The best commercial decisions are built on good data. Today, more than ever, comprehensive information holds huge power and potential.
The VLCC segment has historically been incredibly opaque. Critical information on fixtures has been held by a select few and not shared with the wider shipowner, charterer, broker, and investor communities. This power imbalance meant that many were making business-critical decisions ‘in the dark’, and addressing the disadvantage that this caused to the market as a whole was one of the driving forces behind the initial development of our VLCC Fixture app.
The ‘live’ fixture data we share via our app can make the difference between maximising profits and missing an opportunity on an individual level. Yet, it can have an even more substantial impact at an institutional level – when it can be integrated into existing systems to supplement other data streams, and seamlessly provide greater levels of support from strategy development to individual deal making.
The right data
If you know at what rate a VLCC was fixed at some point this week, you have some insight into market movements. If you know what are a VLCC was fixed at on the same route that you are contracting for, 5 minutes ago, you have a superior level of insight.
When you can cross-check vessel and contract specifications against your own, you can understand the exact market value of one ship on one route when you are making a deal. By accessing a comprehensive breakdown of that vessel’s Time Charter Equivalent (TCE), you can understand how earnings translate to profits across the market – and where you may need to make adjustments.
Coupling this data with detailed cargo forecasts can further allow decision makers to plan ahead, from strategic decisions on asset plays or dry dock dates, to commercial decisions by charterers and cargo owners guided by VLCC availability and freight levels globally or in specific regions of the World.
This is not an exhaustive list of useful data points by any means, but it does illustrate where the quality of the information you hold feeds into practical, on-the-ground decision making. Decision makers need to have fresh, comprehensive, relevant data that they can trust if they are to maximise their earnings.
An institutional approach to data
Where fixture data is vitally important, it is rarely the only decision-critical information that an organisation will hold. Most shipowners and charterers will hold their own proprietary information or data streams, and many will purchase external data dashboards and terminals from specialist insight partners.
Maximising the institutional value of this data can be a difficult task. The biggest challenge is often ensuring that decision makers are practically able to access, understand, and cross-check different types of data that they have access to at critical times; often data streams provide different types of information in different formats, and switching between dashboards or raw number can be challenging.
Information must be readily accessible and frequently used across each of an organisation’s levels if it is to be used to its full potential. The best way of achieving this is to integrate data streams into a single system, to create cross-stream dashboards and uniform data formatting.
This can be critical for larger shipowners, charterers, and investors. But it is also vital for their external insight providers, who pride themselves on offering an easy-to-navigate one stop shop for high quality data and insights.
We know that this knowledge and insight-based approach works because we use it across Tankers International. By leveraging the strength and scale of our pool, alongside the unrivalled experience and expertise of our team, we can develop enhanced and actionable insights. We then use these insights to reliably boost earnings for all our pool partners.
We provide our VLCC fixture data in an easily accessible format. All users benefit from a simple user interface that can be accessed via a simple web app. PLUS tier subscribers additionally benefit from enhanced search features that allow them to better locate specific data based on different parameters such as vessel type, owner and route, as well as having access to a comprehensive breakdown of TCE calculations. PRO tier subscribers also benefit from cargo forecasts and live WhatsApp notifications.
Our data can also be integrated into a company’s own systems through our app Application Programming Interface (API). A number of major organisations have already opted for this API integration option. If this is of interest to you or your organisation, please contact the Tankers International team.
Data insights are the foundation of all good commercial decisions. Now more than ever, shipowners, charterers, brokers, and investors must ensure that they have the right data – and are able to seamlessly use it, throughout their organisation.
You can find more information about subscriptions for the Tankers International VLCC Fixture app here. Please contact our team to enquire about our API.