By Mike O'Brien, Sr. Business Development Manager
StormGeo is keenly aware of the benefits, and at times, the business necessities of pooling vessel tonnage whether your business is dry bulk or liquid cargo. One of the most important aspects of pooling vessels, from a business perspective, is the accurate assignment of pool points and sharing of revenue.
Performance is at the center of pool point assignment, however, the complicating factor is finding an equitable way to understand performance across a range of variables including different loading conditions, range of speeds and fuel consumptions.
Individual vessel performance against a baseline-performing vessel has been the de facto standard in assessing performance and pool point weighting. Using this system a vessel can be ascertained as performing better or worse than the pool norm thus earning more or less of the pool revenue accordingly. Vessel owners and pool managers have used StormGeo data to gauge this type of performance for some time. The clear benefit of using StormGeo’s independent data and calculations is that pool managers and owners, contributing ships to the pool, are put on a level playing field when it comes to the influence of the ocean environment.
Are there more sophisticated ways to compare vessel performance in a pool?
Consulting with pool managers, StormGeo has determined that there are tools we can provide that will further refine the assignment of pool points. One of the most fundamental questions is, “Should the industry simply analyze ballast voyages and laden voyages?” Is it accurate to say the performance of a partially laden vessel can be compared on the same terms as a fully laden vessel? Clearly a partially laden vessel will not consume as much fuel as a similar ship that is fully laden. Using the StormGeo draft selector, partially laden ships can be compared with partially laden ships and if follows that fully laden ships compared to fully laden ships.
In this example only ships with a mean draft between 8 and 10 meters will be evaluated. Furthermore, your precision in ascertaining specific vessel performance among peer vessels can be increased by also looking at the trim. Are the vessels that needed to be loaded down by the head by 0.5 meters at a mean draft of 8-10 meters performing equally? The below image is the sliding bar that allows the user to refine the data to show us just that.
Compiling the results
Using advanced filtering tools similar ships of similar laden conditions can be graphed for quick visual reference or exported to Excel for further analysis or data extraction into a proprietary pool point calculation system.
If StormGeo is collecting RPM data the above speeds can be associated with RPM’s to allow for more accurate vessel-to-vessel comparison.
StormGeo provides a flexible solution
In addition to the powerful filtering, StormGeo puts tools in the hands of pool managers or owners allowing them to:
1. Evaluate fuel basis: Main Engine, Main Engine plus Auxiliary or total fuel consumption. This tool allows bulk liquid pool managers to remove oil used for heating from the calculations.
2. Ability to toggle on/off the use of ocean currents in calculations: Adjusting performance for ocean currents is commonplace for dry bulk vessels, however with tankers that is not necessarily the case. Charter Party performance calculations for tankers do not include ocean currents and that practice has carried over to pool point calculations for tankers, in some cases. StormGeo gives tanker operators the option to allow for or ignore ocean currents in their performance comparisons.
3. Evaluate performance in light, moderate or all weather conditions: The ability to define ‘light’ weather as Beaufort force 0-4 for dry bulk pools or Beaufort force 0-5 for tanker pools to more closely align with Shelltime performance are available.
As a full service provider to the maritime industry, support for pool managers has always been a priority. At StormGeo our core values guide us and one of those values is ‘continuous improvement’. Creating more accurate and flexible tools for pool managers and owners is one way we strive to improve the industry we serve.