A digital solution developed by Singapore-based maritime solutions firm Claritecs is well on its way to remove the ‘biggest pain point’ of bunker tanker operators and more, says its Co-founder and Chief Product Officer.
Russell Gomes was presenting at the 9th Biennial Bunkering in Asia conference on Wednesday (4 September) when he shared how the tech company became convinced the solution for an “extremely disjointed” sector lies in digitisation of its scheduling sheet.“Every bunker delivery involves many different stakeholders and parties. You’ve got the operators, suppliers, traders, terminals, creditors, ship agents and receiving vessels,” he told delegates.
“Each job requires a lot of communication between all the different parties before and after each delivery, and information flow is slow.
“When we analysed the problem, we found that all the essential information that needs to be shared between the various parties can be contained within the schedule.
“Secondly, it just so happens that when we speak to bunker operators, their biggest pain point is their scheduling!”
An industry survey conducted by Claritecs found bunker tanker operators coping with deliveries by either reorganising their bunkering schedule every 2-3 hours to ensure optimisation of fleet, or by simply planning big buffers around each delivery to ensure of no clashes and replanning sequences.
“What if we could make the planning for bunkering easier for everybody, and create a platform that synchronises the entire bunker supply chain and ecosystem, that can take all our customers to instant digitisation and digital transformation?” Gomes asks.
“We’re solving all these problems with our system BunkerMAESTRO, where to start-off, we’re focusing on the schedule, and we’ve built an auto-scheduling system for bunker operators.
“This solves the operators’ problem, and allows us to have a centralised system that has the schedules of the various barges, and all the associated information.
“That’s what Claritecs is aiming to do. The end goal is ultimately to reduce work load and cut costs for operators, and increase the optimisation of the vessels, which means they can increase their turn rate per vessel, or use fewer vessels to handle the same number of jobs.”
To date, Claritecs has inked MOUs with bunker operators Sinanju Tankers Holdings, Sentek Marine & Trading, Global Energy Trading, United Maritime and New Maritime representing 33% of the total Singapore bunker tanker fleet to testbed BunkerMAESTRO.
It has also entered into LOIs with shipping firms CMA CGM, PCL, PanUnited, and Glory Ship Management for the similar activity.
“Now as we get the bunker operators on board, we will invite their customers and partners who are the suppliers, traders, agents or ship owners onto the platform as well,” he shares.
“The schedule contains all the operational information including pre-delivery and post-delivery information, and by having the schedule on one platform, all parties can monitor the status of the deliveries and view the information that is relevant to them.
“This information will be updated regularly by the operators and their crew, and will also contain third-party AIS information all in one place. And this will ultimately reduce the amount of inefficiencies described earlier.”
Moving forward, Gomes reveals Claritecs to be in discussions on piloting a scheduling system for an unnamed oil terminal in Singapore to allow for reduced waiting time and increase transparency for loading operations with bunker tankers.
The company also intends to increase participation of its BunkerMAESTRO test bedding program from the current 33% to 50% of the Singapore bunker tanker fleet by end of the year.
“To wrap up, we have identified that the schedule is the heart of operations, and digitising the schedule and transforming the scheduling process has helped us to take a step towards digitising the entire bunkering process and operations,” he concludes.
Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 5 September, 2019