Leading Mining Company: achieving best practice operations through digital workflows

10 March 2022

Vale had a clear vision for achieving best practice across its global ocean freight with SeaFix/.

Leading Mining Company: achieving best practice operations through digital workflows

When it comes to the implementation of digital tools within a business, it is important that both parties –user and provider – share the same aspirations for success. The development of a close working relationship to understand objectives, day-to-day operations, short and long term goals, means that solutions can be shaped to meet the desired business outcomes. Our partnership with Vale took an exemplary route from our first introduction in 2020, through to where we are today with 100% of fixtures running through the SeaFix/ solution to meet those important business needs.

As one of the world’s largest miners, Vale had a clear vision for achieving best practice across its global ocean freight operations. As a business that has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing innovative solutions, Vale knew that exploring digital tools was the direction in which to start their journey.

When our relationship with Vale first began in 2020, we spent a great deal of time understand their position and ambitions. At Sea/ we’re passionate about our digital tools solving problems, creating efficiencies and importantly, adding value to our clients’ business. It’s not tech for the sake of tech, and the development of the relationship with Vale was a real testament to our shared vision and the results that they are seeing today. Many organisations make the mistake of starting with a digital tool and then reverse-engineering it into their day-to-day business operations. With Vale, we started with the problem, recognised the opportunities, and together shaped the solution to recognise long term value. This manifested itself in a list of “How”

  • How do we achieve greater efficiency internally as a team?
  • How can we improve cross-functional working and ensure the solution implemented in chartering doesn’t impact negatively elsewhere in the business?
  • How can the benefits of a single digital workflow solution integrate into other backstream business systems and processes?
  • How can we surface data to make better decisions, faster?
  • How can we ensure tighter control of processes?
  • How can we drive a more compliant and transparent fixture process?
  • How can we help drive standardisation of processes and a closer working relationships with our counterparties?
  • How can we support a hybrid home/office working model?

This comprehensive brief spanned pre-fixture, fixture, and post-fixture requirements which lead to the development of SeaFix/. SeaFix/ provides a complete digital end-to-end shipping solution.  At its core, SeaFix/ delivered:

  • The ability to create and distribute orders – Identify preferred and/or optimal performing vessels – Manage, negotiate and execute a trade
  • The automatic production of a recap and complete a Charter Party through the platform
  • A collaborative, controlled and seamless digital workflow
  • Instant access to near-real time data, surfaced in a meaningful and actionable way.

With Vale’s high ambitions for best-practice, the shipping team have gone on to implement seven modules covering market intelligence, planning and execution in one interconnected solution.

SeaFix/ has successfully matched business opportunity with a digital solution but furthermore, through the process of the implementation, Vale has been able to bring  most of its counterparties into the fold to work closer together. As Head of Shipping at Vale, Guilherme Brega stated: “We now have 100% of our fixtures moving through the platform. This has brought standardisation to the fixture negotiation and management process which has been welcomed by the counterparties that we work with on a regular basis. We very much see the implementation of SeaFix/ as ‘best practice’ and hope that, with wider adoption, the whole industry can realise similar benefits and progress together.”

Guilherme  added “Through the implementation of SeaFix/ we are now capturing and making data available that has provided the business with insights  which is helping the team to realise new opportunities and assess performance.”

Chief Commercial Officer at Sea/, Christoffer Svard, says: “Collaboration with our clients is key for the platform’s success. As market leaders, Vale’s insight will really help the solution to be seen as the ‘best practice’ toolset for the industry.”