The maritime industry is meeting lots of changes these years. With IMO’s determination to cut amount of emissions, now every shipowner is trying to limit it in any possible way. In the future, the focus will be on how to reduce carbon emissions. This will be a more challenging task, as it will require radical changes not only in the way the maritime industry operates but also in ship design itself.

How can shipping companies control the reduction of air emissions for a vessel or even a fleet? How to control the performance of the units, accordingly, prevent accidents and make navigation safe?

Today performance monitoring is the key instrument not only for captain and crew but also for shipowners and fleet managers. The amount of data that may be collected and its usage will become the gamechanger in the whole industry. Shipowners and shipping companies can use such information to predict maintenance costs and time, optimize fuel consumption, or plot the shortest routes between ports. At the same time captain can use such information to optimize the way he pilots the vessel. But gathering such information and, what is more important, analyze it is really a tricky part of performance monitoring.

The maritime industry, and not only, interest in a vessel such systems is growing as operators work to achieve greater efficiencies. For example, optimizing the ship’s trim is one of the easiest and least expensive energy efficiency measures that require simple ballast distribution modification. It has been shown that a well-trimmed vessel can make important energy savings. Weather-based route planning allows up to 3% fuel savings. Hull and propeller condition management can provide up to 10% fuel savings compared to a fouled hull.

Thus, regular monitoring of factors that possibly affect the performance of the fleet, for example, fuel consumption, trim, speed, hull and propeller conditions and etc., could help shipowners and shipping companies control the condition of the vessel not only in docks but also during the voyage.

In the XXI century, the information will be the shipowner’s most useful tool for improving the performance of ships. Operational decisions made on a daily basis – how to plan and operate a voyage, when to perform regular maintenance, what amount of fuel is used – will impact all results. Accurate and regular monitoring of the energy consumption of an individual vessel or an entire fleet can reveal inefficiencies and provide a mechanism for continual improvement. Sharing energy use data will be able to help disseminate best practices in fuel-efficient operations among crews to improve productivity.

Collecting such information from a ship is not a typical task for a shipping company. For example, it is difficult to install different sensors, let alone cost. But if you want to modernize your entire fleet? It can cost several tens of dollars, and most importantly, any company, who decides to do it themselves, will have to hire engineers and technical support to work with such equipment.

Performance monitoring includes:

  • collecting, analyzing, reporting to relevant stakeholders
  • make recommendations to captain before and during the voyage

This provides owners, operators, and crew with the information they need to understand, for example, current fuel efficiency figures and reasons why are like that.

The fleet-wide analysis provides comparative performance indicators and gives a shipowner or shipping company the information needed to determine if the vessel has been used in the most efficient way.

The performance management and monitoring system that you essentially need will be based on data logged from ships. You should have some quality control and validation procedures in place to ensure that the indicators coming from ships are meaningful. And then you want to analyze them. Different methods can be used pending data availability. In general, you want to compare the actual state of the ship with a baseline, that is, with a ship model that describes the ship in a particular state, usually at the time it was new.

In Marine Digital we are solving every problem that may occur during vessel performance monitoring. This includes not only data gathering but also processing and interpretation of the received one, creation of convenient reports, delivery of charts to the navigation system (ECDIS) on board, as well as recommendations for the best route according to weather, fuel consumption, and other reports.

We have developed universal hardware equipment, that can gather the most crucial data from different types of vessels without any other sensors, IoT devices, and so on. Also using this equipment we can deliver navigational charts right to the ECDIS.

To analyze and process gathered information we are using mathematical algorithms and machine learning. The more data we collect, the more precise reports and recommendations our system will perform according to individual requirements in fleet management of the shipping company.

Marine Digital for Marine Startups