How to reach new levels of operational efficiency with more connected operations?

3 September, 2018 |

How to reach new levels of operational efficiency with more connected operations?

Because of the limitations of traditional manual operations and heavy workload it requires, many companies have invested in systems to automate data collection. Instruments are integrated into a data-collection platform that gathers and sends data via satellite link to the onshore office where it can be automatically processed further and after that viewed and analyzed by personnel on a computer or mobile device. In some cases, onboard analysis also occurs to enable faster decision-making, but typically the information is also shared with the onshore office. Internet of Things (IoT) has been one of the enablers in this transformation but alone it doesn’t give much value.

CAPEX concerns can be alleviated by purchasing data collection and analysis as a service, removing the need for an integrated platform. While the capabilities will not be as advanced as with a system that’s integrated with the ship, the ability to test how data and analysis improve performance on selected vessels without making a large investment allows any company to start their journey towards smarter operations.

Create operational transparency via real-time data and insights

Vessel and fleet operations can be significantly improved through digitalization. New technology provides opportunities for more precise reporting, data collection from vessels and third-party data streams such as latest weather data. In addition to automating and delivering this data in real time, it is possible to combine these and create real-time insights that benefit both onboard performance and onshore operations.

In the shipping industry, automated reporting enables fleet operators to gain accurate insight into the vessel’s fuel consumption via a normalized speed-fuel curve. It enables faster and more accurate planning that would be very difficult to achieve with purely traditional manual methods. Advanced mathematical modelling can be used to estimate accurate fuel consumption in each point of time by using data such as speed over ground, vessel characteristics and weather data.

The aim is for both onshore and onboard personnel to be able to take action based on real-time data.  Additional value can be gained by using modern data processing methods to for example improve the quality of the data. When everyone has access to the same reliable data, transparency becomes a platform of trust. Automation ensures that everyone has the same visibility and minimises the risk of oversights. More precise data based on larger data sets ensures that the reality at sea is reflected correctly onshore.

Increase energy-efficiency in operations

Digitalization of navigational data gives the operator insight in how the crew has executed each voyage. This gives the operator the ability to evaluate and optimise the crew’s nautical performance. With digital reporting tools, the operator can benchmark nautical performance across the fleet, take action where needed and optimise the vessel’s speed against its fuel consumption. This can lead up to 10% in fuel consumption savings.

Combined with real-time location data, the operator can evaluate the planned route based on actual fuel consumption and recommend change for a more energy efficient route – all the while taking changing weather conditions into account. Optimization of speed and route planning saves fuel costs and reduces emissions, leaving a smaller environmental footprint.


In order to successfully implement connected operations, the following elements are key:

  • A commitment to moving from traditional paper centric and manual ways of working to automated data collection
  • Strong engagement, interest, and willingness to invest from top management to move ahead with new technology
  • A plan for employees to help them adapt to new ways of working and learn new technologies
  • An understanding that transparency increases from onboard to onshore
  • Ensuring common objectives and best practices to avoid a “big brother is watching” feeling and instead show how the system helps personnel onshore and onboard
  • Defining the fleet operation center onshore role to help and support the captain and his crew onboard
  • Recruitment of professional analytics resources with new competences or partnering with an experienced analytics service provider


>> Where are you on your journey to marine digitalization? Take the assessment.


Leo Laukkanen
Product Manager, Eniram

Connect on LinkedIn


Want to find out more? Get in touch >