Smooth Sailing Ahead? Not So Fast!

July 19, 2023

In the wake of the recent International Maritime Organisation’s meetings, our industry faces a critical moment of reflection. As we grapple with revised emission targets and a new checkpoint looming in 2030, ( a reduction in the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40 per cent by 2030, compared to 2008), we must reevaluate our current plans and embrace fundamental changes in our decision-making processes.

While discussions on the benefits of abandoning the old "sail fast, then wait" practice are very alive, achieving true efficiency in the voyage stage might not be a breeze.

Shipping inefficiency, if any, is not a deliberate choice. The complexities of commercial realities, operational uncertainties, and the interdependence of various elements and stakeholders make it an exceptionally challenging environment. Many external factors can and will almost invariably influence and unexpectedly interrupt or even halt terminal operations, resulting in sudden and unforeseen delays.

You may have carefully planned, opted for extended storage time at origin with your seller, lower loading speeds at origin and applied concepts like Virtual Arrival or Just-in-Time to make sure your vessel arrives at the right time or just in time and still find yourself arriving at the discharge port facing delays, very much to the frustration of the shipper, who will be presented with a demurrage claim and the shipowner who may lose an excellent opportunity because of the delay.

While it may seem inefficient from an outside perspective, the shipping market operates competitively and efficiently within its limits. Simply relying on data and optimisation models is not enough to solve the underlying complexities.

Perhaps "Sail Efficiently Then Wait (a little bit)" is what we must aim for.

Amidst these challenges, Demurrage Desk is a leading force in supporting companies through this transformative journey. With years of experience and expertise in maritime operations and industry regulations, the team at Demurrage Desk are well-equipped to offer unparalleled guidance.

JP Dezutter

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