MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has introduced a new breakbulk cargo stowage solution, the Breakbulk Optimiser, which enables operators to rapidly and optimally plan the stowage of many different cargoes, increasing vessel utilisation rates significantly and therefore improving business performance.
"The MacGregor Breakbulk Optimiser is the first automated, cloud-based application for the optimised stowage of breakbulk and general cargoes," says Magnus Sjöberg, Senior Vice President, Cargo Handling, MacGregor. "It makes full use of MacGregor's expertise in cargo handling systems combined with Navis' expertise in loading computers and stowage planning know-how on container ships." Navis is also part of Cargotec.
The new application from MacGregor optimises breakbulk vessel stowage plans by taking into consideration all influencing factors including what cargo is already on board, incoming cargoes, available cargo space, the actual capability of the cargo handling system, port rotations and vessel stability.
Currently, breakbulk stowage planning mostly relies on time-consuming, manual planning processes based on the capability and experience of an individual planner or team of planners. No-shows of cargoes and last-minute changes can further add to the time it takes to complete an optimal stowage plan.
"The new solution can easily accommodate these last-minute changes and enables customers to identify predefined key performance indicators at a ship, voyage, rotation or fleet level," notes Tommi Keskilohko, Director, Customer Innovations, Cargo Handling, MacGregor. "Pilot cases on board customer vessels have verified that the amount of cargo that can be carried can be increased substantially, which increases operational efficiency and earning potential.
"Also there are a lot of potential process improvements," Mr Keskilohko adds. "Time-savings in planning processes and the transparency of fact-based information are just a few of these. Reduced environmental impact is another as vessels are running at much higher utilisation rates.
"The utilisation rates of breakbulk and general cargo vessels tend to be relatively low and fleet-wide key performance indicators are rarely known or recorded," continues Mr Keskilohko. "Our aim is to help customers improve their businesses and MacGregor's new Breakbulk Optimiser is a perfect match for that."
The new pioneering Breakbulk Optimiser is available for new and existing vessels and can be used for one vessel or the whole fleet.