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What a seamless flow of data can do for bunker optimisation

Historically, bunker planning, procurement, and distribution has been a complicated and, at times, cumbersome task that, by its nature, is required for every vessel in the global fleet. There are many processes and stakeholders involved, and without a seamless flow of data, it can be difficult for ship managers to proactively work towards improving emissions.

ZeroNorth has a mission to make global trade green – and a key part of that involves fuel – so it was a necessary step for us to try and tackle this industry challenge.

ZeroNorth and ClearLynx – Stepping up bunker optimisation

Earlier this year, we announced the acquisition of ClearLynx, the industry’s leading online platform for the bunker fuel market. Adding ClearLynx to the ZeroNorth platform has allowed us to provide ship owners and operators with an integrated end-to-end solution for commercial and environmental optimisation of bunkering, voyages, and vessels.

ZeroNorth offers an integrated platform for the bunker community that all participants can benefit from. Our bunker optimisation capabilities unite buyers, sellers, traders, and consultants on a digital platform where they can interact online 24/7. While there will always be price volatility, this union of parties provides accurate market information instantaneous and continuously – enabling better decision making.

ClearLynx has consistently pioneered software for the bunker industry. The company’s current suite of products spans bunker procurement, pricing and analytics, business intelligence, optimisation, planning, and data feeds. Through ZeroNorth’s acquisition of ClearLynx, we are breaking down the silos and creating one interconnected bunker planning and procurement process.

Unlocking the benefits of integrated bunker optimisation

Our bunkering optimisation solution helps vessels to optimise bunker quantities, by offering information on where, when and how much to bunker. ZeroNorth’s bunkering services multiply your options and easily calculate the potential rewards of alternative bunker providers and port calls, making emergency bunkering a thing of the past.

The benefits pay off for managers of small fleets as much as they do for those with large fleets. The power of this bunkering optimisation technology lies in the artificial intelligence (AI) that ZeroNorth employs to reduce uncertainty and provide decision-makers with objective insights on bunkering planning and procurement at all times. At the same time, AI helps managers to delineate baselines and measure improvements as market conditions fluctuate and evolve.

In order to create standardised, transparent workflows that connect the dots and optimise bunkering operations from procurement to payment, our platform incorporates built-in connectivity via interfaces with vessel management systems and accounting and financial software. At the same time, the standardised workflows help ship managers and counterparties act quickly to resolve any fuel quantity or quality issues should they arise, as well as say good-bye to clerical duplication and auditing challenges.

Beyond that, greater transparency brings the power to evaluate and streamline procedures and strategies, either in-house or in partnerships - for example between ship manager and charterer. The ZeroNorth platform combines data and transaction history and generates actionable insights that effectively help cargo owners, vessel owners, commercial operators, and bunker suppliers to optimise their operations.

Optimising bunker operations today to enable the fuel supply chain of the future

Our industry is currently focused on improving vessel performance, lowering fuel consumption, and reducing the cost of compliance, all while increasing earnings and reducing emissions. At ZeroNorth, however, our vision goes beyond that.

We are enabling ship managers to make the most of both voyage and vessel optimisation by integrating vessel and voyage-specific data into one platform - a holistic approach that works at vessel and fleet level. Ship managers who have this level of optimisation high on their agenda will be ahead of the curve and in top form as new fuels enter the market and their operations. By bringing a variety of players onto one platform – and by allowing them all to achieve their goals whilst remaining accountable to their counterparts and counterparties – we are also helping the industry to decarbonise collaboratively.

The importance of having the ability to decarbonise profitably can’t be overstated, and advanced, data-driven technologies are some of the most important tools at the maritime industry’s disposal. These have the ability to unlock and underpin more intelligent decision-making and can start delivering results immediately, which grants greater sustainability and commercial outcomes.

By enabling the optimisation of every element around bunker processes and providing holistic integration so that vessel and voyage optimisation are united seamlessly from a technical, financial, and environmental perspective, we are providing the industry with a clear pathway for the distribution and utilization of zero carbon bunker fuel in the future.

The benefits of optimisation will not stop there. In fact, the opposite is true – and optimisation will only be more relevant in the future fuels future, Similarly, complexity will increase as new fuels become available at new locations and from new suppliers. ZeroNorth has already laid the groundwork, and we will continue to add functionality and value to our service and the wider industry as part of our mission to make global trade green.