Quickly and accurately calculating freight is the core function within any Chartering department and forms the basis for the practical and financial performance of a given voyage. The ramifications of one wrong decision – one missed opportunity – ripples throughout the rest of the deal chain.

As the shipping industry continues to evolve, a charterer’s role has become more and more complex. Every day, charterers are hit with massive amounts of data from myriad sources – data sourced from market feeds, emails from counterparties, phone calls from agents or brokers, and requests from internal stakeholders. When data streams in from multiple disparate data sources, it can be incredibly difficult to manage – not to mention analyze – that data to make informed decisions. As the person responsible for fixing the most profitable business for your organization, the modern charterer must be able to leverage data in a streamlined, organized workflow to capture contracts, evaluate estimates, and schedule voyages. Let’s take a closer look at each of these elements and how a fit-for-purpose digital solution for charterers can help.

1.) Capture contracts

Contracts are the backbone of any commercial maritime workflow; contract details include freight rate, quantity, options, laycan, and more. As the freight market keeps evolving, the underlying contracts and negotiations grow more complicated along with it. To effectively manage this, charterers require a centralized contract repository for storing and managing all contracts to ensure no critical information is lost. Ideally, your contract capture system will help you understand the terms and impact of each contract every time you move to fix a cargo and ensure this data remains up to date regardless of contract complexity.

Collaboration within chartering teams and across departments is also important, and integrated digital solutions can support by providing global access to the most up-to-date contract information as well as dynamic email functionality to streamline communications. Automated data entry reduces manual errors by capturing key terms and conditions accurately and efficiently. Additionally, it allows for dynamic amendments to contract terms as negotiations progress, as well as flexibility for custom clauses such as those related to ETS compliance. Further, comprehensive reporting features are essential for generating detailed reports on contract performance, helping identify trends, and enhance strategic decision-making.

2.) Evaluate estimates

Many factors can impact the ultimate P&L of a voyage. To book the best business, you need a real-time view of open vessels and cargoes and the ability to evaluate multiple scenarios against each other or a benchmark to measure the impact of each unique consideration. A comprehensive estimate evaluation workflow will include side-by-side estimate comparison – showcasing variations due to factors such as speed, consumption, CO2 emissions, CII rating, or bunker plans – with an estimated P&L updated in real time. This is fueled by integrated real-time data and automated calculations, such as those related to freight, bunker, carbon, and port congestion, to evaluate the projected profitability of each voyage. Further, advanced analytic tools can help charterers hone freight calculations by incorporating historical data and predicting future market movements.

3.) Schedule voyages

As a charterer, the most important part of your job is matching the right cargo to the right vessel, scheduling your voyages to optimize profit and efficiency. With many available cargoes and vessels, the best match is not always apparent. Ideally, you would be able to optimize scheduling for every vessel you manage, measuring the opportunity cost of each decision against the rest of your fleet in an intuitive, dynamic manner that incorporates both internal and external data sources and updates in real time. Further, a linked exposure management workspace is immensely helpful in assessing each fixture’s impact on the business’ freight, bunker, and carbon positions against overall exposure and benchmarking the success of contractual agreements.

A digital solution for charterers

In an increasingly digital world, charterers require software solutions that integrate information not only within an organization, but also with key external data sources and counterparties. The Veson IMOS Platform is the world’s most comprehensive maritime freight management platform, and its core IMOS Chartering solution combines best-in-class voyage estimation with a full, detailed contract capture – delivering the insight your team needs to take advantage of every market opportunity. The addition of analytic tools like Shipfix can further optimize your chartering workflow by providing enhanced market insights, streamlined communication, and advanced data analytics, ensuring you stay ahead in a competitive market.

Learn more about how IMOS Chartering can optimize your chartering desk.