Charterers can save hundreds of thousands of dollars of unnecessary demurrage costs by drilling down to the detail – and acting on what they find, says Voyager, the operations and demurrage management platform for bulk commodity shipping.

Two remarkable case studies demonstrate the value gained by customers using Voyager’s Statement of Facts (SoF) Parser and Demurrage Module. In both cases, hidden details in routine operations have been uncovered, leading to significant savings.

One customer is leveraging the Voyager technology to conduct root cause analysis of its port calls, specifically focusing on weather. At one specific port, the data showed that heavy winds were leading to an average two-hour delay per call – costing the company more than US$200,000 per year.

On reviewing its contracts, the company could see that delays due to weather were still entirely for the charterer’s account – even though it is common practice to share the cost of delays due to unforeseen weather conditions.

“The chartering and demurrage team calculated that by changing the clause to a 50/50 share of weather delay costs between the charterer and shipowner, a saving of US$100,000 could be made annually,” said Voyager co-founder and CEO Matthew Costello. “This change was successfully implemented in the next contract negotiation.

Voyager co-founder and CEO Matthew Costello

In the second case study, wasted time was the issue. SoF data showed that an ‘inspector/surveyor’ arrived at the side of the vessel at 13.15 and ‘gangway down’ was at 13.48, but ‘inspector on board’ was not logged until 14.15.

The time spent at the side of the vessel before coming on board might appear to be a tiny detail – but it represented US$625 in wasted time.

By using Voyager’s data and reports, the operator noted that the particular behaviour of this surveyor, and of other providers, was happening for a significant portion of its voyages – costing an estimated US$137,000 over one year of operations.

“Using the data helped the charterer to raise performance concerns with the surveyor, leading to agreed operational changes and a new service level agreement in the contract. That has led to an estimated US$200,000 in reduced demurrage bills,” said Costello.

The maritime sector is focusing intently on efficiency and cost optimization but one area that still has significant challenges is demurrage, said Voyager co-founder and COO Bret Smart.

“Data analysis is key to identifying bottlenecks, improving operations, and uncovering cost-saving opportunities in demurrage management,” he said. “It is always fascinating and rewarding to hear the real-life stories of our Voyager users who used demurrage data to improve operations and identify savings opportunities in their bulk maritime operations. The impact can often be transformative.”