Seaber: software to optimise fleet schedules - A Digital Ship article
Seaber of Espoo, Finland, has a software tool to help shipping companies optimise schedules and communicate with charterers, focusing on coastal and short sea bulk shipping.
Seaber supports the planning of multiple cargoes and port calls on any category of vessel, in any combination, with full detail and an unlimited planning horizon. The software makes scheduling predictable and possible to optimise effectively. “Everyone wants to avoid ending up in a port where it’s hard to find suitable cargo nearby. By extending the planning horizon, we enable planners to notice vessels and specific port rotations that may be a more favourable option,” explained Sebastian Sjöberg, CEO of Seaber.
Furthermore, shipowners can use Seaber as a booking channel for their customers, allowing them to enter chartering requests directly into the system. When a shipowner shares the nomination of a vessel, the charterer receives this information. Charterers can monitor the progress of a shipment and see when it will be delivered. It is valuable that shippers are prepared on time for operations, when importing and exporting goods. Shipowners are in full control of what parts of their information they share through Seaber, with whom, and when. Moreover, the safety of the system is ensured and verified by recording all user activity in properly backed up logs, using military-grade encryption and security best practices.
Seaber utilises data from many different sources automatically, e.g., vessel and time of year dependant point to point routes, current and historical satellite positions of ships, weather, port holidays, and bunker prices.
Notably, Seaber enables self-improving mechanisms in their assistance to planning, with increasing efficiency for every decision made by users. In their approach, e.g., when a person identifies what is the best scenario among several presented options, the system learns from this information.
These features leverage the competence of experienced planners, the cornerstones of feasible and efficient scheduling. Currently, it is the planners themselves, rather than computers, who are the most capable of balancing all the trade-offs. Those are, for example, the likelihood of future cargoes, vessel certificate validity, unusually high or low tides, and other complex ship incompatibilities.
Finally, Seaber sees significant potential to enhance the efficiency of bulk and breakbulk shipping. If shipowners and charterers use the right tools and data to optimise their schedules, it might be possible to reduce global shipping emissions by double-digit percentages.
Sjöberg concludes: “A combination of factors can improve efficiency. With a schedule optimisation system, significant savings are achievable from decreased ballast voyages and increased utilisation rate of the fleet. Also, Seaber supports charterers sharing their future transport needs and shipowners sharing their fleet schedules in a single system. This feature enables reducing wasteful plans even further, resulting in a more efficient ecosystem.”
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