By Mike O’Brien, Senior Operations and Business Development Manager
Competing in the shipping industry requires an understanding of a wide range of KPI’s. Fuel efficiency is just one of many ways StormGeo puts comprehensive tools at your fingertips to quickly evaluate your fleet and make informed decisions for optimal utilization of assets. The focus of this article is to demonstrate how StormGeo customers can view their fuel efficiency graphs, and see how that data can be filtered to provide actionable insights.
StormGeo’s innovations range from our BVS onboard routing software to key partnerships with companies such as JRC, Veson and KVH to bring you tools and services that integrate well together. The presentation of data is an area we have long understood to be a priority of our customers and has been a key area of focus for StormGeo.
StormGeo Graphing Data Using Fleet DSS(TM) and AWT SmartWatch(TM)
StormGeo’s graphing data allows our clients to compare the fuel curves of two ships, a class of ships or sister ships. It allows for accurate assessments of a fleet and examination of why one ship may be consuming fuel differently than another. The data can be filtered to present a comparison between two time periods that is critical in understanding the operational impact of a propeller polishing or a hull cleaning. The data available can even compare how your ship stacks up against the over 50,000 voyages StormGeo evaluates each year through our anonymous performance data.
Fuel Efficiency Graphs
Our fuel efficiency graphs provide a highly customizable presentation of fuel per cargo mile. As you can see below, there are a wide variety of settings that can be modified based on your need to drill down into the data. The columns to the left allow you to perform the following:
- Legs – Look at fuel efficiency on a particular port pair or number of port pairs.
- Vessels – Evaluate one or more ships by checking the appropriate vessel name.
- Sister Vessels – Select one vessel from the ‘vessels’ field to easily compare sister ships.
Other important fields can provide very specific displays of the data, such as the weather field, load and leg duration fields. As we know, individual ships will perform differently when presented with the same weather conditions. StormGeo has made it quite simple to look at the fuel efficiency data on the basis of the following criteria:
- ‘Light’ weather BF 0-4 – Ship operators have found it useful to have the breakdown by weather conditions as presented here. At a glance you can see what the fleet is doing when largely unencumbered by weather.*
- ‘Moderate’ weather BF 5-6 – This option is of particular importance as you can see your fleet fuel efficiency, observe if it declines on a linear basis, or if a particular ship or group of ships tend to lose a great deal of efficiency when presented with these conditions.
- ‘All weather’ – An effective tool to see the overall efficiency of your fleet.
Beyond the weather condition settings, fuel efficiency may be refined further by looking at only ballast, laden or all voyages and/or excluding shorter voyage segments that may skew the data given coastal navigation/speed regulations.
The sliding bar settings in the right column are quite interesting. If you want to see the fuel efficiency of your fleet in heavy laden conditions, you can filter on that by mean draft. If you find that ships of similar draft and size are experiencing a range of fuel efficiency, it could be the trim is impacting efficiency. Using the sliding bars allows you to isolate data points given a specific range of trims to make those comparisons.
Generating Your Data
Now that you have your settings adjusted the way you want them, it is time to generate the data and evaluate the results. If you reference the above image, you will note that you can click ‘Generate’ or ‘To CSV’. Selecting ‘Generate’ will display an image like the image below or you can chose ‘To CSV’ and put the data in a format that can be opened up in an excel spreadsheet.
Understanding the Data
The X-axis of the graph represents the dead weight tonnage (DWT) of the ships while the Y-axis represents grams of fuel per (amount of cargo * Nautical Miles steamed). This is close to an Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) value but does not present the data in quantity of CO2 emissions. We did this intentionally to provide a fuel-based presentation rather than a CO2-based presentation. The red line represents the average of the data points for fuel efficiency of the fleet as a whole.
There is a cluster of data points near 35,000 MT DWT with Vessel 4 toward the top and Vessel 14 toward the bottom. The data here indicates that Vessel 4 is not as efficient as Vessel 14. Vessel 4 is consuming over 3.5 grams of fuel per unit of cargo mile while Vessel 14 is consuming below 2.0 grams of fuel per unit of cargo mile.
Whether using our new AWT SmartWatch service, or more traditional routing services, StormGeo strives to put tools in the hands of shipping professionals that provide more meaningful data. The fuel efficiency graphs that StormGeo has developed were designed with that in mind. The capability to filter the results is a very unique way to get a detailed picture of your fuel efficiency. In particular, StormGeo’s ability to present the data based on a variety of weather criteria puts you in a position to see fuel efficiency in an entirely new light. The graphs provide a quick way to evaluate a fleet based on very specific criteria, providing StormGeo customers with real data to make informed decisions and ultimately, to best use their assets.