In my previous post, I highlighted four key maritime shipping stakeholders in the owner-operator space and the unique metrics that they rely on to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. However, these metrics and the business decisions that ensue do not exist in a vacuum for each stakeholder.

While each stakeholder has their own unique set of needs, responsibilities, and challenges, they are all working towards a common goal and their workflows are intertwined at multiple different points along each stage of the voyage lifecycle. To optimize and execute every voyage successfully, stakeholders must also work together to share critical information and insights that can help each function make better informed and more timely business decisions. In short, elevating connectivity between these stakeholders will in turn elevate each stakeholder’s ability to perform optimally, from pre-fixture through post-voyage.

To demonstrate the interconnected workflows of Charterers, Operators, Voyage Accounting Professionals, and Freight Traders, we’ll take a look at how a single event at sea can impact each and every one.

Let’s say a storm arises that forces a voyage to re-route, delaying its original ETA.

Pre-fixture Chartering

On top of running estimates, optimizing schedules, fixing voyages, and creating COAs, the skilled Charterer must also share contracts, voyage instructions, and port activities with the Operator so they can effectively execute the voyage. In the case of this storm, the Charterer would need to adjust forward planning to account for the delay in arrival and communicate updates to the Operator in a swift and seamless manner so the Operator can adjust. This means that the Charterer cannot be bogged down by cluttered inboxes, siloed information sources, or delayed communications.

The ideal digital solution will arm the Charterer with standardized forms to easily transmit complex contract and itinerary details, making vital information actionable and empowering all stakeholders to adapt to evolving realities faster and action on fixed contracts without delay.

Voyage Operations

The operations function is marked by a rapid pace of work and information overload. Among other responsibilities, the Operator is tasked with managing the vessel evaluation and vetting process, planning for projected bunker consumption and fueling stops, and carefully planning for the voyage’s various loads and discharge, which requires complete visibility into the voyage planning process. Once the Operator is notified about voyage adjustments resulting from the storm, the Operator must account for adjusted bunker consumption due to the new route and inform stakeholders of the change in ETA.

An integrated solution can enable the Operator to centrally manage and prioritize complex voyage details with complete continuity. With visibility into all voyage itineraries as well as the ability to surface key actions in the voyage planning process and automatically route voyage instructions, the Operator can execute multiple voyages at once, account for unexpected changes, and maximize profitability.

Post-Fixture Financials

As the key point of contact to track and realize financial data, the Voyage Accounting Professional is responsible for ensuring accuracy and accelerating voyage close by managing approvals for the invoices created by an Operator, monthly settlements for paper trades executed by a Freight Trader, and more. In the case of the storm, the Voyage Accounting Professional must account for the P&L impact of the delay.

By integrating their voyage accounting data and processes with chartering, operations, and trading workflows, the Voyage Accounting Professional can maintain an up-to-date view of P&L at all times, compare estimated and actual P&L performance, cut out manual data entry, have complete access to documentation and visibility into activities, and understand the primary cost drivers impacting voyage profitability. Armed with this insight, the Charterer, Operator, and Trader can then better evaluate how their actions impacted profitability so they can improve decision making into the future.

Trading & Risk

Focused on proactively managing the business’ freight and fuel exposure, the Freight Trader highly depends upon accurate visibility into the business’ contracts and ever-changing market rates. The Freight Trader must also understand the impact of physical and paper trades on voyage performance and communicate the impact of risk management to other stakeholders within the core commercial workflow. In our example, the Freight Trader would need to assess the impact of the delay on fuel exposure, consider paper trades to offset the adjusted risk, and communicate any changes to key stakeholders.

A truly integrated digital solution can provide the Trader with a data-driven view of shifting exposure within a single workspace, access to real-time market indices for freight and bunker rates and updated contract data, mark-to-market performance tracking, and more.

Seamless Integration with the Veson IMOS Platform (VIP)

The Veson IMOS Platform (VIP) empowers each of these diverse stakeholders with the data and tools they need to make more informed decisions, faster than ever before. With VIP…

  • Everything and everyone are connected, and all stakeholders have access to the insights they need as they unfold in real time.
  • Routine tasks are automated as data moves seamlessly through the entire workflow.
  • Stakeholders are able to communicate with one another more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
  • The enterprise has the intelligence needed to assess performance and improve.
  • And, since the solution is integrated with external systems, stakeholders across the deal chain are informed as well.

To discover how VIP can empower the many users in your business, join us on October 21st for our Many Users, One Platform webinar by registering at the link below.