The Shipping Industry is meeting ongoing changes these years. Now the 2020 Global Sulphur cap is on the agenda and shipowners are preparing for this. In the future, the focus will be on how to reduce carbon emissions. This will be a more challenging task because it requires radical changes, not only in the way we operate but also how we design the vessels. Especially, can we get enough carbon free fuel to meet the 50% reduction of GHG emissions by 2050?

While all these changes are happening around us, we have to make systems that can work for the vessels in their day to day operations, both for existing and new vessels and system that can adapt to the changes as they get implemented. We expect the fuel prices going up after the implementation of the 2020 Global Sulphur cap and this makes it even more important to cut costs and find areas where savings can be found. So, how can we set a system to optimize operations and make the vessels more efficient with respect to fuel oil consumption and emissions?

The performance management system that you would essentially need would be built on data logged from the vessels. You would have some data quality and validation procedure to ensure that the data coming from the vessels makes sense. And then, you would like to analyze them. There are different techniques to use pending of the availability of data. In general, you want to compare the actual condition of the vessel with a baseline i.e. a model of the vessel that describes the vessel at a certain condition, typically to when it was new. Then, the subsequent analysis of the data should deliver some meaningful KPIs and give some feedback to the stakeholders i.e. the users of the system. Basically, what is the fuel oil consumption and where does the fuel go? And what is it used for? Basically, the analysis should show what goes to the main engine, to the auxiliaries and to the boilers. Further it should show how much of it is excess consumption, where the largest part is due to fouling of the hull and the propeller and what the savings potential is for the induvial vessel and for the fleet.

The data can come from the vessels crew (noon data), where they typically would log data once a day, it could come from autologged systems with connection to sensors on board or it could come from external sources where weather could come from hindcast weather providers and navigation information from AIS data. Or it could come in as a combination of the above. The reality out in the shipping world today, is that we have the technology to use sensor data for automatic logging, but it is not used widely in the day to day operations analysis. Still this is based on the noon reports and the performance system should be able to this into account and if possible, combine all the available data to the best possible performance analysis.

Before starting a performance analysis, it would be of value to evaluate the design of the vessels in the fleet. How efficient are they in the market where they operate compared to their peers? (vessels of the same size but with different designs). This can be done by a design benchmarking evaluation by the Propulsion Efficiency Design Index (PEDI). The PEDI is developed by VPS and the ranks the vessels of a certain size according to their propulsive efficiency. The PEDI can also be used by an owner to evaluate vessels before buying new/used tonnage or by a charterer before contracting with vessels for future voyages.

The core analysis that we make in the VPS performance system is what is the vessel’s actual fuel oil consumption and how much is the excess consumption i.e. what is the savings potential? The values come out in a dynamic fuel table where the user can, on a day to day basis, go in and take the fuel consumption values out to certain speeds and draughts. The analysis further comes out in easily accessible KPIs where the vessels are shown in an individual analysis and further benchmarked to the rest of the fleet in a fleet performance overview. The systematic approach makes it easy to identify worst/best performers in the fleet and further it supports decisions on how to improve the performance. And keep track of the improvements and the actual savings that these had let to.

Other interesting analyses the system can provide are an evaluation of the antifouling paints by type, what-if analyses where different maintenance scenarios are analyzed and ranked with respect to cost and benefit and finally charter party analyses to monitor the commercial part of the performance. Since the analyses and methods are transparent, the system is now widely used in pool arrangements where pool administrators evaluate the pool performance overall and for the individual vessels in the pool. All pool partners have access to the system and the performance, and the pool evaluation is transparent for all members.

The VPS is designed with transparency in mind, it allows all users to monitor the different aspects of performance that they are interested in. It can be technical, commercial or environmental performance, the system can provide any analysis and can be set up for the different purposes. This means that all stakeholders in the performance process can use the same platform and extract the information that they need for the performance monitoring and for the necessary reports. By providing this transparency, the system can further be used to bridge the gap and improve the understanding between the different stakeholders and the processes that is needed to keep the operations running in an efficient way.

To conclude, I believe that transparency is important in the design of a performance management system and further, a system should simplify a complex task by providing a reliable system taking into account the valid data analyzed in the process. The system should be focused on providing meaningful KPIs to support the decisions in the performance management process and this is what we have succeeded with in VPS.

Above text is an edited version of Mr. Soren Vinther Hansen’s presentation during the 2019 SMART4SEA Conference.

View his presentation herebelow:

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.


About Søren Vinther Hansen, COO, Vessel Performance Solutions

Soren Vinther Hansen is currently working as the COO in Vessel Performance Solutions, which is a leading performance analysis service provider for Ship Owners and Operators. He has previously worked as Assistant Director for Vessel Performance within American Bureau of Shipping and headed the Vessel Performance Services for the Advisory Services department in ABS. He has worked as a Vessel Performance Specialist with A.P. Moller-Maersk, Propulsion Dynamics and Principia North, and was for a period Associate Professor at Svendborg International Maritime Academy (SIMAC) where his focus was on Nautical Operations and Safety.  His operational experience has been gained from a long career as a Master Mariner with various Shipping Companies in Denmark. Hansen has a PhD degree in Naval Architecture from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and he also holds a MSc degree in Marine Technology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).