It all starts with ‘one single point of truth’...
Sustainability & Safety

It all starts with ‘one single point of truth’...

Technical innovations make it possible to optimise trips by choosing the best route for example and sailing at the most efficient speed. It will also be possible to use the fleet as a whole even more efficiently, for example through smart planning programs in the office. This not only renders shipping more sustainable but also increases the international competitive position. Wagenborg is therefore working hard on the options for digitisation and smart shipping. We’re talking to Eldert Heijkoop (Manager Operations Chartering) and Maurice Stokhof de Jong (Contract Manager Projects & New build) on more efficient voyages, remote maintenance, smart navigation and planning software, as well as significant fuel savings.

Sailing with smart technology

Smart shipping is advanced automation of managing and supporting a fleet. It requires more than just the technology on board of Wagenborg ships. Information on all the related ambient elements is equally essential, such as the weather and available port facilities. “This live data enables our ships to react to a situation. It allows the crew or one of the operators to take direct action. By opting for an alternative route when bad weather is imminent, for example”, explains Heijkoop. Wagenborg has already taken the necessary steps in this direction. Stokhof de Jong: “We have upgraded the computer network on board 62 Wagenborg ships for this purpose, as well as installing monitoring systems on the bridge and in the engine room, and incorporating switches in order to be able to add even more systems at a later date, for remote support or data analysis for example.” Using a satellite connection, microdata such as the ship’s position, speed, fuel consumption and ETA is already exchanged between the ship and the organisation on shore.

Smart shipping to save fuel and money

Live data from the Wagenborg ships results in optimum gearing of sailing plans. Heijkoop continues: “Thanks to that live data, we can gear our route more effectively to the weather forecast, opening hours of the terminals and available port berths, for example. Just-in-time arrival of our ships will become the standard. More accurate ambient information enables a ship to reduce speed if the waves, current and wind are favourable for example, without any detrimental effect on arrival times. It also makes a difference in fuel consumption; 1 knot of extra speed compared to eco-speed costs approximately 30% more fuel! Digitisation, therefore, offers Wagenborg new opportunities to save fuel and therefore money. Savings which can be used for further investment to render our ships even greener.”

Improved competitive position due to digitisation

Digitisation in shipping therefore ensures that ships can sail more efficiently. “In the end of course, it’s all about getting the best possible returns out of every single ship and the fleet as a whole. Real-time insight into expected arrival times, fuel consumption or speed can help us greatly when adjusting and anticipating certain situations. I’m proud that Wagenborg has the people on board capable of thinking out of the box in order to take steps towards the future, despite any limitations”, says Heijkoop.

"I regard it to be an innovation process for even more efficiency initiatives which in the end will benefit both Wagenborg and our customers."

Eldert Heijkoop - Manager Operations Chartering

A smart future fleet

It will be clear by now that there are endless opportunities. What will the future hold? Stokhof de Jong: “We currently find ourselves in a digital revolution combined with great ambitions for sustainmable shipping. Personally, I believe that as a larger shipowner and chartering office, we can benefit from economies of scale via the route we have chosen to take, with live data, trip optimisation and opportunities for a smart office.This offers benefits to our customers and thus opportunities for scaling up. ” Heijkoop adds: “We are already seeing customers who want to develop a system together with us, to share fleet data and freight data: when will the freight be ready? Can a ship arrive 24 hours later? It’s all about just-in-time delivery and keeping the CO2 footprint of each trip as low as possible. We are now increasingly able to give a precise account of how the work on board our ships is progressing minute by minute, allowing for tighter scheduling and calculations, and enabling us to offer even more reliable services to our customers. I regard it to be an innovation process for even more efficiency initiatives which in the end will benefit both Wagenborg and our customers.”

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