In a landscape of ever-increasing complexity, with constantly evolving requirements for owners, operators and charterers, how can you plot your route ahead with confidence? Understanding performance, says Jacob Clausen, MD NAVTOR Denmark, is the key to success.
You don’t need me to tell you that shipping is undergoing a transformation like never before.
With stringent IMO decarbonisation targets, a new breed of national emission requirements (in the UK and China for example), individual and collective goals for carbon neutrality, added to looming industry regulations (here the Carbon Intensity Indicator, CII, rating takes centre stage), the pressure is well and truly on.
And let’s not forget the lending ramifications of this shift towards sustainability, with initiatives such as the Poseidon Principles and Annual Efficiency Rating (AER). If your vessels aren’t delivering acceptable efficiency ratings now, then they’d better start (slow) steaming in that direction soon. A failure to do so will result in lower employment of vessels and higher interest rates or, in the worst cases, a complete lack of access to future finances.
So, how can you simplify this complexity?
How can you unlock efficiency, compliance and a sense of control from confusion?
The key lies in understanding, and acting upon, performance.
Platform to perform
Effectively managing the performance of your fleet delivers the ability to reduce fuel consumption, decrease OPEX, cut emissions, meet environmental and charter party goals, and comply with regulations. But it can be challenging to achieve a meaningful overview and determine actionable insights.
For one thing, you need to have access to data in ‘real-time’ from your vessels. That way you can monitor performance in relation to set limits and take corrective action as soon as it’s needed, rather than after ‘the damage’ has been done. Proact rather than react. Secondly, the data has to reliable, high quality intelligence. Any action you take as a result is only ever going to be as good as the original data, so decision maker be aware!
So long silos
Step one is implementing a performance monitoring and optimisation system that allows you to get detailed insights on real-time individual vessel performance and, from that, overall fleet performance.
With an integrated platform – providing a ‘single source of truth’ – data can be consolidated, tasks and reporting automated (a huge source of administrative efficiency), and alerts delivered whenever a vessel is passing, or coming close to, set performance or charter party limits. A single, flexible solution can be used by all your business stakeholders (from technical and maintenance departments, through to operational and commercial departments) to gain insights that don’t just impact upon voyages or assets, but on all aspects of the business.
In short, no more silos – just integrated data streams and decision support, including Weather Optimization, for a more efficient operation, with access for all relevant stakeholders.
The human factor
But the data has to be high quality and, if you want to achieve the vessel’s optimum CII rating and competitive (and financial) advantage, you have to act on it.
And act on it in the correct, targeted fashion.
So, first off, it has to be validated.
Most systems utilise simple, if not basic, machine validations. But, for business-critical decision making, is this enough? At NAVTOR we argue that ‘dual layer validation’ is a prerequisite for quality assurance – basically meaning that data (manual or automated) isn’t just checked by software, but also by a subject matter expert who can ensure that any reporting errors or instrument calibrations are corrected.
The introduction of human expertise elevates performance monitoring to performance consultancy. Suddenly you’re not just getting graphs or figures from your system, but expert advice on which vessels you need to address, and with what action – for example, what is the best interval for performing hull cleaning and what is the expected payback period. Not only that, but you can also determine the consequences of what will happen if you don’t act, weighing up any potential impact of intervention against eventual operational outcomes.
The key takeaway is control.
Instead of buckling under the burden of balancing increased regulations, with business efficiency, stakeholder demands, and your own environmental goals (and ESG reporting requirements), one integrated system simplifies the storm.
In shipping today it seems like “there’s always something else on the horizon”, another report or regulation, or a new concern, making navigating the future more unpredictable.
Truly effective performance monitoring and optimisation – as provided by NAVTOR’s NavFleet application – is the solution. Suddenly you not only have ‘eyes on’ all of your vessels, but also ‘hands on’, and the ability to take timely action, based on high quality insights, whether that be slow steaming for just in time arrivals, or weather-related adjustments.
The result is greater efficiency and lower carbon intensity than ever before, and not just for fleets, but for entire businesses, with automated tasks and the power to continually improve environmental and commercial performance.
This is a transformation with benefits for everyone.
And, you know what, successfully navigating it can be surprisingly simple.