Technological enhancements a catalyst for shipping pools performance
THE shipping industry is a highly competitive environment with obscure information flows. Companies that leverage technology, data and/or tools, can acquire a material advantage.
Signal handles the commercial management of tanker vessels driven by performance and experience, and at the same time, provides technology as a service in the maritime industry.
The company has put in place an eight-year investment in developing its digital technology, which underpins a chartering system. The Signal Ocean Platform marries effectively private commercial and public geospatial data with what is actually happening.
The platform is supported by a large, diversified team of analysts, data scientists and software engineers. Over this period, there has been the opportunity to iterate and test algorithms in real time, providing them with the confidence to measure everything related to commercial management, including, for example, CO2 emissions.
Signal Maritime, through a combination of The Signal Ocean Platform and proprietary tools, acquires an informed short-term market view that it says enables timely decisions, assesses pricing options and alternatives in voyages and cargoes efficiencies, while monitoring and pre-empting the competition.
For example, the Optimal Strategy Tool gives an overview of options for next cargoes which is based upon a vessel's open port, historical trading patterns from thousands of actualised voyages, and current market conditions. Simultaneously, as a post-fixing feedback, the team leverages the Spot Performance Management Tool that accesses a dataset of a number of actual voyages, to review their financials and compare each actual pool voyage against a range of alternatives.
The chartering desk uses the results to plot an optimal commercial strategy.
Leveraging highly advanced technology in combination with analytics, Signal Maritime commercial team aims to be correct, statistically, more times than others. In shipping, as a high frequency environment, it is key to be able to select voyages not obvious to everyone. By utilising data analysis tools, Signal Maritime’s chartering team, driven by facts, can adjust and adapt their strategy in a constantly changing sector.
Panos Dimitracopoulos, CEO of Signal Maritime Services, says: “Although tanker pooling currently represents a relatively narrow market, varying from 7% to 35% of each vessel class population, we believe that fair and ‘tech-enabled’ pools will be a natural option for owners going forward,” adding that joining a strong pool should be a no-brainer for any owner who wants to have spot exposure.
“The effort and dedication of the team to ensure the best information flow has helped us grow pools substantially, and attract quality partners that embrace the new era of technology and transparency. Although investment in technology has played a key role in fast and sustainable pools’ development, honesty, credibility and responsibility are highly valued in relationships in this market,” concludes Dimitracopoulos.