SMART4SEA Conference & Awards

31 Jan 2017
Learn More
SMART4SEA Conference & Awards

31 Jan 2017
Learn More

Practice of data driven decision making for an improved fleet performance management


Bastian Gehnke, Vessel and Fleet performance Technical Product Manager, INTERSCHALT Maritime Systems, presented the “Practice of data driven decision making for an improved fleet performance management’’ during the 2017 SMART4SEA Conference & Awards. Mr. Gehnke said customer’s experience has showed that turning data into knowledge is the main challenge of big data. Based on facts and figures out of practice, he explained how shipping owners make use out of collected data. Different use cases were shown and the process of automated performance analysis was also presented.

There is certainly complexity in collecting data from multiple sources either manually or automatically. Most of the shipping companies have something in place for collecting and reporting data. The data can be enriched with weather data, AIS data and shorted (Data Lake). The big question is: what is next?

As there are concerns over the benefits of collecting and analysis Big Data versus the costs, we have launched a campaign entitled ‘Good Seamanship 2.0’. Good seamanship is the unwritten code of conduct for seafarers. It aims to strengthen understanding of operational performance of vessel and crew. Our scope is to take it to next level; from subjective awareness and individual experience towards proven data. User experience has demonstrated improvements on systems, such as the following image reveals:

The best operation point for an auxiliary engine is 70% in this example. The user analyzed the utilization of the auxiliary engines of the fleet and figured out that few vessels needed two engines of 35% effective power A/E instead of one of 70% effective power A/E, which would have the same energy but lower consumption. By changing this behavior and utilizing the auxiliary engines, positive impact on maintenance costs and 6 % reduction in fuel costs have been achieved. 


Evaluation of historical data can help to draw conclusion about current problems and prevent major damages and layup costs. In this case (see image below), a vessel had its main engine shut down due to emergency. The Chief Engineers onboard saw alarm in the cooling water systems, however, they could not find the reason for the automatic shutdown of the engine. They contacted the inspector ashore who analyzed the data and found out the root cause of the problem was within the lub oil system. As a result, not only did they find the key reason to prevent further damage, but they also did proper maintenance, specifically at the lub oil systems and thus saved money.

However the question remains: How does a company find time to analyze all available data from different sources? Certainly, the analysis cannot be done by 2-3 persons ashore as there is need for automated aggregation and analysis and also for systems out of the Data Lake to watch performance data. When we export data from the Data Lake to the analysis pipeline, we make the following key questions:

  • Are the data complete?
  • Are the data plausible?
  • Can we calculate from base data?
  • Are there industry standards?
  • Can we estimate from the history?

Also, there is need for data validation which can be done firstly onboard and secondly ashore to combine industry standards with basic data. Following automatic notification we can report KPIs and draw useful conclusions.

Above text is an edited article of Bastian Gehnke’s presentation during the 2017 SMART4SEA Conference & Awards

You may view his video presentation by clicking here

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.

About Bastian Gehnke, Vessel and Fleet performance Technical Product Manager, INTERSCHALT maritime systems

“Water is my element” says Bastian Gehnke, who started his career in the waters as a voluntary lifeguard at the German Lifeguard Association DLRG before he decided in 2007 to continue on the waters with a degree in maritime and ship operations onboard of commercial vessels of a German shipping company. After earning nautical and technical licenses in shipping at the seafaring school in Flensburg, he earned the graduate degree in maritime logistics and ship operations by the University of Flensburg. In 2014, Bastian joined INTERSCHALT maritime systems as a technical product manager in the area of vessel and fleet performance. Beside developing the dynamic trim optimization model, he decisively contributed to the design of the vessel and fleet performance management software Bluetracker.

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