For shoreside teams tasked with managing operations for dozens of vessels around the globe, monitoring all activities taking place aboard is complex and time-consuming. Ship management is a complicated endeavour as there are several elements that must be taken into account in order for ships to safely sail the world’s seas, meet deadlines and fulfill contracts.
Ship management companies have departments dedicated to ensuring that all of the vessels in their fleet are suitably seaworthy; ready and able to transport goods and people to destinations around the world. Ensuring that these highly sophisticated machines are operating at peak efficiency is no small task.
Where ships go, and who and what they transport is often determined under highly complex contracts that can be negotiated under short notice. These contracts almost always contain conditions, to guarantee the utmost safety and security of cargo while also meeting tight transportation deadlines.
While fulfilling these commitments, vessels must abide by complex regulations that are mandated, monitored and enforced by different maritime bodies, each of whom have the prerogative to fine or detain vessels if a violation occurs.
OneOcean’s FleetManager alleviates confusion by allowing shoreside teams to monitor and manage the multiple variables that make fleet management so complex, in one place. Here are a few ways it does this:
Scenario 1: Use Weather Modeling to Optimise Routes
A partially-laden oil tanker is traveling from the middle east to the East Coast of Canada. The journey will take several weeks and, even with advanced weather modeling, it will be impossible to accurately forecast conditions for the entirety of the journey at the outset.
In order to stay in compliance with the charter party contract, the vessel must not exceed a maximum speed of 14 knots. It also must avoid perilous weather, and not exceed a set fuel consumption limit. Weather factors such as wind, waves and currents must therefore be monitored closely throughout the journey as these will affect the vessel’s performance and schedule as well as the overall safety of the journey.
While the vessel is traversing the ocean, the forecast changes to indicate high waves and negative currents in the vessel’s projected path.
The marine superintendent can use FleetManager to view the latest weather forecasts and see a projection of how these will affect the vessel along its planned route. He sees that the projected route will take the vessel through strong choppy waters where waves will reach a height of more than three metres, before then entering a zone with a negative current.
Using this information, he has an informed conversation with the Master about the forecasted seastate and performance of the vessel. Together, they determine a new route and plan for the vessel to take on more ballast to better withstand high waves. They also determine a new, more fuel-efficient, timely route where the negative currents are weaker and the vessel does not have to burn excessive fuel to reach its destination in time.
Scenario 2: Embed High Safety Standards into Planning
A general cargo vessel is traveling through the Canadian arctic in mid Spring on the second leg of a voyage from Antwerp to Vancouver. While the days are gradually getting longer, visibility is still much reduced for the majority of the day. The vessel will stay in open water as much as possible, where ice is expected to be sparse. All the same, the vessel must plan to reduce its speed throughout this region and maintain higher than usual manning levels.
FleetManager allows shoreside users to build custom templates for Passage Plans, where masters can be required to follow specific planning procedures for hazardous journeys.
For instance, when planning this voyage, the master could be required to account for several extra variables, by providing information on when ice navigation radars will be used, what the manning levels must be, what the maximum speed will be and the minimum UKC throughout dangerous zones. Each of these details can be made mandatory within the passage plan by shoreside administrative users. These details can also be added to a detailed waypoints table that lists operational events alongside navigational coordinates.