Why vessel owners should welcome digitalisation

13 August 2020

Many vessel owners are already reaping the benefits of digital change.

Much like a parked up taxi, empty vessels sat in docks are a recipe for loss making. Each day a ship is underutilised there are unrecoverable costs linked to crew wages, fuel, maintenance and debt finance. Thankfully, digital tools are here to ensure a fleet is operational, at maximum capacity and fulfilling its full commercial potential.

Sea/net is the shipping industry’s most intelligent market insight tool. Fleet owners can set vessels as favourites and view, in real time, exactly where they are in the world, their current (and historic) journeys, as well as if there are any possible challenges along their route. Is there a category level storm in their path which will impact their voyage time? Will the impact of that delay dictate future commitments that are planned for that vessel? How frequently do their vessel visit certain ports? What is the frequency of other vessels of this size in this port? The visibility of this information visually and instantly enables vessel owners to plan and strategise in a way that would have been unimaginable in the shipping days of old. However, modern technology can now inform conversations with brokers or charterers around availability at a level of unparalleled efficiency.

Sea/gateway a monitoring and KPI analysis module is used by operators during voyages to stay abreast of a journey and ensure charterers are kept up to date with the movement of cargo. Likewise, charterers and operators are able to review KPIs over time, recognising trends in performance, a bit like a Google review service. Digitalisation in shipping continues to drive heightened transparency with many of the same benefits that it has brought to more mainstream online services like consumer retail. Much like customer reviews might inform our Amazon purchases Sea/gateway brings this transparency to shipping, presenting an opportunity for vessel owners to ensure that all of their careful management and foresight is recognised across their portfolio for prospective charterers to review. Undoubtedly, how a crew interacts with operators throughout a voyage also helps to build a positive reputation and reflection of how an operator manages a fleet…something important to buyers. Whilst that reputational information isn’t tracked within Sea/gateway, the business of shipping is run by people and good word can spread. Our purpose-built messaging module Sea/chat enhances the connection to the entire shipping network allowing stronger sharing of information and better informed decisions to be made, faster.

In order for all of these components to come together, agile data is key. Having real time data at their fingertips through Sea/net, vessel owners can get a clearer picture of market volatility. In turn this means better pricing decisions and load choices, prediction of where other ships are moving next, recalculation of the most efficient and safest routes where needed and stronger forecasting of transportation capacity. Sea/response, an offshore incident response planning tool, also uses a huge sets of regularly updated data to establish the operational suitability of a particular vessel to respond to an emergency if needed. Not only does this provide offshore oil rig owners stronger response plans, it also has the potential to save lives and so the collaboration of vessel owners to share their equipment data is vital.

Many vessel owners are already reaping the benefits of digital change. The question is – will those who don’t get left behind?

To find out more about how Sea/ can help support you, request a demo here.