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How planning processes are improved with "just in time"

12 December 2023

A new licentiate thesis from Linköping University shows that calls that take place "just in time" can save 2-15 percent of a ship's fuel consumption. But that is not the only advantage, says the dissertation's author Abd Alla Ali Mubder Mubder. The introduction of "just in time" can also improve the planning processes of several different actors.

Although previous studies have shown that there is a potential to save fuel and reduce emissions by making ship calls "just in time", the concept is hardly used in shipping. Abd Alla Ali Mubder Mubder therefore wanted to explore how "just in time" could be implemented within Swedish shipping and what effects it would have.

“I have studied "just in time" based on two questions. One is about estimating the potential for how much fuel can be saved in a Swedish context. The second question starts from the port's perspective, about how different coordination mechanisms can be used by different port actors to realize the potential of "just in time".”

To answer the question about fuel and emissions savings, Abd Alla Ali Mubder Mubder used AIS data from 2019, port call statistics and vessel data. The result showed that the fuel and emission saving potential of "just in time" has often been overestimated in previous studies.

“"Just in time" can save between 2-15 percent of fuel. The earlier a ship receives information about when it will call, the greater the potential for savings. Which method a ship uses to work with the relationship between fuel consumption and sailing speed also affects.”

The port, of course, plays a key role in a possible "just in time" introduction, primarily by changing its arrival policy from "first-come-first-served" to a policy that enables, for example, ship owners and charterers to reserve berths in advance.

“This also requires the port to be able to communicate a "recommended time of arrival", which requires improved planning and information sharing. This can be achieved through the introduction of digital information platforms, so-called port community systems. The ports are lagging behind in digitalisation.”

However, a port cannot, as an individual actor, introduce a "just in time concept".

“The port does not control all the resources required, for example not pilots or tugboats. A "recommended time of arrival" must be based on all the resources required for a call.”

There is much to be gained here for many, says Abd Alla Ali Mubder Mubder, who wants to highlight that "just in time" is at least as important for planning as for saving fuel.

“Through more advanced information sharing systems, terminals, pilots, ports and other actors get better conditions for planning their operations. Security in planning is highly valued by these actors.”

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