Liters per tug assignment.

The main goal in usage measurement at TSM is a reduction in fuel consumption per shipping assignment (liters/job) in order to be able to provide a more economical option when compared with the competition. The main TSM offices in Rouen receives the numbers needed to prepare invoices from the operations in Rouen and Bordeaux; this makes oversight of the statistics possible. On board, the crew can see all the measurement values using a modern display (see Binnenschifffart, October 2013). The consumption values used for the analysis are based on the Rouen accounting data, and this information should be very precise as customers can request the details of invoiced shipping jobs. To ensure that the calculation of liters per transport job is not overly optimistic or pessimistic in relation to individual shipping assignments, TSM averages fuel consumption and the number of shipping assignments over a year.

Before equipping ships with Eco-Pilot, fuel bills were on the increase every year – in Rouen in the year 2008 by 22%, in 2009 by 13%, in 2010 by 25% and in 2011 there was an additional 10% increase. After 2011, this unbroken upwards trend come to a stop. In 2012 Rouen saw a significant decrease of 7%, and one year later Bordeaux was able to realise a total consumption reduction of 28.5%.

Loïc Thomas nevertheless emphasises that the savings cannot be entirely attributed to Eco-Pilot. “The shipping industry is different every day because of weather, currents and other factors. The measurement technology does help our captains to make the right decisions every day,” explains Loïc Thomas. The crew can check the fuel consumption anytime, and they can then for example decrease the speed or change the ordering of shipping assignments in order to bring down costs. “The savings in 2013 more than exceeded my expectations.”

Positive return on investment after just six months.

The Eco-Pilot installation differs from ship to ship depending on the engine capacity, the number of engines and the layout of the fuel system. Regardless such difference in the system and prices KRAL confirms a rapid return on investment. For competitiveness reasons, the total number of assignments in Rouen and Bordeaux has not been published here, and likewise the liters per assignment. That said, Thomas’ decision to outfit his other tugboats with Eco-Pilot became clear during the three year timeframe of this project. Every high performance tugboat has two engines. For this type of ship, the total investment in fuel consumption measurement comes to about € 11,000. The company calculates an amount of € 5,000 for the installation of two fuel lines to each of the engines as well as a single cable running to the wheelhouse. Bringing the system into service, delivery and the training provided by KRAL amounts to an additional € 2,000. “In view of the fuel savings, with Eco-Pilot we realised an amortisation of the investment after between 6 and 18 months, depending on the type of ship and the area of operations,” confirms Loïc Thomas.

This was part 3 in our series on the fuel consumption measurement with Eco-Pilot.
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