ARA Barges Workshop Amsterdam May 2013

by phil1. August 2013 14:35
I was delighted to be invited to this event in Amsterdam earlier this year.ESS, or Electronic Shipping Solutions to give them their full name, have been developing electronic Bills of Lading and associated documents for a number of years, and whilst the idea of eB/Ls have been around for a while ESS have certainly succeeded in making this work. Take a look at their website to see how it has come on from solving problems in the oil market to the most recent news that Cargill have adopted the system across all of their products. Amsterdam was not so much about eB/Ls but much as electronic nominations.We all know that oil barge movements in Europe depend so much on faxes, yes 30 year old technology! ESS has developed an electronic platform for making nominations together with producing documents, such as the barge receipt and timesheet, electronically. The advantages of such a platform are quite staggering and this Workshop was organised under the ESS-Databridge Development Group (DDG). Oil Tanking were our hosts for the day and they provided the meeting room at their terminal, although it was a little tight this was no reflection on Oil Tanking’s generosity but a reflection on the popularity of the event. Who was there? I’ve already mentioned ESS and Oil Tanking, in addition there was a good cross section of the barge industry players: Barge Owners/Operators were represented by folks from BFT, Interstream, RTR Barging and Somtrans. Terminals, in addition to Oil Tanking there were representatives from Seatank, Vopak and Zeeland Oil companies and traders were out in force with Argos, BP, Cargill, Chemoil, Glencore, Gunvor, Litasco, Morgan Stanley, P66, Petrobras, PetroIneos, Reliance, Shell, Trafigura and Unipec. I was there for HubSE – more about our involvement later. Gianna Rechichi, ESS, opened the workshop and outlined the afternoon and led us into a video recorded by Tony Yates, BP titled ‘It’s All About Timing’. BP has been a long-time supporter of ESS’ eB/L product but has not been at the forefront of this latest initiative and Tony explained how BP’s take up has been slow because of other commitments.It was pleasing to hear that BP are fully supportive of this and will play a full part. Tony’s view was that if you don’t take a part you are either a dinosaur or you have no time - BP is no dinosaur! Next up was Adrian Challinor, Glencore, who gave us ‘The Big Picture: Barges @ 30,000ft’.Adrian is very keen on making electronic transactions within the barge industry where he sees significant time savings and efficiencies for Glencore. The standout fact for me was that he believed eNominations would save 8 or 10 minutes per nomination. A staggering saving and an improvement on my last report in this respect where I commented on LEAP’s Barge Workshop 8th May in the latest Asdem Barge Newsletter. Guy Jarman, Morgan Stanley took to the front of the room to give his view on ‘Capturing the Benefits to your Bottom Line’. Drawing on Morgan Stanley’s experience where they have been using eNominations for over a year he sees material benefits already and calculates that the turnaround of barges can be improved dramatically when using electronic documents which not only reduces demurrage exposure but improves jetty utilisation too. Before the tea break there was a panel discussion which generated a lot of discussion. My turn next! My presentation was ‘Making Time for Demurrage’ and we, at HubSE, are excited to be collaborating with ESS in the barge arena. What we aim to do is take a feed from ESS where we will know the date and time of the nomination. Once the barge has sailed we will have barge port movements. Put these together with a few other details and we can make almost instant laytime and demurrage calculations. We can apply the rules according to the sales contract, TTB rules or LEAP’s terms once they are agreed, and apply them to the data. This would work even in trading chains where the terms may not be back to back – what is important is using one set of data, entered once and applied according to the terms agreed. Once this is established we can move on to produce statements that will allow monthly net settlements with counterparties or even a clearing system for payments – imagine only one payment or receipt one per month! Martijn Schaeffer, Oil Tanking told us the ‘The Terminal Story, Standardisation and Integration’. This was very interesting and it was so obvious once he had told us – eNominations bring standardisation and speed. Instead of receiving nominations from different sources on different formats, such as fax and email, eNominations brings it all together and avoids incomplete data being received and manual data having to be entered. Ernst Herger, Cargill, gave his paper on ‘Competence and Confidence in CargoDocs’which was extremely interesting in which he stated Cargill’s confidence in ESS’s solutions – this confidence was reinforced just a few weeks later when they announced that they were extending the use of eB/Ls across their agricultural products and their bulk iron ore shipments. Read the press release here A great endorsement from one of the major commodity groups in the world. Whilst there was a panel discussion half way through the afternoon all the sessions generated a lot of discussion.It is true to say that there were a lot of questions some which did not have answers at this point. Whilst that can be frustrating for some participants I see this as an advantage in that whilst a lot of these facilities are in place, some are under development and this is a real opportunity for participants to join this group and shape the future. Cynthia Worley, ESS, closed the day by summarising where the industry is and where it is heading and encouraged everyone who wants this to happen to contribute to the working groups that will be created shortly to identify the value that each sector of the market can leverage by the use of electronic documents and data transfer. HubSE are excited to be part of this future and if you want to find out more about this initiative and HubSE’s part of it please contact me If you want to know more about ESS and are keen to join the working groups please contact Let us know what you think about electronic documents and nominations. Are you excited about this? Maybe you think none of this will work? Please add your comments here.

Delays after hoses disconnected

by phil3. January 2013 11:33
This post first appeared in the January 2013 Asdem Newsletter.  To see this Newsletter please go to and look for the 'Newsletters' tab I am often asked what remedy an Owner has if a vessel is delayed at a load or discharge port after hoses have been disconnected. It is common knowledge that most charter parties cover delays in providing documentation at the load port by re-starting time after a delay of two or three hours and finally ending time when documentation is completed. Each charter party says something slightly different so you need to be careful about the wording.   A frequent question that comes up is where a vessel is prevented from sailing because of bad weather and I was alerted to a case where there had been a delay of four days bad weather. Unfortunately laytime and/or demurrage ends at the time that hoses have been disconnected or documents have been delivered so there is not much an owner can do in this case. These delays are considered to be at the risk of the Owner, along with similar delays such as awaiting daylight, tide, tugs or pilots.   What about detention? The delays mentioned above cannot be considered to be detention but where a vessel has been delayed by charterers, the owners may have a case for claiming the time as detention. An example of this may be where the Charterer has not sold the cargo and asks the vessel to remain in port for further instructions. If the port authority detains the vessel for any reason, such a delay is unlikely to qualify as a claim for detention against the charterers.   Is it an unsafe berth/port? If a vessel cannot sail for four days because of bad weather does this make it an unsafe berth or port? If it were proven to be an unsafe port, the owners might be able to claim damages from charterers. It is very difficult to prove that a port is unsafe as a result of weather and it normally takes a lot more than weather conditions to convince a court that a port is unsafe.   In conclusion, most delays after hoses have been disconnected, apart from cargo documents, are at the Owners’ risk. If you have any views or comments to make on this article please add them here.

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I have been heavily involved in the demurrage industry for many years This blog is somewhere for me to put my ideas to the industry and somewhere for the industry to join in with open discussion on the issues that crop up from time to time. It is intended to be entertaining and informative. Please add your comments and join the debates, but PLEASE BE POLITE to me and your colleagues in the industry

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Phil Stalley is a Director of HubSE Ltd, authors of the world class CMS demurrage claims management system. If you would like to know more about HubSE or CMS then please click on the icon to visit our website or simply email Phil

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The opinions expressed in this blog are my own (Phil Stalley); they are not necessarily those of Hub Software Engineering Limited or Phil Stalley Limited. Any comments left by any other readers or authors are the sole responsibility of that person. Any opinions or views should not be construed as legal advice. If at any time you feel that any material is harmful or malicious please contact me so that I may rectify the problem. If you wish to copy or distribute the content of this blog you may do so freely provided you ensure that the content on any particular subject is not edited in any way and that appropriate credit is given to me

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