Most routes for time-chartered fleets are still planned with pen and paper; that'll change.
By Ryan Skinner (email)
"Our focus has been: How can you optimize your bottom line (specifically when talking about fleet time-charter result) by simply having access to tools that can calculate the thousands of ways that you can allocate which cargo to which ship - a function typically performed by the chartering manager and his team...Still, very few chartering teams have started using such tools. We can easily demonstrate to the shipping companies that the fleet time-charter result can increase by 5-10 per cent simply by using such tools."
In most cases, he said, the refusal to use new tools stemmed from two fears: 1) loss of control, and 2) loss of one's job. After all, any talk of efficiency often has a corollary: reducing staff.
If you want to experiment with route optimization yourself, try out a nifty little programme for drivers. It's at www.route4me.com, and claims "Just enter the addresses you want to visit in any order, and we'll instantly give you the most optimal and shortest route driving directions!"
Sweet! Now enter Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jeddah, Algiers, Southampton, Rotterdam. Then we're on to something. Perhaps our exasperated chartering optimization manager should sell his clients first on route optimization at home.