In 2017, P&O Maritime Logistics took delivery the first of its 20 Multi-Carrying Vessels (“MCV”), a unique class of vessel created by POML to meet the specific challenges of delivering oil production equipment through the Russian Inland Waterway System (RIWS) on behalf of its client, Tengizchevroil (TCO).

TCO is producing oil from Kazakhstan’s Tengiz field, one of the world’s six largest oil fields, and is currently enhancing the production capacity as part of its “Future Growth Project”.

Each MCV can carry up to 1,800 tons of cargo, the equivalent of five Airbus A380s, in about 3 metres of water. Typically, this kind of load would require six to seven metres of depth. We designed the MCV fleet to meet the shallow and narrow waterways of the Russian Waterway System. With the MCVs in operation, we are already delivering equipment 40% faster than a conventional tug and barge operation through the RIWS.

POML was tasked with ensuring that the transportation of these modules was done safely, and deliveries made on time – a challenge given the navigation difficulties of the route. With such large-scale operations, the application of real-time data to support safer, faster and more efficient marine logistics was critical in delivering the time-saving benefit to its client.

We implemented the Internet of Things (IoT) to transmit real-time data from each vessel. Every 15 minutes, each vessel sends a packet of 15 data points on speed, routing, fuel usage and other aspects of its operation. This data is analysed to boost vessel performance in a variety of ways, ranging from better use of fuel to better use of downtime.

By applying the IoT onboard, we can move to more efficient planned maintenance and condition-based maintenance models. Predictive maintenance helped us increase availability of individual vessels by organizing their downtime, thereby yielding the cumulative effect of improving overall fleet and fuel efficiency.

This approach has also helped us benchmark and improve operational efficiency across our global fleet, helping to set key performance indicators, to streamline work processes and to make better prognoses on the life expectancy of equipment by scheduling maintenance work more efficiently and effectively – all of which create value for clients.

Furthermore, by having access to detailed vessel and engine performance data, we, as a valued partner, can offer our clients an unprecedented level of transparency. The use of data enables us to deliver optimal solutions to our clients, balancing the requirements for operational excellence and the need for budgetary rigour.