NYK to introduce new data-led shipbuilding contract

NYK Eagle cargo container ship  of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha shipping company (or short NYK Line) leaving the port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. Huge overhead cranes in the background are unloading containers from vessels and putting new containers with cargo on board.

NYK Line has unveiled plans with Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) to introduce a new shipbuilding contract that guarantees propulsion performance in what it calls ‘actual sea conditions’.

In a statement the carrier said shipbuilding contracts typically guarantee ship speed by confirming the relationship between ship speed and horsepower in calm sea conditions without waves. Mutual confirmation then occurs during the sea trials that are conducted during construction.

However, as calm voyages are rare during, and stormy weather conditions are often encountered and shipping companies are obliged to identify and procure ships that have good propulsion performance in actual weather conditions.

Improvements to satellite and internet of things (IoT) technology has become possible to efficiently collect data. NYK Line said it will use this data as part of the new guarantee, which in turn will “confirm the relationship between ship speed and horsepower under sea conditions”.

In addition to this guarantee, NYK Line and JMU will implement a PDCA improvement process and jointly work on the construction of other ship types in the future.

Through many years of joint research between NYK Line and JMU, in addition to a common understanding of data processing, storage, analysis methods, etc., the two companies have established a cycle of feeding back obtained knowledge on design for the next new ship to continually improve performance.

The carrier also said it plans to further develop this guarantee for verification of propulsion performance for many ship types, which is difficult to do in sea trials at the time of construction.

Furthermore, it said it will “conduct discussions with our partner shipyards on the performance of vessels in the actual sea conditions and make further improvements.”

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