Innoget

Seeking novel proposals to optimise bunker utilisation and procurement to improve fleet vessel performance

Posted by InnogetVery responsive · Specific Technical Innovation · Project Size Range : Strategic project backed by large scale funding € · Deadline at 24/10/2020 · European Union

Desired outcome

A technology is sought to optimise bunker utilisation and procurement to improve fleet vessel performance and address the pain points listed above.

Generating and Communicating Bunker Utilisation Plans

An application that receives and processes vessel performance statistics from the entire fleet of vessels, combines with SMHI weather statistics*, and prepares an optimised bunker utilisation plan for the vessel based on its historical performance data and that of its sister vessels.

The optimisation rules engine should be able and could run tirelessly 24 x 7 to provide timely optimization plans and suggestions to vessel masters for their proactive actions, removing the need for vessel masters to wait for advice from on-shore technical and operations team and giving significant cost savings from sub-optimal bunker consumption.

Innoget

Background

With bunkers being the highest OPEX item for any ship-owner/operator, optimizing bunker consumption and procurement could bring about substantial cost savings for the company. This task is performed by shore-based vessel operators, who would collate and analyse various vessel performance indicators (e.g. vessel position, average speed, sea conditions, distance travelled, propeller slip, estimated times to destination, bunker remaining-on-board (ROB)) that are provided by vessel masters daily through a document known as the Noon Report. Based on historical performance data and/or that of similar class of vessels (i.e. sister vessels), a bunker optimization plan would be generated and communicated to vessel masters.

However, analysing large quantities of vessel performance data and deriving an optimisation plan takes considerable time. By the time the bunker optimization plans are sent to vessel masters, the plans might have been outdated as the vessel might have sailed off to a different location or the operating environment would have changed.

Requirements

Pain Points

  1. The need for vessel operators to manually monitor bunker prices daily. Without any predictive algorithm and price alert systems, it is difficult for vessel operators to make optimal bunker procurement decisions.
  2. Optimisation plans of inconsistent quality as they are compiled and derived manually by different vessel operators.
  3. Vessel operations take place 24/7, but shore-based operators do not. As such, vessel masters would have wait for technical/operational advice before making the next move. This could cause considerable delays and additional cost outlay arising from sub-optimal bunker utilisation.
  4. Operation centre need to operate 24/7 to monitor vessel performance and weather situation based on the noon report. With an automation advisory system, vessel will be given advice on the speed and direction based on the pre-set algorithm. The Operation centre is usually run by offshore Captain with shift rotation.

Current Process

Currently vessel-master keys in the vessel status information using an HTML webpage via a PC located in the vessel, and exports the information as a text file. This text file is sent to the onshore office via email. The size of the text file is less than 10KB.

The data such as vessel noon report data, bunker data from website is in digital format. However a predictive analytics and business logic-based solution is not yet in place.

Potential Constraints

Internet connectivity is available on the vessels, however it may not be available when the vessel is far out into the sea and far from the shore. The vessel however has good internet connectivity and bandwidth when not very far from shore. PIL is open to have the proposed solution hosted on-premise, on-vessel or on the cloud.

This is new innovation idea that came out from IT team, however we may see the challenge if we want to implement it, we lack of IT man-power and relevant skill-set which need the resource to have complete solution knowledge and also resource in term of current IT team capacity and funding to hire new/right member for this.

Desired Outcome

A technology is sought to optimise bunker utilisation and procurement to improve fleet vessel performance and address the pain points listed above.

Generating and Communicating Bunker Utilisation Plans

An application that receives and processes vessel performance statistics from the entire fleet of vessels, combines with SMHI weather statistics*, and prepares an optimised bunker utilisation plan for the vessel based on its historical performance data and that of its sister vessels.

The optimisation rules engine should be able and could run tirelessly 24 x 7 to provide timely optimization plans and suggestions to vessel masters for their proactive actions, removing the need for vessel masters to wait for advice from on-shore technical and operations team and giving significant cost savings from sub-optimal bunker consumption.

Examples of instructions for vessel masters:

  1. Keep the vessel speed to “X” Knots in order to save “YY” amount of fuel over next 5 hours.
  2. Keep the vessel speed to “X” in order to reach the Destination Port for berthing on time, so as to save cost while on dock or queuing to enter the port
  3. Prompt to plan for various maintenance activities up-front.

* SMHI stands for Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute – an expert agency that provides weather forecasts for 2.8 million places around the world

Bunker Procurement and Inventory Management

The optimisation rules engine should also take into account of price movements in the global bunker market as well as the bunker inventory as it generates the bunker utilisation plan for vessel operators. From there, vessel operators would make an assessment on the advice before a bunker procurement decision is made.

Improvable Solution

Finally, this optimisation rules engine should be adjustable over time, allowing for it to be continuously enhanced by experienced vessel masters and vessel operators.

End Goal:All in all, this application should bring about cost savings associated with bunker fuel.

NOTES:

  1. Bunker inventory can be at both in the vessel or in PIL’s onshore storage. Based on the price of bunker it is decided whether to pump more fuel into the bunker or to keep the storage.
  2. With regard to the operation centre, the vessel master (Captain) is onshore and they will provide their expertise to build up the logic and rules engine.

Stakeholders

Vessel Performance Team (On shore)

  1. Quick, easy and error-free collation of data from various sources.
  2. No misinformed decision or no delayed decision on optimizations due to manual interventions in data collation, analysis and planning.
  3. Automated performance insights, which can be shared in real-time to respective stakeholders. No manual intervention would be required.
  4. Human experience intervention can help improvise the rule engine.

Vessel Master (Offshore)

  1. First-hand access to optimized action plan for Vessel Master.
  2. More reliable and consistent outputs.
  3. Human intervention from experienced individuals can help improvise the rule engine.

Information Technology Team (Onshore)

Trade and Connectivity Challenge 2020

The present Innovation Call is part of the Trade and Connectivity Challenge 2020 co-organised by Enterprise Singapore along with IPI Singapore.

Singapore’s position as a strategic trade hub is backed by its strong regional networks and connectivity. In recent years, Singapore has also transformed into a hub for innovation activity.

The Trade and Connectivity Challenge (TCC) leverages Singapore’s vibrant ecosystem of global trade, connectivity and innovation as a call for solutions to drive partnerships in the aviation, maritime, land mobility, logistics, and trade sectors. Now, in its second year, TCC 2020 continues to provide opportunities for startups and SMEs to co-innovate, deploy, and adopt innovative solutions.

Enterprise Singapore, together with IPI, invites you to showcase your innovative solutions in growth areas, such as big data analysis, Internet of Things and sustainability post-COVID19.

Related keywords

  • Data Processing / Data Interchange, Middleware
  • Knowledge Management, Process Management
  • Applications for Transport and Logistics
  • Process control and logistics
  • Information processing & Systems, Workflow
  • Process automation
  • Supply chain
  • Logistics
  • Water Transport
  • Transport and Shipping Technologies
  • Navigation and embedded systems
  • Artificial intelligence applications for cars and transport
  • Sensors for cars and transport
  • Process optimisation, waste heat utilisation
  • Analyses / Test Facilities and Methods
  • Process control equipment and systems

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