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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

MacGregor launches automated cargo stowage software

Wed 12 Sep 2018 by Jamey Bergman

MacGregor launches automated cargo stowage software
The software will find optimal cargo stowage more quickly than human operators, according to MacGregor. (Photo by User:Beroesz [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons)

MacGregor has introduced a new software application that facilitates breakbulk cargo stowage.

In a statement, MacGregor said its Breakbulk Optimiser is the first automated, cloud-based application directed at optimising stowage plans for breakbulk and general cargoes. The company, a division of Cargotec, said the cloud-based software it developed with Cargotec-owned Navis can help operators to increse vessel utilisation rates. 

The software takes into consideration cargo stowage variables as well as the cabilities of individual cargo handling systems, port rotations and vessel stability and can respond to changes more quickly than human stowage planners, according to MacGregor.

“Currently, breakbulk stowage planning mostly relies on time-consuming, manual planning processes based on the capability and experience of an individual planner or team of planners. No-shows of cargoes and last-minute changes can further add to the time it takes to complete an optimal stowage plan,” the statement said.

MacGregor customer innovations director Tommi Keshkilohko said the system “can easily accommodate these last-minute changes and enables customers to identify predefined key performance indicators at a ship, voyage, rotation or fleet level. Pilot cases on board customer vessels have verified that the amount of cargo that can be carried can be increased substantially, which increases operational efficiency and earning potential.”

The company said in addition to savings in time and increased earnings, the system's efficiency can reduce environmental impacts as vessels using the system would be running at higher utilisation rates, necessitating fewer vessels and thus burning less fuel.

“The utilisation rates of breakbulk and general cargo vessels tend to be relatively low and fleet-wide key performance indicators are rarely known or recorded,” Mr Keskilohko said.

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