6 ways to ensure better ship operations planning

Maritime analytics and data intelligence tools built to help you plan operations with confidence

Getting access to powerful tools is often half the solution to most time-related business problems. But is there a platform where professionals dealing with vessels at sea can access every tool for better ship operations planning – all in one single place?

Sure there is. At MarineTraffic, we have put together all these tools in our new Fleet Operations Solution, developed to make professionals’ lives easier when it comes to performing better planning and ensuring efficiency for the daily operations of vessels sailing around the world, helping them to reach their business goals.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can plan the most cost-effective route for your vessel, taking into account bunker costs, weather and nautical charts and everything needed really, in six simple ways:

1. Employ an easy-to-use Voyage Planner

voyage planner

We know how professionals working in the fleet operation management sector need to receive optimised route suggestions for Port-to-Port passages. For this reason, our team is able to provide you with actionable intelligence based on accumulated historical data of the most common paths followed by other vessels.

What does this Voyage Planner feature really offer?

First, a user may predict an accurate ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) and ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) for each leg; secondly, but most importantly, it allows you to set up speed, consumption, bunkers price in order to estimate TCE (Time Charter Equivalent) or Asking Freight rates for voyages, with an easy-to-use built-in calculator; trust powerful AIS analytics that does all the work for you.

Estimate profitability and monitor the voyage progress to decide on the most efficient route your vessel will follow next.

2. Make the most out of a Live Map with Advanced Filters

285,800 vessels have been tracked on the MarineTraffic Live Map within the past 24 hours as trade keeps moving night or day. And it looks like this…

If we bring out the filtering options the platform offers, that amazingly interesting however busy view of global flows becomes even more eye-opening, clearing things up fast to facilitate the viewer’s job.

With the Fleet Operations Solution comes the capability to choose the information you wish to view on the MarineTraffic Live Map by filtering the vessels based on capacity, load condition, destination, age of latest position and more.

Watch this short video to get an idea.

Access more layers and tools, such as Time-zones, Traffic Separation Schemes, Graticule, Voyage info on the map, Distance tool and every information that should come in handy are all included.

This capability offers you rich and always updated map content in full-screen mode for easier interaction any time you log in and much smarter tracking.

Related reading: Smarter tracking with improved search and new map layers

3. Have vital Voyage Data at your fingertips

To be able to determine what’s best for your ship’s daily operations, you need to have the fullest picture possible regarding the past, the current and the future voyages of the ships you manage.

Shedding light to key voyage information such as distance travelled so far, how many nautical miles are yet to be travelled, what the Load Condition of the vessel is right now, or what this was days ago, but also details on voyage forecasting such as the Destination, or the Predicted Route, Calculated ETAs and Weather conditions across the route the vessel has followed etc. is the basis of better-informed decisions as all determine a ship’s voyage planning process.

nautical charts

4. Use essential Nautical Charts for reference

When you deal with ships at sea, your job’s main concern revolves around efficiency in operations, which spans various factors.

Ship owners for instance should be able to receive both the technical knowledge and the expertise in order to make sure they can contribute to the performance improvement of their vessel.

Having trusted sources of international standards-compliant navigation information for waterways across the globe brings you all this wealth of knowledge from experts in the field (Hydrographic Organisations) to provide you with a clear view of detailed charts of navigable waters, with bathymetry, landmarks and sea hazards to determine a safer route for your vessel, a fundamental step to planning upcoming voyages.

5. Keep a close watch on Port Congestion

Supply delays and major disruption issues can potentially arise around the world’s ports, putting pressure on the market.

One current example is what is happening at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach lately where congestion keeps on rising. According to the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. shipping operations remain clogged as ports, truckers and warehouses can’t find enough workers or agree on 24/7 operations” a statement that demonstrates the effect a clogged port can have on shipping.

Having the ability to get comprehensible congestion charts about any port’s weekly activity over the last 90 days is key for ship operations and better planning.

Check detailed weekly reports waiting times by port, market and vessel size class to be better prepared, avoid potential delays at ports and plan your way out of trouble well in advance to ensure your vessel will sail uninterrupted, your cargo will be safely transferred on time and most importantly increase your customer’s, company’s and crew’s well being by reducing their stress over delays.

6. Record important information with Vessel Notes

Regardless of how well someone’s memory works, sometimes, especially when tasks add up and time is limited, concisely recording important information and recalling it later is just not easy.

Fleet maintenance procedures coming up? A thought on a vessel’s fuel costs, a date referring to a safety issue or anything that could affect the boat’s operational processes you need to pinpoint?

Only some of the key duties of a ship management professional would include the following: keeping an eye on technical issues, being responsible for crew management, chartering, risk management, safety issues, costs and finance, legal issues arising according to countless international regulations that keep changing, insurance policies, sustainability along with others.

Creating your own notes for each vessel you are monitoring is now possible with the Vessel Notes features, which helps you make sure you save all key information that you can use as future reference.

Notes are nice. Notes that are shareable too can save the team a lot of time and unnecessary meetings. With this tool, users can share every important detail with other members of an organisation or third parties involved in operational processes and eliminate time spent on information sharing via emails and phone calls.

Keep easy to read, easily accessible notes and highlight the essence of each piece of information, freeing your mind from the hard task of having to recall everything all the time when at work.

Developed on a wealth of industry experience, these six features, along with the most complete ship tracking data globally, make up a powerful source of reliable data for professionals like you to be able to make better-informed decisions. With Fleet Operations Solution, you can:

➔ MONITOR your vessel as it crosses the oceans

➔ PLAN every aspect of your voyage

➔ REPORT and review incidents, and charter party compliance

This is our second blog post, in which we have covered Operations Planning and the tools that help you work better and more deliberately. In case you missed the first part on Vessel Monitoring, find it here, and stay tuned for more details on the third and last part of our blog post series, focusing on the Solution’s Voyage Monitoring capability.

Fleet Operations Solution | MarineTraffic