Marketplace innovation

Towards Fuel Efficiency with Integrated Fleet Deployment and Bunker Management

Picture of  Anumita Bhargava
Anumita Bhargava

Marketing and Communication Consultant

The maritime industry’s tectonic shift toward sustainability is real, with a renewed focus on alternative fuels and produced under socially responsible conditions.

Bunkers are the single largest and highly volatile operational expense for the shipping industry and contribute 3% of carbon emissions. Expenditures for bunkers are heavily dependant on how effectively a company procures fuel, manages consumption, and implements efficiency measures. Performance may vary widely. For instance, BCG’s Container Benchmarking Initiative (CBI) found that bunker consumption among participants fluctuated by as much as 30 per cent within any given vessel class. In addition to the cost implications, it also has significant impacts on your risk management strategy, voyage optimisation and sustainability that must be carefully measured and managed. The ability of shipping companies to cope with market dynamics by providing economic equilibrium depends on operational efficiency – cost savings and sustainability may be augmented by carefully improvised bunkering planning and its optimisation.

Since efficient use of bunker and bunker costs are susceptible to performance-based improvements and directly impact carbon emissions and the bottom line hence, aligning a proper strategy and reducing those expenditures is crucial for companies that want to create and preserve a competitive advantage. Accountability and responsibility for actions that affect bunker costs are typically spread throughout an organisation, both onshore and at sea, and the various teams involved.

One quick win would be to use technology to improve and optimise fuel consumption and purchasing.

So, how can you adopt a more deliberate, strategic, and data-driven approach to bunker management:

Integrate voyage management system with bunker procurement and optimisation system

There is no doubting that the shipping sector is embarking on a digital path, with the ultimate goal of automating and streamlining all procedures involved.

The ability to access all of your fuel purchase and associated data in one place and in real-time is a significant benefit of integrating a voyage management system with bunker procurement systems. This optimises planning and simplifies decision making because you can be confident that everyone is making decisions based on the same information to realise economies of scale in the bunker purchasing market. Dataloy clients leverage the bunker module and integrations to our integration partners to work collaboratively and have heightened visibility and traceability.

Master Partners: Bunker Metric, Word Fuel Services, Clearlynx

Optimise fleet operations: accurate planning avoids disruption

When it comes to optimising fuel management across any fleet, planning and preparation are critical.

While zero-emission fuel infrastructure is not yet in place, you can still optimise your ship routes to save money, optimise vessel use, streamline operations, and help you make the most of every drop of fuel. This will reduce carbon emissions in the planning phase to moderately influence the fuel consumption and our sustainability targets by coordinating ship movements and cargo loading.

With Dataloy’s Fleet Allocation and Scheduling tool, you can optimise your planning phase for both voyage and cargo scheduling, resulting in increased fuel efficiency through better pre-fixture decisions. The goal of the planning stage is to provide an accurate picture of your fleet, associated fuel prices, fuel quality, and port availability. We can immediately fix ships positioned to meet laycans at decreased speeds or have shorter ballast distances if we have a complete picture of all cargoes and voyages.

Integrate: securing the best fuel deals reduces cost and maintains fuel quality

When you integrate VMS with bunker procurement and optimisation systems, you have a complete picture of the market, fuel prices, port information, including the types of fuel available at each port, and you’re in a great position to benchmark suppliers, monitor their performance, and use that information, along with local port data, to negotiate the best deals based on price, fuel quality, calorific value, and location around the world.

Dataloy VMS manages all bunker orders, allowing quick negotiation and maximum control of bunker stem and invoice data. Your selected suppliers and bunker procurement systems, such as Clearlynx and World Fuel Services, can be integrated and synchronised via an open API and a normalised database. This gives you the ability to control all parts of inquiry management, from procurement to payment. You can also connect with systems like Bunker Metric to optimise your bunkers, giving you top possibilities for refuelling in transit, highlighting the lowest priced port(s) to guarantee your vessel’s voyage is finished with enough fuel onboard.

Master Partners: Bunker Metric, World Fuel Services, Clearlynx

Be agile: voyage execution

Dataloy and its partner ecosystem provide you with end-to-end visibility into a voyage and its operations, allowing you to optimise planning, execution, and monitoring of all activities during a voyage and port calls to optimise fuel efficiency, among other things. With real-time visibility, alerts, and in-app collaboration, you can quickly and easily revise fuel volume forecasts and budgets — predict the likely impact on volumes and budgets, changes to routes and capacity, days of operation and other important variables. You can make more informed decisions faster, offering you a competitive advantage in today’s extremely challenging market.

Create value from your data

Every month, Gigabytes of fuel and cost data travel in and out of shipping. Access to sound business intelligence will be critical. Information such as:
– how actual bunkering volume compares to what was contracted — in total and by port or supplier
— how current fuel prices compared to what was predicted – for a specific period, place, and so on.
– supplier performance
– the amount of time it takes to check invoices – overall, or by invoice issuer or location
– the number and value of invoice inconsistencies – overall, or by invoice issuer or location

Insights such as these can help you monitor your fleet’s performance, get more control over your costs, and uncover inefficiencies that would have previously been hidden within gigabytes of unconnected data. It helps managers identify bottlenecks and issues with internal or external processes and makes better decisions based on data and evidence rather than subjective opinions.

Dataloy VMS has its own BI tool, and you can integrate with partners like OrbitMI to apply AI/machine learning to reveal hidden insights about weather, routes, speed, consumption, TCE and more.

Master Partner: OrbitMI

Dataloy provides a cloud-based suite of applications that enable ship owners and operators to comprehensively track information on their operations’ voyage performance, efficiency, and economy of their operations.

To streamline operations, free up buyers to focus on other more pressing activities and help optimise fleet management, Dataloy VMS can be integrated with applications that automate the complete fuel management process. Dataloy VMS Platform enables multiple teams to act as one, collaborating around a fully integrated 360-degree view of purchasing operations, covering a range of functionality, including orders, procurement, contract management, inventory, planning and finance, and claims and reconciliation. 

Lastly, with Dataloy VMS, you can harness the power of cloud technology to have control and visibility over fuel and cost management anywhere, anytime.

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