Shortest Route Not Necessarily the Cheapest

voyage map

By MarEx 2015-01-30 19:00:06

With the new ECA/SECA regulations now in effect, shipowners and managers need to be fully prepared to take on a new set of challenges presented in voyage planning. The change to 0.10 percent maximum permissible sulfur content in marine fuels has added an extra financial burden ship owners and managers need to account for.

Many owners and operators have already taken major steps towards remaining compliant with these new regulations (i.e. switching bunker fuels, installing scrubbers, changing trading routes, etc.), while some are still searching for answers. Given the potential high costs of the above mentioned solutions, vessel owners and operators need to re-evaluate conventional wisdom regarding voyage planning and consider the most optimal routing on a voyage-by-voyage basis.

With these new regulations, taking the shortest navigable route between two ports will not always suffice as the most economic voyage plan. Since the extra cost of using lower sulfur bunkers can be greater than the cost of deviating to avoid an ECA/SECA zone, it is not always desired to take the shortest route. Thus, companies need to actively seek all routing possibilities for prospective voyages in order to ensure they are operating their vessels as efficiently as possible.

New technology has helped shoulder this burden for vessel owners and operators. Q88 LLC’s new state of the art voyage management system, Q88VMS, has solutions for these specific challenges with owners and operators in mind. Q88VMS’s Manual Routing feature allows commercial operators the ability to manually change a vessel’s routing to achieve their desired results and instantly see its direct impact on their time charter equivalent (TCE) performance.

In today’s landscape, shipowners and operators should look to technology as a means to better position themselves in dealing with the added obstacles that these regulations present. Q88VMS offers users the flexibility to manually drag and drop way points, cutting distance travelled in low sulfur zones and potentially creating substantial savings on fuel costs, thus improving a voyage’s TCE and providing more accurate data for vessel performance analysis.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.