In contrast to container or car transport, oil and chemicals are commodities that are stock traded on a daily basis and thus have a fluctuating value. Market conditions – supply and demand – drive trading volumes, trade lanes and vessel destinations. This makes fleet planning more ad hoc, dynamic and complex, typically a situation in which since stakes are high support in the form of additional intelligence is needed to make sure profitable decisions are taken every single time.
Alongside Quintiq's generic planning capabilities of Designing Optimal Fleet Network, Capacity Optimization and Voyage Scheduling & Revision Management, it is also crucial for liquid tankers to take into account the vessel and cargo specifications and product/compartment restrictions to optimize utilization levels without incurring contamination costs.
Crude Oil Tankers
Specific to this market is the high degree of spot-market transactions. Knowing that there are only a limited number of large crude oil vessels globally, competitive information on other vessel positions and market information need to be taken into account when bidding on spot cargo and scheduling your fleet. Deep-sea tankers are in this case planned like taxis, so very dynamic, whilst cargo destination is not always known and can change during the voyage. Combining this with many variables, constraints and business rules makes the puzzle very dynamic and complex.
It is important in this situation to be able to instantly create different scenarios, based on current vessel positions, CoA commitments and spot-market opportunities with a control board of parameters that you can change and fine-tune are needed, until you find the optimal and most profitable planning solution. The system can support you with suggestions ranked by profitability.
Product tankers exists in two kinds, full load and parcel tankers. Parcel tankers distribute parcels to different customers in a certain region with lots of movements, such as with short-sea coasters.
Planning complexity is extremely high for parcel tankers if maximizing TCE is your goal:
- Complex Stowage Planning
- Some vessels can take up to 52 parcels per vessel
- Every parcel can have a unique load and discharge port
- Heating/cooling requirements
- Vessel infrastructure constraints (pipes, arms, pumps, etc.)
- Contamination risks
- Tank cleaning and inspections
- Certificate of fitness (hazardous goods)
- Safety requirements and procedures (IBC code/Marpol)
- Balancing most profitable mix between CoA commitments, CoA laycans and spot-market opportunities
- With many parcels, the intensity of the internal continuous loops is exponential with a high degree of error risk, outdated information and high opportunity costs
- Complex vessel rotation scheme in ports
Quintiq provides decision support planning solutions to optimize fleet, vessel, compartment, and cargo planning, resulting in an overall improved profitability, TCE and quality while minimizing bunker and port costs, idle time, ballast runs and contamination.
As the liquefied gas market grows rapidly, the fleet of specialized carriers continues to experience tremendous growth. Planning complexity is similar to liquid tankers except that LNG shippers can operate a fleet of fully and semi-refrigerated gas carriers offering flexible and comprehensive solutions for the transportation of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemicals, and carbon dioxide (CO2).