Ankeri says its cloud-based collaboration platform is bringing ship owners and charterers together to the benefit of both. Brian Dixon takes a look.
Founded by CEO Kristinn Aspelund and CTO Leifur Kristjansson towards the end of 2016, Reykjavik-based Ankeri provides a cloud-based platform by which ship owners and charterers can manage and share ship data with the aim of enhancing collaboration and improving performance. “In reality, vessels are all equipped with different equipment, sensors and systems [but] the industry has been missing a platform to consolidate the data and make actionable insights,” Aspelund says.
To achieve just that, the Ankeri platform, which has received backing from a number of Icelandic research and innovation funds, provides master data management and controlled information sharing between parties. In so doing, it enables users to identify the most suitable ship for a particular trade, with the system also facilitating the subsequent management and monitoring of charterparty contracts.
“Ankeri consolidates various data streams, like noon reports, automatically logged data and manually entered data, like ship questionnaires,” Aspelund explains. As such, the platform, with its “built-in workflows and auditable change track”, furnishes users with an overview of a vessel’s performance and operation as well as giving them a user-friendly means by which to exchange and distribute ship profiles and associated information both internally and with external stakeholders.
“For charterers, Ankeri helps them to find the best fitting vessel for a trade and for ship owners Ankeri provides a means to profile well-performing vessels,” he says. Consequently, the platform, which requires no software installation, can greatly help in optimising fleet utilisation. After all, by replacing traditional questionnaires and spreadsheets with the platform’s online tools, users are able to gain a clear and precise picture of all vessels at their disposal, whether chartered or owned, via a single source of information.
Having “been in use for container ships for more than a year”, the platform has now seen over 60 ship owners sharing data for some 500-plus ships, with the system proving a popular boon to business. “For example, by using Ankeri, Hapag-Lloyd has managed to fully digitise the pre-chartering questionnaire process while standardising and improving the level of data quality needed for further decision making by involving the owner in a simple, effective and transparent workflow process,” he states.
Describing Ankeri’s data management infrastructure, “where the different data streams are collected and turned into relevant fleet information” as being “unique for the maritime sector”, Aspelund reports that the past few months have witnessed rising numbers of interested parties approaching the company for product demonstrations. However, that’s not the only thing that’s been on the increase. “From the launching of the Ankeri platform, all user statistics have been growing at about 10% a month,” he reveals.
“We believe we are seeing a digital transformation in the maritime sector,” Aspelund says, highlighting the important role startups such as Ankeri have to play in “bringing in innovative solutions” that challenge the established habits and norms of the sector.
“For me, it makes a lot of sense for large corporates to collaborate with startups,” Aspelund states. “In a startup, the whole company is focused on creating a good solution for customers, where the whole existence of the company is dependent on the success of the development project. Therefore, I believe we are only seeing the start of a very interesting wave of startup-driven innovation in the maritime sector.”