Israel.

Hannan spoke in detail on data and its optimum use and several other aspects of the shipping and maritime industry during an interview with Sea News. The excerpts….

How do you reflect on the journey covered so far? Who are your peers?

  1. Persistency. Persistency, persistency
  2. Always set the bar high… and then.. exceed expectations
  3. Couldn’t have done it if not for the passionate and fun team
  4. And more to the point – we were right in two key assumptions we made, and on which we focused on right from the get go – (a) the maritime sector is ready for digital disruption and (b) in order to move the needle we would have to attract 3 types of stake holders to our table – entrepreneurs, large corporates seeking new technologies and investors.
  5. As to peers – we can count today some 20 “innovation hubs” (incubators, accelerators etc) which focus over maritime technologies. We know many of them personally and are looking at them as collaboration opportunities. 

While talking about theDOCK, a lot is spoken about it being a unique place for ‘Startups’. Please elaborate in what ways?

I will start with stating that the geographical patch in which we are located – Israel, is unique and so is theDOCK as well. This is evident in the quality and magnitude of the talent, the level of investment in R&D in general and presence of VCs in particular, and also in the PPP collaboration (Public / Private Partnership) which includes universities and academy as well.

As to theDOCK itself, we are lean, focused and agile. I believe we have stricken the right balance between our 3 types of stakeholders. We are making sure day in and day out that we bring the value we promised to each one of them.

How do you think Blockchain will streamline the shipping industry?

Blockchain technology allows various parties, which otherwise do not have much trust in each other, to collaborate. This is very applicable to trade in general and to the shipping industry in particular. I therefore believe it will play a big role. And many key players already identified this and are engaged with initiatives to leverage the technology.

You have collaborations with Kirby Corporation and Cargotec. How important are these tie-ups for the shipping industry?

We keep expanding our network so that we can break new grounds for as long as they have to do with Ports, Shipping and Maritime Logistics. Kirby and Cargotec are such examples. Through these two partners we get exposed to needs and challenges in inland waterway operations, cranes, loading equipment, TOS solutions and more. We love it.

Tell us more about the Haifa Port event which concluded recently. What were the high points?

  1. 300 executives and members representing our 3 stakeholders. These are (as explained before) – startups, corporates and investors. A great gathering of individuals that otherwise are rarely present together under the same roof.
  2. A true case of making all ends meet. This is a must for maritime tech to fulfil the promise.
  3. Preceding the event was the (first ever) Maritime-Tech Hackathon held in Israel. A true proof of the potential to be unleashed when technology talent and true port operations needs meet together! The ideation process at its best.
  4. We hosted in Israel several executives from leading maritime organizations, including our partners, and arranged for them tens of B2B meetings with startups tailored specifically to their challenges and needs.

How do you see the digital transformation wave disrupting the Shipping and Maritime industry?

It is now at a point of  a prophecy that must fulfil itself. So much is happening – the needle is sure to move.

What are theDOCK Innovation Hub’s short term and long term goals?

Short term – bring value to our startups, corporate partners and existing investors.

Long term – bring to our table many more of any of these 3 stakeholders’ communities.

Sea News Feature, June 14