FCG 1-2-1 Case Study – K-Line

K-Line chose to change their calibration gas supplies to Martek/FastCalGas because it delivered a number of distinct advantages to our fleet of LNG carriers. The single two year covering order delivers time and cost savings on the significant logistics and administration overheads attributable to normal calibration gas supply arrangements. The extended warranty of the calibration gases means there is no worry of our gases expiring before use. Martek have been professional and responsive from the sales staff to the after sales team. We would recommend their use to other ship owners.

– R Brooks, Superintendent

 

Fleet

9 x LNG Carriers

Previous Calibration Arrangement

Purchasing large refillable cylinders on an ad-hoc basis.

Problem

The administration and logistical challenges of shipping these large cylinders around the world was a time consuming, complicated and a costly process. There was also a significant health and safety risk – the crew were carrying these large cylinders around the vessels to calibrate the fixed gas detection systems.

Solution

We challenged K Line’s thinking about why they were using large gas cylinders. These cylinders are expensive to buy, difficult to transport and – because of the huge volumes they hold – resulted in large amounts of wastage due to gas expiring. By analysing the current inventory on each vessel, we simplified the supply by consolidating many different mixtures into single mixtures and part numbers. Then we arranged a two year single supply to the vessels, freeing the technical and buying functions from having to organise calibration gas.

 

Find out more about our FastCalGas 1-2-1 service here.

Don’t get caught short on calibration gas with FastCalGas 1-2-1

Your vessels always need to have a supply of the correct grade of calibration gas to make sure their gas detectors are operating safely. The costs associated with maintaining this supply can put great pressure on already stretched budgets as well as causing significant headaches for operators.

This can become even more costly and complicated if you receive very short notice that one of your vessels is running short on calibration gas and you’re forced to use a local supplier. As well as interrupting the smooth running of your operations, there are a number of other reasons why this is bad for business.

Limited Options

The availability of quality service providers is always a challenge and when the situation demands an urgent response from a local supplier, you don’t have much leverage or bargaining power.

The standard of the gas or canisters may be poor, their service may be inadequate or unreliable, they may be hugely over-priced – but you’ll still have to use them.

Short Expiry Dates

Calibration gases can be unstable – especially reactive or ‘sticky’ gases. Because they’re so chemically active they can even react with the containers that are used to store them.

This is why gases have a limited shelf life and an expiry date that’s clearly labelled on the outside. Expired calibration gas won’t provide accurate readings and will be potentially dangerous so it needs to be replaced, regardless of how much is left in the container.

Local suppliers will often be given very short notice when supplying ships that are approaching port. That means that they need to have a constant stock – stock that’s usually bought in bulk. The cylinders they provide may have been sitting around for a while with their expiry dates getting closer and closer so you may end up paying over the odds for gas that will soon go out of date.

Multiple Deliveries

Different providers all need to meet the same standards but the price and the level of service will vary from port to port. You’ll need to pay all the associated costs that come with multiple re-stocking deliveries too – freight costs, dangerous goods charges, custom’s and agent’s fees – they all add up.

In addition to this, the relatively poor standard of cylinders in the industry means that calibration gases you buy from local suppliers will probably need to be replaced more regularly.

There’s also the time spent on administration, a hidden cost that’s frequently overlooked.

Time Management

The Chief Officer is responsible for identifying, calibrating, and adjusting all gas measuring instruments onboard and they must make sure that an adequate amount of the correct grade of calibration gas is readily available.

Each detector will have a different schedule and, even with plenty of advance planning, you can spend hours organising the supply of calibration gas for every unit on the fleet. Keeping track of expiry dates, maintenance schedules and calibration tests becomes significantly more complicated when you need to re-supply at short notice.

Add up the time spent on your calibration gas supply week by week, month by month, year by year and then compare it with the annual salary of a chief officer or purchaser. You’ll see how expensive this time can be, especially when they could be concentrating on more valuable areas of your business.

The Simple Solution

Using FastCalGas 1-2-1 will make sure that you never have to face any of these issues. You’ll never run out of calibration gas and you’ll cut down on carriage and agents’ charges as well as the hidden costs that come from the time spent on administration. It simplifies your calibration gas requirements into one order, two years’ supply and one delivery.

We review your usage of calibration gas to determine your requirements and run on-going checks with vessels, contacting each ship to arrange re-stocking. Just pass on the inventory of gas detectors on board your fleet or let us contact the ships directly to get the information and we take care of the rest. Our lean order processing and extensive global supply chain means that we have a four hour turnaround on quotes and 98% of our orders are shipped within 24 hours.

In terms of quality, FastCalGas is the world first in offering a 27-month manufactured shelf life on all reactive mixtures. It has the highest production standards of any calibration gas on the market and uses advanced materials with a mass spectrometer to analyse and verify the quality of every cylinder – in 30,000 deliveries, only two defects have ever been reported, a quality yield of over 99.993%.

Streamline your operations with consistent, high quality calibration gas shipped anywhere in the world.

Contact us to find out more about FastCalGas 1-2-1.

10 reasons why you need to be connected at sea

Reliable broadband at sea can have a dramatic effect on your running costs and save you money in a variety of different ways. Here we look at 10 reasons why operators need to stay connected…

  1. Efficiency

Being connected means data collection and reporting systems are able to operate in real time. The Internet of Things (IoT) enable sensors on mechanical and digital devices to transfer information over a network without human interaction. This can provide you with precise details about fuel consumption, operating conditions, regulatory compliance and many other performance indicators which can either be managed onboard or transmitted instantly to shore.

  1. Crew welfare

Today’s crews are made up of a multitude of different nationalities working longer hours with much faster turnarounds in ports. The average person touches their smart phone 2,617 times a day so being in an isolated environment without the ability to connect with family and friends can have a debilitating effect on a seafarer’s morale. This is particularly important as crews get younger – millennials’ have grown up in the digital age where connectivity is taken for granted.

A good internet service will allow people to use their own devices in the privacy of their cabins, accessing news services in their native language, internet banking, instant messaging and a variety of sport and entertainment options.

  1. Safety

As well as keeping close contact with onshore support and guidance, you’ll also be able to receive live reports of hazardous situations and get instant access to medical specialists if one of your crew falls ill or is injured.

Additionally, the IoT enables operators to easily monitor potentially dangerous materials and maintain safety equipment by using live cameras and sensors. For example, if a lifebuoy or raft is deployed and this information is automatically transmitted back to shore as soon as it hits the water, then rescue operations can begin much quicker.

  1. Lower Insurance Premiums

The data you receive from onboard sensors can be used to demonstrate your safety record to insurance companies. This can result in significant savings for ship operators.

  1. Less down-time

Data collection and constant monitoring of equipment is much more cost-effective than being suddenly surprised by an unexpected problem which could result in lengthy delays.

If your ship has good connectivity, it will also allow remote access. This means that experts can access computers, software and networks from shore, cutting down on the need for onboard visits when you’re in port.  System maintenance, upgrades and troubleshooting can all be done by remote administration without interrupting your day-to-day operations.

  1. Keep up to date

Updates to navigational charts, weather forecasts and operational procedures can all be done effortlessly with a good internet connection at sea. Additionally, media services like the one offered by KVH will allow shipowners to send video messages easily from headquarters to vessels in the fleet.

The mini-VSAT Broadband  provides exceptional call quality with perfect clarity as well as supporting Wi-Fi calling between cell phones. It’s able to do this by automatic fast switching between its global network using redundant beams for seamless and completely reliable communications wherever you are in the world.

  1. Training

The shipping industry is constantly developing and improving so modernising working practices is an ongoing challenge. New equipment, new processes, new techniques – crews always need to be operating at maximum efficiency. Training can therefore be an issue, taking up valuable time.

Access to learning and professional development is much simpler when there’s a strong internet connection at sea. It allows real-time chat between the shore and the vessel and downloading content isn’t a problem – training materials and large files will be easily accessible with a high-speed data channel.

  1. Attract and retain good crew

As all modern companies know, a lower turnover of staff is more cost-effective and business savvy. You don’t spend as much money on recruitment costs or training which can soon stack up as new ships enter fleets and workforces become older.

Research shows that full access to the internet is an important consideration when seafarers are deciding which vessel to work on – 75% say that this influences their choice. In terms of just how important, 92% of both officers and regular crew said that it has a ‘strong or very strong influence on who they worked for’.

  1. Stay competitive

Operators need to keep up with advances in technology in order to future proof their vessels. They can’t afford to ignore developments in efficiency, cost-effective practices and data collection as their rivals will undoubtedly be using them to give them the edge in their operations.

The maritime industry now understands the important role technology plays with 69% of seafarers seeing big data and analytics as a valuable part of their jobs in the next five years. 75% also see predictive maintenance as an opportunity rather than a threat. This shows just how vital being connected is in today’s environment – operators need to take care not to be left behind.

  1. It can be easy

Getting reliable broadband onboard your vessels is no longer a complicated and expensive process. With the mini-VSAT Broadband package, you can easily monitor bandwidth use, charge seafarers for what they use, manage traffic settings and maintain cyber security.

It’s powered by a high-speed worldwide network and provides expanded global coverage. The plan is simple and flexible with a single monthly subscription and no long-term contract so there’s no commitment – your airtime options can be adapted to fit the needs of your particular operation. If you need to cancel at any point, you won’t be penalised.

Instead of using a whole rack of equipment, this one simple box which can be installed free in selected international ports. There’s also a global support programme with up to five years warranty on parts and labour.

Make sure you’re reducing costs and improving efficiency by using a safe, reliable internet connection at sea.

NO commitment, NO penalties, NO hassle.

Contact us to find out more.

 

You’re Wasting Money On Digital Charts

This simple technique will save you hundreds on your next chart purchase.

Automation is fantastic for business – but are there hidden costs?

Advancements in tech and innovation are crucial to the shipping industry. We’re passionate about cutting-edge products and services at Martek Marine, it’s what makes us.
 
But what if there are times when Artificial Intelligence is costing you? Is it better to have a human eye?

I, robot

It’s a simple voyage. Aberdeen to Oslo.
 
After a few clicks on your route planning software, your route is ready. The helpful system selects the relevant charts.
 
Click. Add to cart. You’ve spent an extra $300.
 
But why is overspending possible when technology is efficient?
 
AI is there to make our lives easier, but you won’t have to look far to find morality issues.

A dilemma of safety

In 2016 a class action lawsuit was filed against Tesla over their driver-less cars. Built around Tesla’s decision not to use its Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system when a driver is pressing on the accelerator.  This decision was blamed for preventable accidents, like driving into a wall.
 
Tesla removed AEB in situations where you’re taking action to avoid a collision.  For example:
  • You turn the steering wheel sharply.
  • You press the accelerator pedal.
  • You press and release the brake pedal
  • A vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian, is no longer detected ahead.
Humans are responsible for 1.25 million road deaths a year. But there are times when the human brain can perform logic currently beyond the grasp of AI.

Back to charts

When it comes to charts, AI plays it safe – with good reason. When balanced with a trained eye, you optimise results.
 
“Tech is great, but without the human touch, you’re overspending. The human element brings years of experience to the fore, making simple, safe and cost-effective decisions.” Steve Dionne
Martek Marine’s Chart expert, Steve Dionne, believes in the balance between man and machine.
 
On 24th September, Steve is holding a free webinar to show you how to save hundreds in chart costs. In 30 minutes, you’ll pick up simple, cost saving tips.

The human touch

There’s a valid argument for autonomous systems. But what do humans bring to the field?
 
Dedicated account managers do exactly what their title suggests. They’re dedicated to your organisation.
 
You’ll notice how similar companies do things differently.
 
It might be their communication methods, their procedures or culture. Although AI will work, each system would need to be customised to the company for full cultural integration.
 
Martek Marine, embrace new ventures and incorporate them with time-tested practice.

The difference: balance

The Martek Marine Chart service does just that. Your dedicated accounts manager manages your digital charts.
 
You’ll plan your routes and order as usual, with one difference. Your chart manager will cast their expert eye over the selected charts. They’ll cut costs, without compromising safety.
 
Working with you regularly, you’re gaining a team member. Your accounts manager will know your processes, and how you run your ship.

Conclusion

It’s possible to balance cost effectiveness without compromising safety. Sign up for the free webinar that will save you hundreds on your next voyage.
 
Make the most of technology with the balance of human interaction. AI is great, but with human support, the possibilities are endless.
 
Find out how our managed Admiralty Chart service can cut costs and fit into your company culture.

Why you need regular services from approved technicians

Last week, we spoke about how ‘pirate’ parts are voiding type approval, but what about if you’ve made sure you buy legitimate parts?

What’s the next step in ensuring your equipment isn’t going to let you down?

Regular servicing.
Approved engineers.

Simple. You knew that, but not everybody actions it. Here’s why it’s important.

Continue reading “Why you need regular services from approved technicians”

5 eco-friendly ways to reduce your ship’s fuel consumption & emissions

Just 16 of the world’s largest ships are still producing as much sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars! So, what’s the key to ‘green shipping’? How do we reduce fuel consumption & emissions? Here we share the top 5 technologies that the largest shipping companies across the globe are using to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of their operations (and boost profits!)
Continue reading “5 eco-friendly ways to reduce your ship’s fuel consumption & emissions”

Not long until Nor-Shipping: Don’t miss our hot off the press event news!

Martek Marine are delighted to be exhibiting at Nor-Shipping 2017, where a pioneering exhibition on disruptive sustainability offers visitors the opportunity to take a rare sneak peek at the must-see, disruptive breakthrough technologies being embraced by some of the largest maritime organisations and associations across the globe to radically improve their operations: maximising productivity, improving safety and reducing costs. The event takes place between May 30th and June 2nd at Norway Trade Fairs in Oslo.

Continue reading “Not long until Nor-Shipping: Don’t miss our hot off the press event news!”