Introducing Qi, the next generation maritime risk platform

Each year more than 240 customers worldwide — including charterers, ship owners, terminals and banks and insurers — rely on RightShip’s Ship Vetting Information System (SVISTM) as part of their maritime risk management process. Around 75% of RightShip’s business comes from the dry bulk sector.

Rising fuel costs, oversupply of capacity, turbulent freight rates and pressure on the availability of skilled staff can result in vessel maintenance standards slipping as ship owners cut costs to remain profitable. With 20% of the fleet responsible for the majority of casualties, a reliable vetting system, combined with advice and support from maritime professionals is essential for charterers seeking to reduce the risk of casualties, cargo damage, costly delays and detentions. Terminal operators utilize SVISTM to prevent substandard vessels from entering their facility while banks, insurers and P&I clubs rely on it to supplement their internal risk processes and meet Basel III requirements.

In October 2014, RightShip’s new risk management platform Qi (pronounced key) — an acronym for Quality Index — is scheduled to go live. Qi builds upon the award-winning SVISTM platform and embraces big data, predictive analytics and real time risk assessments to better target substandard maritime performance leading to improved safety. The platform will utilize the same IBM analytics engines that power the Formula One Grand Prix and Grand Slam tennis tournaments.


With 2,500 billion bytes of new data created every day, 63% of companies are already gaining a competitive advantage analysing huge volumes of data to improve their productivity and reduce costs. Vast quantities of ever-changing data are analysed by sophisticated algorithms to spot patterns and draw conclusions from data sets too large, diverse or dynamic for an individual to analyse without technology. Qi has the ability to instantaneously analyse maritime data such as port state control inspections, casualty history, satellite data, terminal feedback to identify anomalies, trends and intelligently compare data. It also has the potential to integrate social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, instant messaging and satellite data which would provide details of incidents or casualties in real-time. By ‘slicing and dicing’ data multiple ways, the platform will discover linkages that would otherwise go unnoticed.


RightShip is taking the learnings and successes of other industries, refining them and applying them to the maritime sector. Using the existing model to determine the baseline efficacy, Qi validates the risk profile of peer groups of comparison based on the size and type of vessel under consideration and a smoother is being incorporated. Qi will also integrate new factors such as sanctions, engine and the human element to provide a more comprehensive risk assessment.


Similar to how a vessel was rated in SVIS, Qi weights risk factors and analyzes the information to come up with a star risk rating for the vessel at that particular time and date. If a ship has had a recent incident, multiple port state control detentions, multiple owners, class or flag changes the algorithm will penalize it and it will be given a lower risk rating in the RightShip five star rating system. For example, a vessel with five stars is predicted to perform much better and have a lower incidence of a casualty than a vessel with a one star. While all the calculations are complex, the system simplifies the risk assessment with an easy- to-understand star rating and detailed reasoning matrix.


While RightShip is still in the preliminary stages of understanding the full gamut the predictive analytical capabilities Qi will deliver, the initial results have been very promising. A pilot study has identified the factors leading to greater loading throughput with existing infrastructure through the use of predictive modelling and more informed selection.

Traditional voyage cost calculations are dominated by vessel specific charter rates, fuel consumption, port dues and

brokerage. If selection considerations are driven by micro/vessel factors there is a significant imbalance with the macro/terminal objectives addressing the annual quantum loaded (180,000 tonnes Cape vessel vs 240,000,000 tonnes in the case of some terminals).

Learnings from vessels which perform efficiently or causes of delays do not currently feed back into the selection process to influence future selection practices.

Statistical learning algorithms exist to quantify these outcomes to make better vessel selection decisions. These techniques can be retrospectively applied, validated and refined based on existing data libraries and blind tested against a clean data set to ensure efficacy. Once operational, these techniques can also be used to provide a framework to evaluate the effect of a range of factors — as a function of tonnage forgone — to calculate the total cost of selection.

These factors include: 

  • ship scantling configurations such as strange hatch setup — what is optimum and why;
  • crew performance — poor draught management, poor deballasting planning, inexperienced senior officers, propensity for grounding;
  • mechanical failures of pumps and hydraulics;
  • Port State Control delays and linkages to performance of sister vessels; and
  • mooring configuration and rope materials


Qi will help to open up the black box on maritime risk and ultimately industry will benefit as it utilizes this sophisticated technology to better understand the factors that contribute to ensuring a sea voyage is completed safely and more efficiently. RightShip looks forward to giving back to industry and sharing aggregated statistics and the benefit of analytical insight that Qi will deliver. 

Patrick and the Asciano Group — integrated bulk import and export solutions

Patrick and the Asciano group of companies connect Australia and New Zealand to the rest of the world by delivering integrated port, road and rail solutions to its customers and the shipping industry.

Handling in excess of 200mt (million tonnes) of bulk product every year at more than 35 ports across Australia and New Zealand, Patrick’s 8,000 skilled and motivated employees deliver industry-leading service to the dry bulk sector.


Patrick prides itself on its ability to deliver innovative bulk handling solutions that are tailored and developed to suit its customers’ needs.


The team at Patrick Port Kembla has implemented a range of innovative bulk handling solutions which respond to its customers’ ever-changing needs and specific requirements. This sets it apart from its competitors. The Patrick rotating container loading system and the mobile conveyor ship loading solutions offer flexibility to manage diverse bulk cargoes, such as:

Pit-to-port solutions — copper concentrates and rotating spreaders Patrick has implemented a rotating spreader shiploading solution for a customer exporting copper concentrates through Port Kembla. The solution required procurement of purpose-built equipment including over 500 containers, three rotating spreaders and upgraded rail infrastructure. The containerized copper concentrates are delivered to Port Kembla by another Asciano group company Pacific National, with Asciano managing its customers’ product from the rail siding close to the mine into the ship’s hold.

Award winning coke loading solution

In 2013, the Patrick Port Kembla team won an Environmental Improvement Initiative Award for an innovative coke loading solution. TheawardwasreceivedfromtheEnvironmental Protection Authority (EPA) and presented by two major members of the Steel Transport Safety Network — BlueScope Steel and OneSteel.

The award winning solution involves the use of a mobile conveyor system to load coke across the customer’s berth at Port Kembla, and has resulted in more than 1mt of coke being loaded seamlessly without major incident or non-compliance. Importantly, this innovative loading solution has resulted in significant cost savings to the customer.


At Port Adelaide, Patrick provides facilities, equipment and capability for the import of fertilizers and other bulk commodities into South Australia, delivering a ‘ship-to-shed’ service in partnership with its sister company Mountain Industries (a part of the Asciano Group). Ownership and management of the integrated ‘ship-to-shed’ supply chain delivers tangible productivity benefits to Patrick’s customers in Adelaide.

In addition, Patrick and Pacific National deliver an integrated rail and port export solution to a mineral sands customer, handling the product from collection at the mine site into the ship’s hold. To deliver this ‘pit to port’ solution, Patrick designed, procured and now operates an innovative high lift mobile shiploader in Adelaide. The shiploader uses a ‘snake sandwich 


conveyor’, which fully encloses the conveyed material to facilitate dust control while allowing the conveyor to elevate at high vertical angles and operate on a narrow wharf apron. It is the most efficient shiploading conveyor of its kind in the world, and again demonstrates the innovative solutions Patrick offers to make bulk handling easy for its customers.



GeelongPort — fertilizers, cement clinker, woodchips and other dry bulk Patrick is the operator of GeelongPort, jointly owned by Asciano. GeelongPort manages end-to-end operations for major stakeholders, including: port management, maintenance of the port infrastructure, ship scheduling and operation of bulk import and export facilities. Patrick’s experience as a port operator provides customers with a reliable and trusted partner for the management of bulk port facilities and infrastructure.

GeelongPort provides an extensive range of cargo handling facilities to offer customers world class service, such as: an innovative woodchip loader, berth and conveyor systems designed and procured by Patrick on behalf of a customer, 15 berths, storage sheds, head stands, shore cranes, hoppers and conveyors and stackers.

Port of Albany

Patrick and the Asciano Group jointly owns and operates a 2mtpa woodchip export facility in Albany comprising rail receival, conveyors, stacker, reclaimers and a 1,000 tonne per hour slewing and luffing ship loader.

Patrick provides a comprehensive service to its customers which includes coordination of rail receival, stockpile management, scheduling and ship loading for two woodchip companies.

The level of commitment and control means that Patrick is responsible for the customer’s product from the time it is discharged from the rail wagons, through to loading onto the ship.

Asciano and Patrick’s ability to combine innovative infrastructure solutions with commercial ingenuity is a key differentiator in the market. Its integrated logistics solutions provide leading customer experience and cost savings to its customers.


Mountain Industries, a subsidiary of Asciano, has recently designed and built a state-of-the-art fertilizer storage and distribution facility in partnership with a key customer.The facility offers a sophisticated blending and out-load system that enables its customer to deliver a fertilizer mix to its own customer’s exact specifications, including additional micro nutrients automatically. The facility also has an integrated bagging system, allowing Mountain Industries’ customer to deliver to its client the product it needs, in the package it can accommodate.

The blending and outload system feeds into two conveyor belts which can simultaneously load separate fertilizer streams into two trucks. Each truck is weighed while loading, to ensure that both axle and gross weights meet customer requirements, and more importantly, are legal weights.

The outload system is fully automated enabling the customer to track stock and invoice customers from automated reports.


The Asciano group recently implemented a ‘ship-to-factory’ import solution on behalf of a plasterboard manufacturer based in Sydney. Given the urban location of the port, significant work was required to ensure minimal impact on the environment and nearby residents.

The group’s teams worked with the customer and the port corporation to increase productivity and reduce discharge noise to minimize the impact of its customers’ operations to the community, such as:


  • Receiving and recording noise complaints from the public for resolution and improvement;
  • aking adjustments to existing equipment to reduce noise; 
  • e-aligning rosters to avoid working during sleeping hours; 
  • Implementing a revised receival methodology at the customers site to increase productivity.


These improvements, combined with the integrated capability of Patrick and Mountain Industries to manage all parts of the supply chain from the vessel to the customers’ facility, have significantly increased and improved productivity for customers. Patrick and mountain Industries look forward to working with its customers to continue breaking records on upcoming shipments.


The Patrick and Asciano group of companies offers the flexibility, capability, innovation and footprint to source and deliver purpose built bulk handling solutions.

From the export of minerals and agricultural products, to the import of input materials required to support its manufacturing and agricultural sectors, its bulk handling experts can design a range of ‘best in class’ handling solutions to ensure clients can deliver a leading experience to their customers. 
DF plays vital role in Australian iron ore project 

Duro Felguera (DF), the Spanish industrial group, has been instrumental in the Roy Hill iron ore project in Australia. The Roy Hill Project was designed to export 55mt (million tonnes) of iron ore; the project includes the mine, process plant, storage yard, heavy railroad system from mine to port and new port facilities southwest of Port Hedland, in Western Australia.

Within this megaproject, DF was awarded the contract to supply the process equipment/electrical systems and the EP (engineering and procurement) package of the ore handling system both at the process plant storage yard and at the large port facility.

The handling equipment for the process plant and port has a capacity of around 14,000tph (tonnes per hour), which ranks it within the range of the largest in the world.

Within the process plant, which includes five main parallel process lines, the main equipment is described as follows:


  • three units of primary and secondary crushing; 
  • five scrubbers; vfive modules of wet coarse and fines screens; 
  • three modules of tertiary crushers and dry/wet screens; 
  • five modules of deslime cyclones;
  • five up current-classifiers; 
  • five modules of first and second stage of spirals; 
  • five belt filters; 
  • three tailings thickeners; 
  • five apron feeders; 
  • three belt feeders; and 
  • laboratory


In addition to all the belt conveying system, in excess of 12km in length, the following main handling equipment will also be designed, manufactured and supplied after being preassembled and tested at the factory:

Process plant site:


  • one iron ore fixed slewing stacker 13,700tph; 
  • one fines ore travelling/slewing stacker 5,600tph; 
  • one lump ore travelling/slewing stacker 5,600tph; and 
  • one travelling/slewing bucket wheel reclaimer 16,700tph.


Port site: 

  • two ore travelling/slewing stacker 14,500tph; 
  • one car dumper 12,900tph;
  • one travelling/slewing bucket wheel reclaimer 16,700tph; 
  • one travelling/slewing shiploader 12,700tph.
Rio Tinto: landmark Pilbara iron ore operational performance ahead of schedule 

On 13 May 2014, Rio Tinto announced a major milestone for Australia’s largest integrated mining project, with its Pilbara iron ore system of mines, rail and ports reaching a run rate of 290mtpa (million tonnes per annum), two months ahead of schedule. Early completion of the expansion has added significant value to the Pilbara operations, with continued ramp- up of the system contributing to the record first quarter production achieved this year.

The achievement further underlines the world-class status of Rio Tinto’s Western Australian iron ore operations and follows completion of the infrastructure component in September 2013, which itself was delivered four months ahead of schedule and $400 million under budget.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Andrew Harding said “This is a significant milestone which adds real value for our business and our shareholders by moving more iron ore through the Pilbara at low cost.“We are now focused on the next phase of our expansion towards 360mtpa.The infrastructure is on schedule for completion in a little over 12 months and, from a base run rate of 290mtpa, we have a rapid, low-cost pathway to increase mine production capacity by more than 60mtpa between now and 2017.” 
Growing bulk and general cargo activity at Ports North 

The Port of Cairns, located on the north-eastern coast of Australia, is owned and operated by Far North Queensland Ports Corporation Limited, trading as Ports North, a Queensland Government Owned Corporation.

Renowned as one of Australia’s busiest cruising destinations, Cairns also boasts a growing bulk and general cargo business providing a northern gateway between Australia and Asian markets.

This growth was confirmed recently with an announcement by the world’s largest listed metal recycler, Sims Metal Management, that it would continue regular exports of scrap metal from the Port of Cairns, following successful trials. Sims cited the ability to bring in Handymax bulk carriers to a loading berth close to the Sims metal yard and an increasing volume of scrap from the surrounding region as improving the overall cost effectiveness of the Cairns export operation. It had previously opted to transport processed scrap by road to southern ports for export to markets in Vietnam, Korea and Thailand.

The Port of Cairns is multi-purpose and supports both industry and tourism. Bulk cargo through the port consists primarily of petroleum, sugar, fertilizer and liquid petroleum gas.

Cairns has long been the natural consolidation and redistribution centre for supplies that are shipped to coastal communities north of Cairns as well as the Torres Strait Islands and the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is ideally located to supply and service mining operations in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

The Port has extensive land holdings that are leased to port customers and is home to one of Australia’s largest fishing fleets. The Cairns Marlin Marina is a 261 berth Marina accommodating a variety of cruising vessels, superyachts and reef vessel operations servicing the Great Barrier Reef.

Plans for future wharf and channel expansion will further improve efficiency and access to the Port of Cairns.

Ports North is responsible for the development and management of nine ports across the Far North Queensland regions including Cairns, Cape Flattery, Karumba, Mourilyan, Skardon River, Quintell Beach,Thursday Island, Burketown and Cooktown.

Ports North’s operations and facilities are vital to the economic development of the regional centres they service and the Queensland tourism and export performance. Its combined port operations handle bulk shipments of sugar, molasses, silica sand, zinc, fuel, fertilizer, log product, livestock and general cargo.

In a further sign of growth in the region, Ports North recently confirmed a 400,000-tonne-per-annum iron ore export operation through its Port of Mourilyan, about 100 kilometres south of Cairns. This regional coastal port also exports raw sugar and molasses from the region’s sugar growing districts as well as live cattle, woodchip and log product. Port infrastructure includes onshore sugar and molasses handling and storage facilities, a livestock export facility and commercial wharf within a sheltered natural harbour. There is ample capacity to expand into new bulk cargo exports.

The Port of Cape Flattery is situated more than 200 kilometres north of Cairns. The port exports of silica sand from the Cape Flattery mine, operated by Cape Flattery Silica Mines Pty Ltd, one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of silica sand. The port has onshore silica sand handling and stockpiling facilities and a 500-metre, single trestle jetty and conveyor running from the mine to an offshore berth and ship loader. There is also a general purpose wharf for the import of fuel and other supplies for the mine and for the mooring of two line boats which assist in ship berthing.

The Port of Karumba is located at the mouth of the Norman River in the south-east corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Karumba is a transhipment port. Its primary export is zinc concentrate from the Century Mine which has been exported through the port since 1999. Zinc slurry is piped 304 kilometres to the port from the mine, dewatered and loaded onto a 5,000 tonne, fully enclosed transfer vessel for the 40 kilometre journey to the export ships that anchor in deep water in the Gulf of Carpentaria, about 24 nautical miles off the coast.

Other facilities in the port provide for general cargo, fuel, fish products and the export of live cattle. Karumba also acts as a transshipment port for Mornington Island, other Gulf communities and the Port of Weipa for the majority of the year.