Jeppesen's White PapersI was reminded of an earlier post on how to write good white papers when I browsed through the white papers on offer as part of Jeppesen's documentation of their Vessel and Voyage Optimization Solutions (VVOS). I was interested in VVOS because it seems to be such a good illustration of how IT can enable substantial improvements in productivity.
As Jeppensen explains in their VVOS brochure (pdf),
VVOS utilizes advanced routing algorithms to accurately and comprehensively optimize each route for on-time arrival while minimizing fuel consumption and avoiding heavy weather damage. ...Jeppesen reports that one of their clients realized these results from implementing VVOS:
Using sophisticated hydrodynamic modeling, computations, and highest resolution ocean forecasts the VVOS guidance system recommends speed and heading changes to manage ship motions to minimize heavy weather damage. ... VVOS includes a detailed model of ships’ motion, engine and propeller characteristics. This “virtual” ship accurately estimates speed made good under forecast wind, wave and ocean current conditions for a given engine power and propeller RPM, as well as ship motion limitations defined in the “Safe Operating Envelope” [specified limits on such ship metrics as roll, angle of pitch, and acceleration].
VVOS includes a real-time monitoring, recording and warning system for excessive motions and accelerations ... Once underway the system also monitors ship motion response and engine condition, and provides alarms if safe operating limits are exceeded. ...
Once at sea, ships simply download current ocean area forecasts via satellite communication. Routes are modified as new forecasts become available or operational requirements change during a passage. ... [T]he ship's crew is provided with decision support tools which allow them to run through various scenarios, selecting the one which best meets their specific operational objectives.
- An 80% decrease in hours of delay due to heavy weather.
- A 73% decrease in the number of structural damage claims due to heavy weather; the cost of claims went down 29%.
- An 87% decrease in cargo damage claims due to heavy weather.
- Fuel savings of up to 6% over the sample period.
The basic problem is that two of the white papers, while informative, have not had the benefit of good editing, and the other two are repurposed articles that were written about ten years ago. Jeppesen would be well advised to rework and update their white papers so they really serve the purpose of deepening the reader's understanding of what VVOS does, how it does it, and what the benefits to ship owners and crew are.