With Orbit, Western Bulk Stays Light

OrbitMI Team
October 20, 2021

Asset-light firms demand flexibility

There’s something odd about reading the words “bulk” and “light” in the same sentence.  We’ve been seeing that pairing a lot since we announced that Oslo-based Western Bulk, a firm with an asset-light business model, selected OrbitMI to provide vessel reporting and analysis services.  

In maritime, asset-light firms limit their ownership of vessels in favor of operating them commercially. Generally, asset-light firms are more flexible, can adjust to market changes quickly and are exposed to less risk in the volatile shipping market.  It allows you to take vessels on short term time charter, no matter what the current conditions (This paper does an excellent job of explaining the pros and cons of the asset-light and asset-heavy business models.)

“Managing a mixed fleet of both short term and long-term time charters requires us to remain nimble,” says Egil Husby, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer at Western Bulk.  “With TC vessels moving in and out of the fleet, we need to toggle data collection on and off based on our current business.”  Rich data streams come from high frequency sensors installed on various on-board hardware; but installing sensors requires significant and time-consuming coordination, incurs expense, and demands testing before you can rely on the data.   

A question for an asset-light firm:  If you don’t own the vessels—and lack the ability to install these sensors—how can you get the data you need for operations?   

Answer:  A solution that uses AI to aggregate, amplify, and activate data from many sources, including sensors, AIS feeds and noon reports.  In other words, Orbit. 

Orbit lets Western Bulk stay light

One component of the vessel reporting and analysis solution we will provide Western Bulk is Orbit Reporter. Orbit Reporter is a browser-based noon reporting application that can be used on any vessel type and is deployed via a customer-specific link sent via email. A simple double-click installs the application. On-board crew can start reporting immediately. Extensive data validations flag errors before entry. To further ensure data quality once reports are submitted, Orbit’s AI engine verifies the accuracy of entries, flags suspicious values and suggests corrected values to support faster and better decision-making.

Western Bulk’s Husby again, “Other solutions require time-consuming and expensive hardware installations, which Orbit does not. Of the finalists, only Orbit gave us the flexibility we need.”

OrbitMI also provides connections to other technologies such as SEDNA, which we wrote about here.

If you are interested in learning more about Orbit solutions, schedule a demo today.



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