• 2021 March 2 17:39

    Inchcape’s new Port Cost Estimator is missing link in voyage cost puzzle

    Inchcape is adding a super-useful Port Cost Estimator (PCE) to its World of Ports 2.0 platform that will make both voyage cost calculations and TCE estimates much easier and more accurate.

    Anyone involved in voyage planning will love this clever new module in World of Ports 2.0. It has been created by Head of Systems at Inchcape, Captain Aravind Prasath, and his team. Tech whizz Prasath was a vessel master for 10 years before joining Inchcape so is very familiar with the “unknown variables” that can knock port-cost calculations out of whack, Blue-C press office said.

    The port costs challenge

    Where you load and discharge makes up a big chunk of the total cost of a voyage. A major challenge is to estimate the cost both ways. To go ahead with a charter, you need insight into every required financial transaction to avoid making a loss. PCE provides cost estimates based on port operations ranging from loading and discharging to bunkering and canal transits, and across different vessel types and sizes.

    Marshalling the variables

    Many variables can influence the cost of a port call, including the port itself, the terminal, type and size of vessel, type and quantity of cargo, whether it is loading or discharging, and a wide range of optional and mandatory in-port services. By selecting your vessel and load/discharge port, PCE can give you an average baseline cost (the bare minimum) in three clicks. It automatically fills in vessel details from its database. But the more fields you populate (specific terminal and type of cargo and quantity), the closer the estimate will be.

    Exceptional granularity

    To get a realistic prediction PCE matches users’ requests based on actual calls and PDAs (proforma disbursement accounts). It digs down among more than 3.5 million datapoints in Inchcape’s proprietary historical port dataset stemming directly from Inchcape’s global network. Not only has Inchcape administered millions of port calls over the years, they track calls being made by 50,000 vessels each and every day. This means the dataset is dynamic and being added to all the time.

    The laytime question

    Voyage distance and bunker costs can be calculated pretty easily but the key issue is laytime. Especially with big cargoes, it’s impossible to know exactly how long you will be in port. The time can vary between ports and on the nature of the cargo. This information is crucial to calculate a reasonably accurate voyage cost.

    You can add an approximate turnaround time to the voyage cost but how much is the port cost by itself? What exactly will a port charge for, for example, a five-day stop if that’s what it takes? This can’t be automated; you need to have local port sources feeding in the right data. This Inchcape can do because of its strong local presence; it is Inchcape’s unique ability as an agency that very few can match.

    Combat time delays

    Port costs can be responsible for a big margin of error in what is a low-margin business, so you really need to get a clear idea of the numbers. Let’s say you’ve done the basic sums to get the fuel and running costs for a voyage. This would normally involve contacting agents at the ports and asking them for a PDA, which is a tedious and time-consuming exercise.

    If the agent is slow, the time delay means you risk losing the business. This can be exacerbated by time-zone differences. It’s an unknown factor that can’t be automated. Again, Inchcape’s global network can fill in the gaps.

    Request a PDA and appoint the agent

    The next release of PCE will include the option to download an estimate and request a PDA from Inchcape. Through our own offices or our business partners we cover 85% of the world’s ports, so you are in good hands. Another great feature is that you can print out estimates in PDF format for later reference.

    Derive total voyage costs
    Instead of just A to B, you can also calculate total voyage costs by adding ports in PCE to get an entire voyage overview. This can help you identify a different port that may be cheaper, or you may want get a closer estimate for example for a one-off drydock visit. For even closer TCE estimates, you can also combine PCE estimates with port congestion and turnaround info from the Port Data module in WOP (see below).

    Third-party services

    PCE also details costs for third-party services including but not limited to fresh water provision, sludge disposal, garbage collection and launch services available for over 1,000 ports. Costs are standardized based on the total amount of services provided during ports stay at a given exchange rate. Armed with the unit cost for such services outside port costs, you may decide call somewhere with more attractive pricing.

    Transparency was never better

    PCE also details port rebates and exemptions where applicable for more than 1,300 ports worldwide. Rebates can be linked to frequency of calls of similar duration, for example under CoAs. Pilotage and green rebates can also influence charter rates and are similarly included.

    Easy integration

    World of Ports can integrate the PCE into any system through rest API, so you can have the info you need at your fingertips. It’s very simple; we send a link with an ID and password, and your system will fetch the data from our database and display on your interface. And away you go.

    Enhanced competition benchmarking

    Other neat changes to WoP include a more dynamic display of vessel traffic which you can filter according to vessel type and trade. The MyFleet function also lets you easily create your own fleet in just a few clicks. You can also remove the white noise to show either only your own fleet and/or your competitors’ vessels.

    You can also create your own ‘zone group’ or groups which you can filter down to specific vessel types. This immediately shows what competing ships are in that zone and where they’re heading. It will also tell you how many vessels are going to be free for charter in a certain location. This is a great negotiating tool for charterers – knowing how many open vessels there are means you can push for better rates.

    Optimal WOP benchmarking

    PCE complements World of Ports’ existing Port Data module and will soon be followed by a Port Performance module, as well as Market Intelligence. Port Performance will feature data on turnaround times based on vessel type and commodity, and port congestion in near real time. Market Intelligence will provide insight into commodity flow(s) at the global level. These modules will together help the marine assurance and operations community to plan and benchmark voyages in ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago.

    About Inchcape

    Inchcape Shipping Services are global providers of port agency and maritime services, with 240 offices in 60 countries and a team of 2,500 professional and committed staff. World of Ports 2.0 covers 4,600 ports, 16,000 terminals and 36,000 individual berths around the world.


2021 April 16

13:12 GTT upgrades its NO96 technology to further reduce the guaranteed Boil Off Rate
12:40 IMO asked to include industry standard on in-water cleaning in its on-going work
12:05 Valenciaport traffic up in March 2021
11:47 Consolidated marine container throughput of Global Ports declined 5.9% in Q1’2021
11:26 Tuapse Sea Commercial Port increased its throughput by 9% in 3M’2021
11:05 The newest ocean cruise ship “Viking Venus” delivered in Ancona
10:34 Rosterminalugol’s coal exports in 3M’21 totaled 6.05 million tonnes
10:12 Crowley begins use of biofuel to power tug Veteran
09:50 Finnish Government proposes amendments to Water Traffic Act
09:27 Oil prices are slightly up
09:09 Baltic Dry Index as of April 15

2021 April 15

18:45 The UAE aims to attain the No. 1 status in Global Food Security Index by 2051
17:58 Public Ferry Terminal in Gdynia to be completed in June
17:35 Tidewater chooses Topsoe’s HydroFlex™ and H2bridge™ technologies for renewable diesel production
16:57 Black Sea Fleet ships go to sea as part of a control check during the winter training period
16:40 Flex LNG and Cheniere enter into time charter party agreements
16:09 Jumbo Shipping and SAL Heavy Lift launch Jumbo-SAL-Alliance
15:44 Wärtsilä caps record-breaking year with scrubber order at Japan Marine United shipyard
15:32 ViaSea Shipping AS based in Norway launches its branch office in Gdynia
15:14 DNV awards world-first Smart notation to CMHI’s offshore rig
15:08 Bunker Weekly Outlook, Week 14, 2021
14:57 The company of the Riga Port produces world-class aluminum high-speed boats
14:36 Servicing Capesize vessels in the port of Riga facilitates access to new cargo and distant markets
14:31 Trafigura to co-sponsor development of MAN Energy Solutions ammonia engine
14:14 NextDecade and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America sign ESA for carbon capture at Rio Grande LNG project in Texas
13:53 BHP, Oldendorff and GoodFuels successfully complete first trial with biofuel supplied in Singapore
13:35 Sparta III delivered cargo for construction of airfield in Arctic
13:13 UECC floats first of three LNG battery hybrid PCTCs
12:59 Cargo transit potential of Northern Sea Route estimated at several million tonnes per year
12:30 Seaports of Okhotsk Sea and Tatar Strait increased their throughput by 15% in 3M’21
12:11 DEME Offshore and Penta-Ocean establish JV to develop Japan’s offshore wind industry
11:41 Panama Canal Authority postpones planned price hike following calls from shipping industry
11:29 Atomflot estimates technical readiness of icebreaker Sibir at 88%
11:07 Georgia Ports Authority orders 28 Konecranes container cranes as larger ship traffic grows
10:34 BHP, Oldendorff and GoodFuels successfully complete first trial with biofuel supplied in Singapore
10:17 Traffic along the Northern Sea Route may become year-round in the near future – Vladimir Putin
10:16 Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam readies HNLMS Evertsen for voyage to Japan
09:52 Advanced technologies for HES waterproofing, repair and corrosion protection to be discussed at online webinar on April 27
09:33 Oil prices start decreasing after a period of growth
09:15 Baltic Dry Index as of April 14

2021 April 14

18:14 Stockholm Exergi orders Agilon automated warehouse solution from Konecranes
17:41 Throughput of Kaliningrad port in 3M’2021 fell by 13% Y-o-Y
17:41 Alblasserdam’s Container Transferium gets ready for further growth
17:12 ABS publishes guidance on shipping power and propulsion decarbonization technologies
16:53 Throughput of port Vyborg in 3M’2021 rose by 47% Y-o-Y
16:30 The Korean Register publishes technical report for ammonia fueled ships supporting the commercial adoption of ammonia as ship fuel
16:14 Throughput of port Vysotsk in 3M’2021 fell by 5% Y-o-Y
15:56 Throughput of port Primorsk in 3M’2021 fell by 22% Y-o-Y
15:32 GTT receives an order from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co. Ltd. for the tank design of a new LNG carrier
14:47 Omsk River Port to arrange pilot voyage for grain exports to China by Irtysh river this year
14:25 ABS joins SOFC4Maritime fuel cell development JDP
13:43 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard launches RSD59 ship Nikolai Leonov built for Alfa LLC
13:22 Wärtsilä signs an agreement with NYK and MTI to evaluate Expert Insight predictive maintenance service
12:59 Port of HaminaKotka throughput in 3M’20201 fell by 2.3% YoY
12:20 Port of Oakland imports up 45 percent in March 2021
12:06 Port of Ust-Luga throughput in 3M’2021 fell by 5% Y-o-Y
11:34 FESCO and NtechLab to collaborate in digital field
11:10 Grimaldi Group buys five ro/pax vessels and two terminals in the ports of Valencia and Barcelona from Armas Trasmediterránea Group
11:02 Panama Canal provides additional time for implementation of Transit Reservation fees adjustments
10:43 FESCO completed first intermodal transportation of containerized fish products from Russia to Germany