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The Freight Estimation Platform Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Mar 12, 2023


THE FREIGHT ESTIMATION PLATFORM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  • Why can't I see the freight rate for vessel estimation?

We have received inquiries from some of our customers about not being able to see the freight rate on our website. We would like to take this opportunity to explain why this might be happening and what steps you can take to view the freight rate.


The Freight estimate system filters vessels based on a variety of factors, including vessel type, cargo type, and laycan dates.


There are a few possible reasons for this. First, we suggest that you check the draft of the ports you have selected, as some ports have restrictions on vessel sizes. For example, Douala has a draft restriction of 8.5m and cannot load Panamax-sized cargoes.

Additionally, please double-check your laycan dates. If your requested shipment has a tight or forward laycan date, it may be more difficult to find available vessels. Vessel ETA information is often spot-dated, which means that we may not be able to provide estimates for shipments that are scheduled for more than two months in the future. A laycan spread of only two days may also be problematic and prevent us from finding available vessels.


Additionally, please ensure that you have selected the cargo and ports from the drop-down list. This is essential in providing an accurate estimate of the freight rate.

If you continue to experience difficulties in viewing the freight rate, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team. We are available to assist you in any way we can.

  • How does the system estimate the freight rate?

The freight estimation platform uses a variety of data sources to estimate the freight rate, including the current market rates, the cargo being shipped, and the vessel's commercial details.


Firstly, the platform relies on the current market rates, which are based on the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rates. The BDI is a widely used benchmark index that reflects the cost of shipping dry bulk commodities, including iron ore, coal, and grain. The BDI rates are updated daily and are used to estimate the current market rates for shipping.


Secondly, the platform considers the cargo being shipped, including the quantity, weight, and type of cargo. Different types of cargo have different shipping requirements, which can affect the cost of shipping. For example, shipping grain requires a different type of vessel than shipping coal, which can affect the cost of shipping.


Lastly, the platform uses average vessel details to estimate the freight rate. This includes information such as vessel size, speed, and fuel consumption. The vessel details can affect the cost of shipping, as larger vessels require more fuel and may incur higher port charges.


By using these data sources, the freight estimation platform can provide an accurate estimate of the freight rate. However, it is important to note that the actual cost of shipping may vary based on several factors, including market conditions, vessel availability, and other unforeseen circumstances.

  • Which delivery option is used for the T/C Equivalent rate?

The T/C Equivalent rate is estimated based on delivery at Port Station. This means that the freight rate is based on the delivery of the cargo at the designated port station, and does not include any additional transportation or delivery services beyond that point.

The Port Station delivery option is commonly used in the shipping industry and is a standard option when estimating T/C Equivalent rates. This delivery option is often preferred by shippers who have their transportation arrangements in place to move the cargo from the port to their final destination.

  • How often does the system get updated?

The freight estimation system is updated daily to ensure that the rates provided are accurate and up-to-date. The system relies on several sources of data, including current market rates, bunker prices, vessel details, and other relevant information, to estimate the freight rate.


Daily updates are essential in providing accurate and timely information to shippers and freight forwarders. The shipping industry is dynamic, and rates can fluctuate rapidly based on a variety of factors, such as changes in supply and demand, fuel prices, and vessel availability. Therefore, daily updates are necessary to ensure that the rates provided are reflective of the current market conditions.


In addition to the daily updates, the system may also be updated in real-time in response to sudden changes in the market or other unforeseen circumstances. For example, if a major weather event occurs that affects shipping routes, the system may be updated in real-time to reflect the impact on the freight rates.


Overall, the daily updates and real-time adjustments are essential in providing shippers and freight forwarders with accurate and reliable information to help them make informed decisions about their shipping needs.

  • Which expenses in the freight rate are included?

The freight rate provided includes all expenses that are incurred during the shipping process, based on the FIOST (Free In and Out, Stowed and Trimmed) terms. FIOST terms indicate that the shipowner is responsible for loading and unloading the cargo, as well as stowing and trimming it in the hold, and any costs associated with these activities are included in the freight rate.


The expenses included in the freight rate can vary depending on the specific terms of the shipping contract, the nature of the cargo being shipped, and other factors. However, some common expenses that may be included in the freight rate are:


- Shipping charges: This includes the cost of transporting the cargo from the port of origin to the port of destination.


- Port charges: These are charges incurred at the port for services such as loading and unloading the cargo, pilotage, and tug assistance.


- Bunker charges: This refers to the cost of fuel used by the vessel during the voyage.


- Communication costs: This includes the cost of all communication expenses, such as radio communication and satellite communication.


- Lubrication oil: This refers to the cost of lubrication oil used by the vessel during the voyage.


- Hold cleaning: This includes the cost of cleaning the cargo holds before and after the shipment.


Overall, the freight rate provided includes all expenses that are associated with the shipping process, based on the FIOST terms. It is important to review the report page carefully to ensure that all expenses are included in the freight rate and to understand the breakdown of the various charges. THE VESSELS ESTIMATION PLATFORM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Why can't I see any vessels in estimations for big tonnage in a small draft port?

If you are unable to see any vessels in estimations for big tonnage in a small draft port, it could be because the system is filtering vessels based on the port's draft restrictions.


Ports have specific draft restrictions that limit the size of vessels that can enter and dock at the port safely. If a port has a smaller draft, it may not be able to support larger vessels with deeper drafts.


The Freight Estimation platform uses a filter to ensure that only vessels that meet the draft restrictions of a specific port are shown in the estimations. This filter is in place to provide accurate and relevant information to shippers and freight forwarders.


If there are no vessels that meet the draft restrictions of a specific port, then the system may not show any estimations for big tonnage in that port. In this case, it may be necessary to consider alternative ports with deeper drafts that can support larger vessels.


It is important to note that the draft restrictions of a port can change over time, and the system may be updated accordingly to reflect any changes. Shippers and freight forwarders should always confirm the draft restrictions of a port with their shipping agent or port authority to ensure that the information provided by the system is accurate and up-to-date.


  • I want to estimate laycan dates of one or two days. Why can't I see any vessels?

It's possible that there are no vessels available within your specific one or two-day laycan window. Shipping schedules can vary, and vessels may not always be available on specific dates.

To increase your chances of finding a suitable vessel, I would recommend widening your laycan window to at least three days or more. This will give you a broader range of vessels to choose from and increase the likelihood of finding one that meets your needs.

  • How can I see the details and information of the vessels?

To see the details and information of a vessel, you can follow these steps:


- Once you have found the vessel, click on it to view its details and information.

- Look for a green plus icon or similar button on the page, and click on it to expand the vessel's details and contact information.


This should give you access to a range of information about the vessel, including its current position, speed, destination, cargo, and estimated time of arrival (ETA). You may also be able to see the vessel's owner, operator, and other relevant contact information.


It's worth noting that the information available can vary depending on the platform or website you are using, as well as the type of subscription or service you have signed up for.

  • Why did I select the laycan dates?

Selecting laycan dates is an essential part of the estimation process as it allows you to determine the time frame in which your cargo can be loaded and unloaded from the vessel. The term "laycan" stands for "laydays canceling," and it refers to the period during which a vessel must arrive at the loading port and be ready to load or unload its cargo.


The system estimates based on laycan dates because it allows the system to filter vessels that are not available or cannot accommodate your cargo during your preferred laycan dates. This helps to provide more accurate and relevant estimations based on your specific requirements.


Overall, selecting laycan dates is imperative to ensure proper estimations and to help you make informed decisions about market conditions.


  • How does the system calculate and report the vessels?

The Vessel Estimation platform uses a combination of data sources and algorithms to calculate and report available vessels that match your cargo and laycan requirements. Here is a brief overview of the process:


Cargo Requirements: You will need to provide specific details about your cargo, such as the type, quantity, loading port, discharge port, and load/discharge rates. This information is essential for the platform to identify vessels that are capable of accommodating your cargo.


Laycan Requirements: You will also need to specify your preferred laycan dates, which will help the system filter out vessels that are not available during that time.


Vessel Positions: The platform uses Automatic Identification System (AIS) data to track the real-time position and movement of vessels around the world. This allows the system to identify vessels that are in close proximity to your loading ports.


Algorithms: The platform uses advanced algorithms to analyze the data and match available vessels with your cargo and laycan requirements. The algorithms take into account a range of factors, such as vessel capacity, speed, and draft, as well as port restrictions, weather conditions, and other practical considerations.


Reporting: The platform generates a report of available vessels that meet your cargo and laycan requirements. The report includes detailed information about each vessel, such as its name, IMO number, owner, operator, current position, estimated time of arrival (ETA), and contact details.


Overall, the Vessel Estimation platform uses sophisticated algorithms and real-time data to provide accurate and relevant information about available vessels that meet your specific requirements.

  • Does the ballast bonus include in estimations?

The ballast bonus is typically included in the vessel estimation platform's estimations of fuel expenses as it is not a separate payment made by the charterer to the vessel owner. The ballast bonus compensates the vessel owner for the cost of carrying an empty or partially loaded vessel on a ballast voyage.


The fuel expenses estimated by the vessel estimation platform generally only account for the fuel consumption during the last port of the vessel to the load port of the voyage. This includes the fuel used to power the vessel's engines and any fuel consumed by onboard equipment such as generators.


Therefore, it is important to note that ballast bonuses and fuel expenses are two separate costs in the shipping industry, and they are typically combined in vessel estimation platform estimations.

  • How do you have the shipowners' contact information?

In the shipping industry, shipowners and their contact information are typically publicly available through various sources such as shipping directories, industry publications, daily circulars, and online databases.


Additionally, shipowners may make their contact information available through their websites or through online platforms such as the Vessel estimation platform.


It is important to note that obtaining accurate and up-to-date contact information for shipowners can be a challenging and time-consuming task. It requires a thorough understanding of the shipping industry and access to reliable sources of information. Our team's experience and market knowledge, as well as the email circulars they receive, are valuable tools for obtaining this information.

  • How to estimate the T/C Equivalent rate for each vessel?

To estimate the T/C (time charter) equivalent rate for each vessel, the Vessel Estimation platform typically starts by obtaining the vessel's commercial details, including its size, age, and specifications such as its speed and fuel consumption rate.


Using this information, the platform estimates an asset rate for the vessel, which is a daily rate that reflects the vessel's earning potential based on its characteristics.


The platform then multiplies the asset rate by the average BDI (Baltic Dry Index) rates for the relevant vessel class and voyage route to estimate the T/C equivalent rate for the vessel.


The BDI is a widely used index in the shipping industry that tracks the cost of shipping dry bulk commodities such as coal, iron ore, and grains. It is calculated based on the rates for various vessel sizes and routes and is used as a benchmark for freight rates.


By multiplying the asset rate by the BDI rates, the platform can estimate the T/C equivalent rate for each vessel based on its earning potential and prevailing market conditions.


It is important to note that the T/C equivalent rate is an estimate and may be subject to market fluctuations and other factors that can affect freight rates.

  • How to estimate Bunker Cost for each vessel?

To estimate the bunker cost for each vessel, the Vessel Estimation platform typically considers the vessel's size, speed, and fuel consumption rate. Using this information, the platform estimates the vessel's bunker consumption, which is the amount of fuel that the vessel is expected to consume during its voyage.

The platform then estimates the bunker expenses by using daily updated bunker prices and considering the near and cheapest bunker port prices for the vessel's route. This allows the platform to estimate the most cost-effective options for bunkering, taking into account factors such as distance, availability, and price.

It is important to note that the bunker cost estimates provided by the Vessel Estimation platform are based on current market conditions and are subject to change due to fluctuations in fuel prices or other factors that can affect bunker costs.


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