Unifeeder has signed a co-operation agreement for investing in digital twin technology to monitor the performance of its feeder container ships to reduce fuel consumption and emissions
This integrated logistics group has contracted We4Sea to produce digital simulations of its vessels for performance monitoring.
Its feeder ships service a growing shortsea business in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia region with connectivity to more than 150 ports.
“We want to be an active participant in finding innovative solutions, through different partnerships and by being a business-driven IT organisation,” said Unifeeder chief operating officer Michael Bonde.
Unifeeder already gains insight into its operations through artificial intelligence (AI), computer processing and algorithms. “We are working with AI and machine learning platforms to provide significant operational benefits to our vessels and minimise the environmental impact,” said Mr Bonde.
Its agreement with We4Sea involves generating a digital twin of a container ship with all relevant technical characteristics of the real vessel. This simulator is enriched with data from other sources, such as speed, draught, weather conditions, wave heights, currents and wind. It will be analysed to produce insights for Unifeeder to use in optimising ship speeds, voyage planning and trim.
Charterers can also continuously monitor fuel consumption, carbon and sulphur emissions of their chartered vessels in real-time via an online dashboard. There is minimal disruption to operations as there are onboard hardware installations on Unifeeder ships.
"Digital twins transform a big data pool into actionable management information," said We4Sea co-founder and chief executive Dan Veen.
“Real-time monitoring and reporting is the first step in improving fuel-efficiency,” said Mr Veen. “Optimising fuel consumption of Unifeeder’s fleet based on the findings will not only have a direct impact on financial results, but also improves operational efficiency, CO2 and SOx reductions.”
Mr Veen expects to provide insights to Unifeeder rapidly after the digital twin is produced.
Dutch start-up We4Sea has started building its business through collaborations. In Q4 2018, it partnered with satellite communications provider Marlink to offer a monitoring solution that helps owners reduce fuel consumption and improve vessel operations.
Vessel optimisation and digitalisation will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s Webinar Week Series during Q3 2020, use this link for more details