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Sunday, February 16, 2020 

A survey by Napa and Blue Insight has indicated that ship owners, managers, operators, and charterers felt that on average, it was possible to reduce their fuel consumption by 28% a figure that that aligns with some recent studies on voyage optimisation.

On the other hand, the respondents regard the biggest obstacles to digital optimisation as validation of data and cost (see chart).

Napa says that while actual estimates of ship performance improvements vary widely, and depend heavily on vessel type, this estimate of potential performance improvements aligns with some recent studies, such as one by Miika-Matti Ahokas of Aalto University, which looked at just-in-time arrival and weather routing for mid-range tankers. For shipowners, the consequential reduction in fuel cost would result in about 17.8% increase in the average daily financial performance of the fleet (calculated in terms of Time Charter Equivalent – the difference between expenses and earnings over time). However, economic incentives undermine many of the benefits that could be delivered by speed optimisation.

“Digital voyage planning, and performance optimisation solutions have been around for a long time, but as these estimates of improvement show, we’re currently a long way from getting the most out of our vessels. What’s interesting to see is that owners and operators recognise this, and their assessment of what’s possible isn’t too far away from what studies are finding,” said Napa sales director Pekka Pakkanen. “From the responses we’ve gathered, we can see that the main barrier to using these solutions is trust in the data that they use, and the reliability of voyage predictions. However, as these systems enter use, we’re beginning to grow our library of real-life use cases. Additionally, NAPA is improving our predictions with advanced hydrodynamic models that are based on years of real performance data, and the most advanced performance algorithms available, developed over the course of decades of using Napa for ship design.

“Obviously the potential for voyage savings depends greatly on the optimisation methods used and the nature of the vessel and voyage,” said Adrian Tolson, Director, and Blue Insight Lead. “But it’s encouraging to see that owners and operators see such potential in voyage optimisation solutions. At the same time, this also throws down the challenge to suppliers of digital solutions to prove that their systems deliver ROI, and demonstrate to owners how this works. This is likely to be one of the defining themes in the voyage optimisation space this year.”

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