We recently spoke with Christian Vinther Christensen – Chief Operating Officer at Norden, and Rasmus Saltofte – Head of Handysize Worldwide, to discuss how our partnership has helped their teams.
You can watch both interviews and read our conversations with Christian and Rasmus below.
Christian joins Marcura’s Group Chief Commercial Officer, Hans-Christian Mordhorst, to discuss the benefits of PortLog Pro and how it has helped Norden to address unpaid time.
Christian: The business outcome of using PortLog is that it’s given us better results, enabling us to provide our customers with more accurate freight rates or better rates.
We have never been able to estimate the actual risks. So that means for management, their results will always go down. For example, if we estimate 100, we would actually get 90. Then, if you have 500 ships more or less doing that, you have a considerable slippage in the results. So that’s what we hope to fix.
We’ve already seen significant results after 6-8 months of utilising PortLog.
Hans-Christian: Fantastic. You’re referring to what we call PortLog Pro, which addresses unpaid time in particular. Why is unpaid time such an important item for an owner?
Christian: It’s time that’s been estimated incorrectly, so it’s money out of our pocket, and it’s because it’s unpaid. So, in this process, there is business that we have said no to that we would typically have done.
But then we have also done a lot of new business because we could see via PortLog Pro that actually it’s not so risky.
We can see the actual terms, history and statistics. And we’re all about statistics and probabilities.
It’s enabling many of our junior talent to make more qualified decisions faster than it would’ve traditionally taken someone with more experience.
Traditionally, it would have taken someone several years to gather that experience, and those decisions might not be as accurate as what’s in the system.
Hans-Christian: Could you say that experience and gut feeling are now wrapped in an analytic framework that helps remove the outliers?
Christian: It’s interesting you mention ‘gut feel’ because many people cannot handle the word ‘gut feel’. But how we look at data and make decisions is not so different from 20 years ago.
If I look at my trading decisions 15 years ago, it would be input and indicators that were not quantifiable. But then it’s processed in your neurons, in your brain, in your heart, in your stomach, and you make your gut feeling.
And actually, you cannot underestimate your intuition and your gut feeling. But today, you are fuelled with better indicators and better data.
That means that you make better decisions.
Hans-Christian: So that you’ve gotten out of PortLog Pro already?
Christian: That’s one of the many things we get out of PortLog Pro, plus all the other systems we have in place.
Rasmus shares how partnering with PortLog has helped his team and the importance of the Veson IMOS Platform integration.
Nellie: Thank you so much for meeting with us today. We’re here to talk about PortLog. But before we jump in, could you introduce yourself and your role here at Norden?
Rasmus: My name is Rasmus, and I head up our division of Handysize Bulkers.
On a daily basis, we have between 100 and 120 ships out of our dry cargo portfolio which is roughly about one third of our ships.
Nellie: So on a daily basis, how do you and your team use PortLog, and how does it benefit your team?
Rasmus: Each and every of our commercial chartering people use it daily, and our job is to make the best decision for the company based on the amount of information we have.
Calculating cargoes is our daily job, and having PortLog for every calculation helps us to make the best possible decisions.
The decisions we make are based on a lot of variables, not only ships and weather and markets but also the actual time spent in the ports.
So having PortLog is essential in ensuring that the decision you take is based on the most accurate information.
Nellie: So you’ve spoken a little bit about how you use PortLog. We’ve recently upgraded this system to PortLog Pro. Could you tell us a little bit about the differences between PortLog and PortLog Pro and how you found that’s helped your team?
Rasmus: We’ve been with PortLog since the beginning, so of course, coming to PortLog Pro has been a massive improvement. As previously mentioned, we use it on a daily basis – we like to have the information very close in our hands.
In Norden we talk about having every system one click away and if we take that into a PortLog perspective, I’d say that in the beginning, we were quite a few clicks away from getting the info to now just having it at one click.
The speed and the accessibility of having the relevant and the right information in our calculation have improved massively by having the integration with PortLog Pro.
Nellie: Could you tell us a little bit about the importance of the integration?
Rasmus: In the past, we had to exit the programme and go to another system to get the information and manually type it in.
Now, it’s fed straight into our system – it gives us the information without using PortLog but also if we apply PortLog – so we have the comparison between the two systems.
The speed has improved massively with the integration.
Nellie: What about laytime and predicting the impact of that with PortLog Pro?
Rasmus: The main feature of PortLog Pro is what we call unpaid time.
In the past, we didn’t have the information, and we were estimating things the best we could, but it wasn’t very accurate.
With PortLog, we make decisions based on facts – what we have actually seen in the past – and that of course, has a massive impact because if we trust blindly the information that is given to us, we don’t have very accurate estimations.
Data-based decision-making has changed massively, preventing all this unpaid time from occurring on our voyages.
Nellie: Looking into the future, how do you envisage using PortLog Pro?
Rasmus: We envision using other features from Marcura’s catalogue of solutions, such as the integration of claims.
Nellie: How have you personally found working with the team at Marcura and PortLog?
Rasmus: I’m very pleased with our collaboration throughout the period.
We came into this as equal partners – we want to work with you, and you have been very proactive. I don’t think ever I’ve heard the team saying, “Well, that’s not possible or that cannot be done.”
It has been a very good collaboration. I also hope that the input that PortLog and the crew have gotten from our side has benefited the development of the entire PortLog module.
Nellie: And finally, have you got any other comments you’d like to share about working with the team at Marcura and PortLog?
Rasmus: I think it’s important to talk about the quantity of data you can facilitate and the filtering and showcasing of the relevant parts of the information.
The easiest part of our business is to accumulate data, but I think to categorise data, to actually use it into something for daily use, has been quite hard for some.
I think PortLog and Marcura as a whole have been good with being able to filter the data to make it more relevant.
We want to spend as little time as possible getting the most relevant information, which ultimately translates into being able to spend more time with our customers and our partners around the world.
We have a lot on our plate so if we can spend, let’s say, five minutes on getting information that would have taken us maybe several hours just a year ago, then this time saved can be spent elsewhere in our daily lives and jobs.
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