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Inter-American Supply Chain Forum 2012. John Meszaros VP, Supply Chain Management Carnival Corporation & plc. Carnival Corporation and plc own and operate 10 cruise brands that are managed by 6 Operating Companies around the world. 2011 revenue: $15.8 billion USD

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Inter-American Supply Chain Forum 2012

John Meszaros

VP, Supply Chain ManagementCarnival Corporation & plc.


Carnival Corporation and plc own and operate 10 cruise brands that are managed by 6 Operating Companies around the world.

  • 2011 revenue: $15.8 billion USD
  • 2011 Net. Income $1.9 billion USD
  • Employees: 90,000
  • 99 Ships with 10 new ships scheduled for delivery through 2016.
  • Over 200,000 Guests are at sea on our Fleet at any given time.
  • Typical Large Cruise Ship - 1500 Guest Rooms / Suites, 3000 guest berths (beds), 1200 crew, 28 bars and restaurants, main dining room that seats 1500 persons.
  • Direct Trade Goods spend (F & B, Fuel, Hotel, Logistics) is over
  • $4 Billion USD.

Group Introduction

Brand Vessels Main Market 23 North America 16 North America 15 North America 6 North America

World-Wide 3 North America United Kingdom

Brand Vessels Main Market

14 Europe, China 7 United Kingdom 8 Germany

4 Australia and New Zealand

3 Spain - Europe

Total ships – 99 Ships


SCM Customer-Business Centric

The Supply Chain Teams in the Cruise Industry have many customers.

The “Ultimate Customers” are our Guests on the Ships !!

Our Guests look forward to their hard-earned vacations and expect a spectacular experience.

If SCM fails for a cruise ship and causes ship delays – the experience will be terrible and costly for the company.


Hotel Fun Facts about a Carnival Ship

Each ship must have over 5000 items on contract ready to order each week from hundreds of vendors in dozens of Ports.

A single 7 Day Cruise consumption facts:

  • 30,000 beers
  • 22,000 sodas
  • 3,000 bottles of wine
  • 3,000 liters of Spirits
  • 5,000 quarts of juice
  • 5 tons of beef
  • 3 tons of chicken
  • 2,500 lobster tails
  • 25 tons of produce
  • 18,000 shrimp
  • 42,000 eggs

Technical Fun Facts about our Fleet

We have over a Million parts in our Technical Data Bases.

Each ship has many thousands of replacement parts, consumable items and services that are needed to keep the ship in excellent running condition.


  • We purchase just under a BILLION gallons of Fuel per year in 150 Ports.
  • The carpet on our ships is over 4,000,000 Sq. Mtrs – enough to cover
  • about 520 Soccer fields.
  • There are over 300,000 life jackets on our ships.
  • Adding new flat screen TV’s in all cabins would require over 150,000 units.
  • To simply change every light bulb on our fleet would require 3,000,000 bulbs.
  • There is enough wire and cable on our fleet to wrap the center of the
  • earth 4 times.

Our Supply Chain must deliver….

Bathroom Amenities


Stainless Steel



Wash Service


Lube oil

Photo Film


Pots & Pans

Mental Ware


IT Services



Bath Mats

Office Supplies

Ice Cream




Engine Parts










Onboard Communications






Silver Plate Flatware


Vacuum Cleaner

Foil & Films





Table Cloths

Garbage Bags

and we must deliver it to a physical plant that moves
Most companies have a defined physical plant (i.e. the plant doesn’t move)
  • The Supply Chain for a Cruise Line is much more challenging because every purchase has one extra dimension – where is the ship ???
  • Our physical plants are the ships that are continually moving.
    • Vendor are dynamically assigned based on the ship’s itinerary and loading ports. Goods assigned to a vendor in Barcelona are supplied by a different vendor when the ship is re-supplied in the Caribbean.
    • Redelivery past sailing time is not an option. The ship is on its way to another destination which is often in a different country.
    • Because ships are foreign flagged vessels and visit many countries - proper customs documentation is necessary.
And we must deliver it to a Physical Plant that moves….

The movement of the ship can be easy or very complicated

104-day World Cruise

7-day Repetitive Cruise


For a typical 7-Day repetitive cruise

  • Ships are in port only 10 hours:
  • 3000 Passengers disembark
  • Ship is cleaned top-to-bottom
  • Ship is re-supplied
  • 3000 Passengers embark
  • Behind the scenes – Loading Doors are the constraint:

7:00 am

5:00 pm


10 Hours from dock to departure

Customs and Immigration clearance

6000 Guest bags are off loaded

Trash off loaded

300 pallets of Food, Beverage, Hotel, Tech supplies are loaded

6000 Guest bags are loaded

Final check and departure

1000 Metric Tons of Fuel is loaded


How do we service our Guest’s needs to get such High Approval and Satisfaction ratings?

  • Our itineraries are well planned and scheduled 12 – 18 months in advance.
  • We define guest facing needs (items and services that the guests use directly like food & beverage, linens, furniture) which are critical to be consistent on every cruise for a specific Cruise Brand.
  • We have “behind the scene” needs (items that are necessary to provide the excellent guest satisfaction that the guest never sees or knows about like fuel, cleaning supplies, engine parts, galley equipment) that are critical but our guests hopefully never know about.

Guest Facing Needs and the Supply Chain

  • Food and Beverage
    • Menus are well defined
    • Demand is forecasted well and for each itinerary a Loading Port is identified (multiple loading ports on longer cruises).
    • Our cabins are essentially 100% filled so we don’t have to forecast number of guests although sometimes different guest demographics could change demand for a specific item.
    • Once Loading Ports are defined then Supply Chain Planners evaluate how to best supply each item to the ship - selecting from:
      • Local Vendors
      • Supplied via Ocean Container or Trucks from another Source Market
    • Decisions on whether to buy Local or ship from another Source Market depends on Total Cost of Ownership, market availability and complexity of loading.
    • Changing Menus “on the fly” works at your local restaurant but doesn’t work when feeding 3000 guest simultaneously over a 4 hour period.

Guest Facing Needs and the Supply Chain

  • Hotel Items
    • Item Specifications are well defined
    • Timing of getting items to the ship are more flexible except for direct consumable items (like cleaning chemicals).
    • Ordering systems force the ship to only order certain items in certain ports.
    • Guest facing items like linens have back stock on the ships to ensure guest quality.
    • Loading Ports are defined similar to Food and Beverage but do not necessarily need to be spaced 7 days apart – can be less frequent deliveries because there are no perishable items.
    • Hotel Items are purchased in markets all over the world for consolidation and delivery to the ships.

“Behind the Scenes” Needs and the Supply Chain

  • Fuel
    • Fuel is lifted every 7-14 days.
    • Lack of Fuel is the one item that could cause a delay and destroy a well planned itinerary.
    • We have a fuel forecasting system that evaluates EVERY stop on a ship’s itinerary over the entire year and calculates daily fuel needs.
    • The daily fuel needs are then evaluated against every vendor, in every port to determine the lowest cost, highest quality fuel options.
    • Vendors and ports are evaluated for quality of fuel, type of infrastructure (barge or pipeline deliveries), historical vendor performance, grades of fuel available, capacity of delivery (how many Gal/hr can be pumped to the ship) and several other variables.
    • As a reference – if there was a problem in a port and we needed to get fuel from a non-preferred port that could only deliver by trucks – we would need 25 tanker trucks to supply a 1000 MT.

“Behind the Scenes” Needs and the Supply Chain

  • Technical Items
    • Technical items are categorized as consumables (lube oils, paint, light bulbs), spare parts for major technical components (engines, Propulsion systems, generators) or services (Life raft safety review and inspection, equipment Preventative maintenance).
    • Guest satisfaction is greatly influenced by the success of maintaining the ship.
    • The technical teams plan extremely well for guest facing technical services to keep all ships in excellent shape.
    • Technical equipment is carefully monitored and preventative maintenance procedures are well defined and carefully followed.
    • Like all complicated equipment – failures will happen but because of redundancy built into the ship’s design – our guests rarely know about any technical issues.

Global Purchasing Structure

Purchasing Teamsof Brands

Strategic and Global Souring Functions


There is nothing more important than a satisfied guest

  • Cruising has one of the highest satisfaction ratings among vacation venues and is probably the most complicated industry to deliver such great satisfaction.
  • SCM in the Cruise Industry is critical because failures are very noticeable and expensive.
  • Unlike land-based customers – our ships and our Ultimate Customer, our Guests – are continually moving so Supply Chain planning is more critical than some other industries.
  • The ships are like self-contained miniature cities so the breadth of items and services that must be supplied to satisfy our guests is huge.
  • Through well defined specifications, processes and supporting systems – SCM delivers in the Cruise Industry.