The Value is in the Data

By Ryno Moolman, Vessel Performance Analyst at Marorka, Dubai

I can clearly say from my experience that data derived from high frequency collection leads to transparency with improved and faster decisions making.

Assisting our clients

I am based in Dubai and have worked at Marorka for three years. My role at Marorka is to assist the clients to see the value of having larger quantity of data at their disposal than the normal noon reported data. This is done, firstly, by analysing the data for quality and availability that ensures the systems onboard are receiving all the required signals and that the range of each signal is within acceptable limits. Once this is done, the performance evaluations on various areas are carried out related to hull and propeller performance, auxiliary engine performance and operation.

The value is in the data, and this forms the basis for the optimization and monitoring on energy use and the results can be fed into the shipping company’s energy management systems or ERP programs allowing for complete transparency internally, but also for external parties like charterers. I have an M.Sc.Eng in Mechanical Engineering and am specialized in hydrofoil design for trimarans. I started my career in shipping with DNV in 2006 as a ship-in-operation surveyor, a condition assessment program (CAP) surveyor and project manager. Various voyage surveys and vessel inspections allowed me to gain experience on how vessels are being operated and the functioning and interlinking of systems onboard.

After that I moved on to a ship owner in the position as Technical Manager. It was there that I got my interest in vessel energy monitoring, while the operations department was handling the noon reports with various bunker claims being received months later. The issue with noon reports is that the reported data needs to be constantly checked and verified while the commercial department reports also same data to the charterers.

Eventually I joined a ship owner as Head of Technical Performance. They had 50+ Marorka systems onboard their fleet. Having already gained experience with Marorka, we set up an internal energy management system for them making the fleet’s energy use transparent.

Key Takeaways

My three most important takeaways from energy management with larger data quantity so far are that (1) it creates transparency. (2) Energy usage increases dramatically when owners try to save money by applying low specification hull coatings. This leads to increased bunker consumption that later ends up as an extra cost for a charterer. The effect of high specification coatings is important to monitor when looking at the trade and utilization of each vessel comparing which coating works better in each trade. And (3) the commercial and operation departments in a reputable shipping company play a bigger role than the technical department in the energy management with their voyage planning and instructions.

The shipping industry is moving slowly in the right direction adopting new technologies and cleaner fuels. It would be good if these companies could share their data and experiences to the rest of the industry. I can clearly say from my experience that data derived from high frequency collection leads to transparency with improved and faster decisions making. Along with that, tailor made software reduces workload on employees. Another important aspect  is that historically collected high frequency data on the operational profile of a vessel, can be used to optimize future new-building designs.

The working environment at Marorka is very good, even being based in Dubai. It promotes a culture of being respectful while still encouraging an open environment for discussion. I really enjoy having the opportunity to work with various ship owners with their different objectives that we need to support them with.

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