Tanker charterers and owners have been reaping the benefits of standardized vessel information management for decades. Initially driven by safety protocols and regulations for commercial voyages and vessels, standardization among tanker particulars has transformed from a regulatory requirement into a business requirement with significant commercial implications.   

Today, tanker charterers rely on standardized vessel information to select the most suitable vessels, a feat that is exceedingly complex due to market forces like decarbonization, geopolitical sanctions, and more. Meanwhile, owners similarly depend on standardized data for a variety of reasons, including its ability to inform more profitable decisions, enable competitive benchmarking, and affirm compliance to environmental and geopolitical regulations. These complexities aren’t unique to the tanker industry, and neither is the power of a shared standard for vessel information to help address them.  

The standardization of dry bulk vessel information has the power to simplify life for the industry’s tonnage charterers and streamline reporting requirements for dry bulk shipowners. But in order to realize these efficiencies, dry bulk stakeholders require a purpose-built solution that delivers this integral, standardized data in a scalable way that fits right into their existing workflows. Will they benefit from the agility, efficiency, and profitability standardized vessel information brings? Or will they be left to navigate the complexity without a single source of truth? Read on to learn more about the complex realities dry bulk charterers and owners face today, and how standardized vessel particulars can make all the difference.    

Tonnage Charterers 

The Reality: A more competitive maritime shipping market, a widespread focus on safe and sustainable decision-making, global demand for speed and efficiency, and outsized supply chain costs all place greater onus on the vessel vetting process for tonnage charterers.  

As charterers become more sophisticated and methodical in their approach to vessel vetting, the need for standardized and easily consumable vessel particulars intensifies. Without standardization, charterers are left to sort through unstandardized and potentially outdated data, making it challenging to ascertain the most suitable vessel for their cargo and do so in a timely fashion. The maritime shipping industry moves fast, and if a charterer cannot find the vessel information they need quickly, they can be left with a suboptimal carrier for their cargo or worse, fail to meet the demands of their production sites and external stakeholders.  

In addition, charterers are increasingly prioritizing decarbonization in the carriers they work with as one part of their organizational sustainability strategy. Some of this pressure is regulatory, and some comes from downstream stakeholders. In order to ensure their seaborne supply chain operates as sustainably as possible, charterers require visibility into owners’ emissions impact and compliance with regulations like EU ETS and IMO CII. This level of transparency is all but impossible without a solution for standardized vessel information, which ensures accuracy and comparability of environmental indicators across carriers.  

The Win for Charterers: Charterers require a solution that provides them complete visibility and transparency into vessel information, enabling them to make the most informed decisions as they search for the most suitable vessel. With a solution that provides vessel owners the ability to easily update information using a standard questionnaire, charterers can rest assured that all data is as accurate and up-to-date as possible, coming straight from the source. Equipped with invaluable data on the world’s global fleet, charterers can more readily identify sources of risk, including vessels that do not meet environmental standards, may present performance issues, violate geopolitical regulations or pose a sanctions risk. Ultimately, this information empowers the charterer to make decisions at the pace of business, rather than sorting through and validating disparate data sources in their search for a suitable vessel.  


The Reality: On the other side of the contract, owners are navigating intense competitive realities, high operating costs, and outsized market volatility. All of these factors necessitate decisions that enable owners to enhance competitive advantage against other carriers and fix the most profitable voyages possible. Without standardization of vessel particulars, it can be hard for dry bulk shipowners to reach the entire market of potential tonnage charterers. Furthermore, they have no way to demonstrate the specifications, certification and inspection records, and compliance of their global fleet to their counterparties in a credible and scalable way.  

Aside from the struggle to stand out in the world’s competitive global fleet, shipowners experience significant operational inefficiency due to the fragmented nature of vessel particulars. Each tonnage charterer may require a disparate workflow for the exchange of this information, leaving shipowners to answer the same questions in many different ways.  

But these challenges aren’t just limited to counterparties. With many stakeholders and stages of the workflow, owners are also prone to information gaps between vessel personnel, inspectors, surveyors, agents, port, terminals and the main onboard office. This disconnect can lead to costly oversights or missed opportunities—both of which are at direct odds with maximizing voyage profitability.  

Last, but certainly not least, environmental and geopolitical requirements are multi-faceted and ever-evolving, increasing the complexity of document management. Without a standardized way to manage certificates, inspections, and other key documents, it can be challenging for an owner to readily verify they meet the necessary requirements.  

The Win for Owners: Equipped with a centralized solution to store and update vessel information and documents, owners can better market their vessels to counterparties, more seamlessly provide charterers the information they need, and avoid costly gaps in knowledge within their own businesses. In addition, with certificate and inspection data in one central location, owners can more readily generate reports to share with key stakeholders and regulators to navigate the increasingly complex regulatory landscape. A standard questionnaire mitigates the complexity of updating vessel information—minimizing errors and significantly reducing the time spent on manual data entry.  

Q88 is a win for the entire dry bulk industry  

At Q88, we’re focused on bringing dry bulk stakeholders the same shared data standard that the tanker industry has been leveraging for years. Purpose-built to manage dry bulk vessel and fleet information, Q88 Dry provides a standard questionnaire that enables charterers and owners alike to flexibly adapt to evolving requirements, easily share data, and benefit from a single source of truth. By centralizing high-quality information around dry bulk questionnaires, vessel particulars, certificates, documents, and more, Q88 Dry provides the tools you need to elevate every decision and improve efficiency while doing it. Request a demo today to learn more.