The operations department is at the heart of any maritime organization, working internally with the chartering team, ship management department, and crewing as well as externally with agents, charterers, and captains. Commercial maritime operators therefore have the power to drive both practical and financial performance for individual voyages and entire fleets. But as the freight market continues to evolve, operators must make better decisions at a faster pace to maintain profitable results.

In today’s dynamic maritime industry, the opportunity to harness digital solutions for efficient and effective voyage management is greater than ever before. With the right tools, operators can turn potential challenges into opportunities for optimization and profitability.

As the person ultimately responsible for the realized P&L of a voyage, an operator must have granular, real-time insight into every aspect of the voyage. Let’s take a closer look at key steps in the operational workflow and how a fit-for-purpose digital solution for voyage operators can support.

1.) Manage your voyage

Much can happen over the course of a voyage; from weather-related routing changes to delays at port, an operator must be able to adapt and adjust to optimally manage a voyage. With the help of a made-for-maritime solution, you can efficiently manage all voyage activities, with granular visibility into your itinerary and cargo details, vessel performance, and bunker inventory. Leveraging advanced weather routing systems can help anticipate and mitigate risks, while integrating real-time port updates into your operations workflow allows you to accurately adjust schedules to minimize delays and costs. Additionally, ensuring adherence to environmental regulations and emissions standards through automated compliance tracking is crucial.

2.) Control your P&L

As an operator, you are ultimately responsible for the profit – or loss – of the voyages you manage. Therefore, it is imperative that you take control of your voyage financial position with full visibility into your P&L at every stage, from estimated to actual to posted results. Ideally, your system would help you uncover the drivers of estimate-to-actual variances, highlight opportunities to safeguard expected revenues, and automate calculations (such as laytime) and invoicing. Utilizing real-time financial dashboards can help track performance metrics more effectively, while integrated expense tracking and variance analysis can make it easier to identify and control costs. Predictive analytics can also be leveraged to forecast revenue and identify profit maximization opportunities. Lastly, invoices should be streamlined with prepopulated data and should have the ability to be issued in multiple formats.

3.) Monitor performance

To optimize voyage management, operators must maintain an in-depth understanding of how each voyage is performing through insightful analytics and key performance indicators. The right solution will pull voyage data for you in real time, updating with every vessel action and decision so you have a constant understanding of your fleet’s position and status. This includes data feeds for vessel positions, speed, and fuel consumption, which will provide a clear view of current performance. Setting and monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) against industry benchmarks can help maintain high standards as you progress through the workflow. Additionally, automated and customizable performance reports make it easier to review, make decisions, and share with relevant stakeholders.

A digital solution for operators

In an increasingly digital world, operators require a software platform that integrates 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 Operations solution provides you with a voyage manager workspace that becomes the hub of your operational workflow. Shipfix further complements IMOS by providing access to email communications alongside operational data and market intelligence. Through deep connections from the pre-fixture process through real-time updates at sea through voyage close, your operators are empowered to make better decisions, leading to more sustainable and profitable results.

Learn more about how IMOS Operations can optimize your voyage management below.