Vetting specialist RightShip will launch a new product later this year offering a wide range of service upgrades for customers seeking to vet bulk carrier vessels before chartering.

RightShip Qi will introduce the benefits of big data and predictive analytics to ship vetting in a bid to improve safety and offer owners more choice when selecting a vessel on sustainability criteria.

Warwick Norman, CEO of RightShip, said the new tool — pronounced ‘key’ and an acronym for Quality Index — is planned to “commence in Q3”.

He told DCI on the side lines of Intercargo Committee meetings in Singapore in March that RightShip Qi would replace the company’s existing Ship Vetting Information System (SVIS) which has so far been used to vet over 260,000 dry bulk vessels, denying approval to more than 8,000.

According to Norman, Qi will improve bulk carrier safety and reduce customer risk by using predictive analysis techniques during the vetting procedure, making use of more data points, and enabling greater flexibility with vetting criteria and rules as well as offering real time calculation options. It will also no longer treat vessels with specific Flag States or Classification Societies as singular blocks and will better define vessel type groups.

“Instead of a broad brush approach we can define it all much better now,” he added.

He also called on the dry bulk industry to aggressively pursue improvements to safety performance and called for the development of a similar system to ISGOTT (International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals) which has helped the tanker industry improve its standards.

“Human factors in safety need to be addressed better than has been managed so far, and we need more benchmarking so there are more incentives,” he added.“There are opportunities for the dry bulk sector to improve performance and there is pressure to improve performance. Our customers want this in the fleet. We’re one of the cogs but we all need to look at this.”