Digital Transformation in Commercial Shipping: Charterers
Posted by Meg MacIver on September 1, 2020

This article is Part III of our three part series which considers the ways Commercial Operators, Shipbrokers, and Charterers utilize The Signal Ocean Platform to improve their performance.  Part I covers Commercial Operators and Part II addresses Brokers.

Charterers, as controllers of the world’s commodities, need to be continuously aware of market conditions in order to assess the ideal time to book transportation for their cargoes. Α charterer needs actionable market insights to understand and anticipate future vessel supply and demand.

Within this three-party marketplace (composed of Commercial Operators, Brokers, and Charterers), Charterers are often the players with the most market data. The challenge charterers face is assimilating market knowledge from disparate sources of data including their own, that of their brokers, shipowners, and other sources.  

Chartering is becoming more efficient thanks to the advent of digital technologies such as The Signal Ocean Platform which leverages big data, private shipping data and artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover meaningful industry trends and provides a unique market view to charterers. 

In this article, we examine how charterers can leverage The Signal Ocean Platform to make chartering decisions.

A view of the shipping market unique to each charterer

What is unique about Signal Ocean is that it has been designed to respect the fact that different companies are going to have access to different information. Some companies, as a result of their particular trade patterns and cargoes, are naturally better informed on activities in certain geographical areas compared than others. 

The Signal Ocean chartering software renders a market view that is unique to each subscriber based on the data that the particular subscriber has elected to forward into the system. This is stored in a private, Secure Data Vault.  

Optimizing the timing to go to market

The Supply Trend Report (pictured below) can be used to quickly identify market dynamics, including forward vessel supply. Charterers can use this Report to  identify the right time to come to the market with their future cargoes.  

Here is a the Supply Trend Report for VLCCs in Ras Tanura versus the VLCC AG-Far East market rates.

This report is especially powerful when used in combination with the Fixture Counts Report for the same region and vessel class (pictured below).  Here we see VLCC Fixture counts for 2020 and 2019, broken down into months and decades. 

The Fixture Count Dashboard shows VLCC Fixtures by region for 2020 and 2019. Here we see Fixtures per month and per decade, organized by region, for Aframax vessels.

Real-time view of a vessel under your charter

Use the Signal Ocean chartering software to quickly check the current commercial operation of a vessel. You can see whether the vessel has berthed and check her distance relative to a  port. In addition to enabling Charterers to assess vessel availability, the chartering platform can also be used to provide visibility into whether cargoes load on the desired date and safely reach the required destination within the specified time frame. The Ports Dashboard can be used to provide a detailed, near-real-time view of vessel activity.

Using the Ports Dashboard, you can see whether a vessel has berthed and what operation she is currently doing.

Before coming to market and during a voyage, The Signal Ocean Platform enables charterers to spot both high-level market dynamics (including changes in vessel supply and freight rates) and granular information about vessel movements and current operations, down to the jetty-level. Using Signal Ocean allows charterers to stay informed of market trends and, as a result, make optimal chartering decisions for their business.

To request a demo of Signal Ocean, click here.

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