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Maritime Digitalisation & Communications

Data monitoring can lower fuel and insurance costs

Thu 22 Feb 2018 by Martyn Wingrove

Data monitoring can lower fuel and insurance costs
Martin Penney: "Some shipping companies are starting to adopt true data-driven decision-making practices"

Real-time, data-driven decision-making will decide shipping’s winners and losers

Shipowners can reduce fuel costs and insurance premiums by adopting more vessel performance technology. They can cut their decision-making time by having greater integration between ships in their fleets and shore-based managers, said Marorka director of sales Martin Penney.

Improvements in ship-to-shore connectivity through VSAT, enhancements in vessel tracking through the automatic identification system (AIS) and the installation of more onboard sensors is enabling shipping to adopt the internet of things (IoT). Shipowners’ interest in these innovations is driven by the need for real-time performance data.

“Already some shipping companies are starting to adopt true data-driven decision-making practices,” Mr Penney told Marine Electronics & Communications. For these companies, data is a unifier. “It brings together previously siloed departments on a single, holistic platform,” he explained.

In many shipping companies, the commercial and operational arms are in different locations, or could be in different divisions. In these instances, shipowners should consider combining real-time performance data with commercial information to improve their profitability, said Mr Penney.

IoT and real-time data monitoring technology go beyond just vessel operations as they will also impact logistic chains. He anticipates that this will be supported by blockchain processes “to ensure the veracity of each and every transaction.” He added that trading companies will use maritime transport “more as a weapon in their trading arsenal” as they could combine real-time and predictive performance with opportunities for commodity arbitrage.

“Data will become a source of competitive differentiation”

“This data will become a source of competitive differentiation,” Mr Penney said, adding that data-driven companies are overtaking those that have invested less in technology in the container ship sector. He predicts this will reach all areas of shipping soon.

Mr Penney expects real-time performance monitoring, combined with AIS information, will enable shipping companies to reduce their insurance premiums, just as vehicle owners are able to do. This is because “real-time performance data can track safety as well as fuel issues,” he said.

For example, Marorka’s performance team is already checking that vessels stay within the scantling draught and do not suffer damage from excessive heeling in port due to asymmetric gantry crane loading. By using these types of service, Mr Penney explained, “shipowners can gain peace of mind and may also see their insurance premiums reduce in the future.”

Marorka provides predictions to both ship and shore, for estimated time of arrival and performance, based on fuel budgets, engine revolution settings and expected weather and vessel conditions. It provides real-time alerts on the use of all consumers on the vessel, including the main engines, diesel generators, auxiliary engines, boilers, lube oil pumps and cargo pumps.


Snapshot CV: Martin Penney

Martin Penney joined Marorka as sales director in December 2017 after 18 years of experience in software and company development. He has previously held positions of responsibility at Eniram, INTTRA, Datix, Global Freight Exchange and BMT Smart. He has a masters’ degree in industrial engineering from Cambridge University and was a director of the board at the Institute of Directors in 2015.

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