Connecting ship and shore with digital logbooks

Connecting ship and shore with digital logbooks

Increasing bandwidth availability and the expanding maritime IoT is helping the industry to digitalise many manual processes.  One trend we are seeing more of is the move from paper to digital logbooks, enabling faster and more accurate transfer of data between ship and shore. A new digital solution by OneOcean is helping shipping companies to digitalise daily operational recordings.

Paper logbooks have traditionally been used to manually record vessel and voyage data, but the distribution of data is slow and often entries are missing or incorrect due to human error. Recording data in a paper format is a lengthy process and a simple mistake can lead to the entire process being started again.

With manual recording, information is often written down on a notebook. Information is entered into a spreadsheet and checked onboard where it will be manually checked for errors and approved if correct. Following this, the onshore office will gather and analyse the data, often from a handwritten photocopied document. This process is very time inefficient and data can easily be lost. According to OneOcean, the data becomes very disconnected from the initial entry as it is entered and re-entered three different times in three different places just onboard the vessel.

Digitalising logbook data

OneOcean’s new digital tool is helping shipping companies to record, manage and distribute vessel logbook data. The tool is called LogCentral and allows users to log information directly into the tool via an intuitive, easy-to-use platform. The central platform allows multiple users to input and view information before it is verified by the master, with alerts and inconsistencies highlighted, facilitating easy and fast adjustment of the data. Data is also replicated onshore, providing full visibility onboard and on shore at each stage.

Alex Moore, logcentral project manager and ex-seafarer gave a demonstration of the tool earlier this week. During the demo he explained that LogCentral enables users both onboard an onshore to easily compare vessels, fleets, and similar trades, and view and edit mistakes immediately.

For shoreside staff, LogCentral provides, “a single source of truth with standardised data,” Mr Moore said. “Logbook data is high quality and consistent and users can see data in real time to carry out spot checks before Port State Control (PSC). This means that if the information is incorrect it can be picked up and analysed straight away on shore, rather than waiting for the audit onboard.”

All data entries are georeferenced to help indicate errors and to highlight key trends. For example, if a vessel is using more bunker fuel than expected, LogCentral will pick up on this and alert the user, enabling them to immediately conduct research into why this is happening.

Based on the data produced onboard, LogCentral creates analytical graphs and reports, capturing data that would otherwise be unavailable. This provides the company with a complete oversight of the record books as well as what is being completed and who is completing it.

Figure 1. LogCentral displays an overview of all record books. The average time to complete entry is 1 minute rather than 30 for paper based.  The number of active users are shown (multiple users can access instantaneously), and the time of the last entry. Quick entries can be added through the New Entry button.

Mr Moor confirmed that the system is also cybersecure and compliant, and is automatically updated with the latest cybersecurity requirements.

LogCentral also benefits from a function that enables specific users to be limited in making edits. This avoids the accidental amendments to current records added by another user.

Figure 2. The platform indicates to shoreside teams various alerts and actions, enabling them to contact the vessel to determine why the alert has been made so that action can immediately be taken

According to OneOcean, vessels can be compared against each other across various time frames. A month end report is generated, meaning that crews do not have to do this themselves.

In addition, all data can be viewed on a map and historical information can be seen back to the original input date in LogCentral. All data is stored here indefinitely.

Figure 3. LogCentral allows the user to determine how they want to view and compare records