With just under a week to go until the Baltic Exchange-supported Smart Solutions event at Inmarsat headquarters, we take a look at how a new tool could help brokers
For shipowners, being able to monitor and manage a ship’s operations while it is at sea is an invaluable tool in ensuring that a vessel is getting paid for its actual performance, and for making effective decisions to optimise the performance of the ongoing voyage and lay the groundwork for future improvement measures.
More and more shipowners today are using fleet monitoring tools to help find and solve their pain points and make the right decisions about their vessel based on indisputable data anytime, anywhere.
Is there also potential for brokers to start benefitting from such tools, to allow them to compare actual data to a vessel’s description, or to check a vessel’s performance when owners are unable to?
The right price
Global shipping company Torvald Klaveness recently threw its hat into the ring of companies offering an efficient and easy-to-use fleet monitoring tool.
“Having access to aggregated data for ship design could provide averages for brokers to compare actual data to the description of a vessel… This could be especially useful in discussions between charterers and brokers if they had more information on the vessel.”
Its digital solution, Perform, collects and normalises data and also contributes to solving day-to-day performance tasks for ship operators. This includes daily monitoring of whether the vessels are in compliance with instructions, whether they can perform according to their description, and information to prepare or avoid speed claims.
Perform’s product manager André Torbjørnsen explains to Baltic Briefing that Perform is part of a series of experiments Klaveness has been working over the last year-and-a-half with big data, or at least with more data than it has utilised previously.
The idea behind Perform was to create a situation whereby a vessel will be paid according to the actual performance in a much better way than it is today, he says.
“What we’ve seen, in the commercial world, is a huge difference in how the vessels are performing but a very small difference in how the vessels are priced. So if you have a very efficient vessel, you’re not necessarily getting paid the full value of that vessel’s performance. The other way around, if you’re chartering in a vessel that is a poor performer, usually you’re not getting the rebate you should for a bad performer.”
Perform uses data from both AIS tracking of the vessels and weather analysis from weather companies as well as information on the vessel to help make informed commercial operations, both in the execution and the chartering. So, “before you take the vessel in, you can evaluate how much the vessel is worth and if it’s the better vessel”, explains Mr Torbjørnsen.
Benefits for brokers
Currently, the data being used in Perform is only available to the ship owner and the charterer of any given vessel. A third party – such as the next person wanting to charter the vessel or the broker – does not get information about the daily consumption of the vessel, for instance, unless somebody gives it to them.
However, Mr Torbjørnsen notes that while Perform is not yet a tool for brokers, having access to the kind of data that it, and other fleet monitoring tools provide, could be very beneficial to them.
Having access to aggregated data for ship design could provide averages for brokers to compare actual data to the description of a vessel, for example. This could be especially useful in discussions between charterers and brokers if they had more information on the vessel, he says.
Certainly, spreads and differences are not necessarily reflected in the sales prospects when ships are put in the market. The general buyer will look at the building yard and age as key determinants in a buying process, but with added data such as that offered by Klaveness’ tool, brokers would better be able to see trends on certain ship designs and specifications, and verify whether the vessel’s description on speed and consumption is an accurate reflection of its actual performance.
Whether a tool offering this same kind of data becomes readily available for brokers in the future remains to be seen, but there’s certainly a strong case for somebody to start developing one.
Smart Solutions 3 is a one day forum showcasing the best in software solutions for shore-based shipping, chartering and trading operations, taking place on May 23, 2017 at Inmarsat, London. For more information or to book a place to attend Smart Solutions 3, visit http://www.navigateevents.com/events/smart-solutions-3/.