Accurate Data for Strategic Decision-Making

Data is the key to making operational decisions that support company goals and high performance.

In today’s competitive and regulation-swamped operating environment, there really is no substitute for accurate and timely information. Reliable data is essential for planning compliant operations, and accurately determining operating costs. In simple mathematics this could be translated as; decisions minus data = guesswork.

Fleet management is never going to be anything less than complex, and it’s becoming more so all the time. Which is why the latest digital technology is needed to unlock the essential insights into how a fleet and the individual vessels that comprise it are performing and complying. Having access to logged data on environmental performance, documentation, reports, passage plans, routing, weather information, and upcoming regulations, significantly eases the long-term decision-making process.

As the number of regulations continues to rise and become ever-more stringent, full understanding on what compliance entails on an operational level becomes ever more challenging. This is especially true when sailing routes that include globally regulated areas as well as regional and locally implemented rules. Knowing in advance about all the requirements applicable to a route, the vessel, cargo, and crew is of tremendous value to the ship’s officers and the shore-based office. Failure to comply can, of course, be costly.

Data in Context, Context in Data

Fleet owners and ship management companies are often responsible for several types of vessels. A single fleet of ships can have vessels that vary in size, carry different cargoes, sail different routes, and have different crew requirements. The data collected must, therefore, be put into the appropriate context when analysed.

Historical data from multiple voyages, taking all the relevant factors into consideration will allow detailed understanding of a ship’s performance, costs, and risk exposure. Comparisons can be made with data from other vessels in the fleet for benchmarking purposes, and the entire decision-making and planning processes are raised to a far higher level than otherwise possible.

Similarly, there is a need for both shoreside teams and the officers aboard to have access to live data while the ship is at sea. Fast, accurate information on, for example weather conditions, can avoid the most difficult sea conditions. Any change to the sailing route may also require a fresh understanding of the environmental regulations in force along the updated route. In both cases, the availability of timely data is crucial to enabling agility and optimising the outcome.

High Quality Planning

Competent, informed decision-making is essential to effective voyage planning. A fleet’s operating costs are likely to be far lower when their planning is well-informed, detailed, and high quality than they would otherwise be. To make planning decisions with certainty and assurance, both historical data and real-time information are needed.

Emissions data, for instance, is inexorably linked to fuel consumption. Knowing how much fuel the ship is burning, understanding the degree of influence the cargo and route have on fuel consumption, gauging the effect of route adjustments to avoid challenging weather conditions, and so on, – all this information provides the basis for making the best decisions.

The bottom line is that optimal voyage planning can save costs, and in order to meet current and anticipated environmental regulations, vessels need to be ready and able to operate at higher levels of efficiency. Lowering emission levels and finding the right means for doing it according to cost and need considerations, is a long-term necessity. During voyages, situational requirements must be continually assessed to ensure safety for the ship, crew, and cargo, and to adhere to all regulations in force.

How OneOcean Can Help 

The tools for obtaining this valuable data are fortunately at hand. OneOcean has the maritime industry’s broadest range of digital solutions aimed at optimising navigation, safety, compliance and environmental excellence.

The company’s FleetManager solution allows shoreside teams to provide active support to ships wherever they are located, and to monitor their performance throughout the voyage. Real-time and historical oversight on the ships’ onboard events is available, weather information is provided, passage plans are recorded, and live Automatic Identification System (AIS) data is supplied.

Record books are essential to a ship’s working procedures. However, completing paper logbooks takes considerable time, and unless they can be easily analysed or understood, proper planning is hampered. OneOcean’s LogCentral provides time-stamped electronically logged ship data to make the entire record keeping necessity as simple and as efficient as possible.

Docmap is a digital safety management system enabling shoreside and onboard operators to exchange, track, and manage live reports and checklists. It eliminates complex and time-consuming paper trails, thereby simplifying safety and risk management tasks.

Another invaluable tool is OneOcean’s Voyage Planner. This allows for efficient route planning with real-time access to weather conditions and environmental restrictions relevant to a contemplated voyage. Various data sets can be immediately visualized to evaluate important information and determine the available options.

Regs4ships is OneOcean’s robust compliance solution, containing an intelligent database of official maritime regulations from a wide range of official sources. Users aboard and ashore can directly access up to date nautical documents, including regulations from multiple international, national, regional and local sources, to quickly reference and understand rules and restrictions in force.

Staying competitive, maintaining a positive company image, and being efficient in all operational functions are the hallmarks of successful and profitable businesses. The maritime industry’s many challenges can be addressed with confidence when properly armed. Accurate and reliable data are the weapons needed.

16 February 2022