Capacity Manager Unifeeder 2023

Capacity Management’s responsibility is to ensure that the vessels are best possible utilized with lowest cost possible. The team uses SLX | STOW for this purpose. Notice that the capacity management team, in a Unifeeder context, is not part of operation but is part of the commercial organization.


Q: Where do you use the simulator? 

A: I use it on a daily basis to be ahead of things and to ensure that I spend my time on the most valuable issues.  

The simulator enables me to do that in terms of a precise enough calculation of how much I can load on a vessel and how much I can add on of extra cargo in different scenarios, like adding another port/terminal. Here the simulator provides me with insight of that, so that I can evaluate if it is worth adding an extra port call from a commercial as well as a cost perspective. That insight I would like to get as early as possible and as fast as possible so that I can communicate this to my colleagues in the front line, which will enable them to spend their time more optimal, like hunting for extra cargo and other customer service tasks, without taking too much time from my stowage colleagues (they were often needed before I got the simulator to make these calculations). 

Thus to recap, the simulator enables me to be ahead of things and by that ensure that I can timely communicate any issues to the customer and avoid last-minute hiccups, so that we can have a good and positive dialogue with the customer as early as possible. 

To summarize, I use the simulator: 

  • To make the most optimal plan 
  • To see what I can add on 
  • To make the best commercial decision as early as possible 

We have a saying in Capacity Management and that is that the worst thing is a “lost opportunity” and that I can raise, and I can act on it quickly by using the simulator. 


Q: What did you do before the simulator? 

A: The old way of working was that we were relying too much on experience, but that was and is a problem when a new vessel was coming into your service, or if the cargo flows were changing. To compensate for this, I had to ask the stowage team for a lot of pre-stowages. In my daily work, I spend a lot of time on each vessel and that is now reduced by using the simulator so that I only spend time on the vessels that require special attention. 


Q: What is the value, seen from your point of view, that Unifeeder gets from you using the simulator? 

A: The value is not 1-to-1 in terms of that I could not fill the vessel in the old way of working, but the value is that I can do things quicker, which allows me to spend more time on customer service and deliver better quality to the product that I have. 

Thus, to recap, the value to me is time, as in the old way of working I had to wait for stowage to pre-stowage a vessel and the fact that stowage has peak times (very busy times), then their answer could take longer, especially on Fridays.


Q: Is it fair to say, that the value comes from speed in decisions and time savings in all the functions that were normally involved before? 

A: Yes, as if I can reduce the decision process by 2 to 3 hours and reduce the number functions involved in this, then I can produce decisions with higher quality earlier, which leads to a quality product.


Q: Have using/getting the simulator impacted your motivation and engagement? 

A: Basically, I can say that I am sitting in a position where I have KPI’s that measure if the vessels are full, are the vessels sailing in the most optimal route, and can we have a lean product overall. The simulator is a direct link to how we work. We drive for success and to get the last TEU on board and that is what drives me on a daily basis so that when I can see that I can save some money by optimizing, I can add some cargo (I was not aware of that feature until recently) then that is a success that drives me and motivates me.


Q: Anything else? 

A: I have a very high interest in stowage planning and the simulator gives me a quick insight into this area, even though it is outside of my area and that gives me extra motivation. 

I would also like to mention that working with Sealytix gives me the feeling that someone takes you in the hand and that we together are going in the right direction. Sometimes working with consultants, you are unsure if they are there only to make money and to make a good product (which Sealytix is also), but it gives good engagement that Sealytix is looking so much into the details and providing value to me beyond what was expected. That has for me/we been an upside.

Port Operations Specialist Unifeeder 2023

The operations team in Hamburg uses SLX | STOW to ensure that the vessels call the various Hamburg terminals in the most optimal way. 


Q: Where do you use the simulator? 

A: I use the simulator to check if the rotation is executable (can I load all based on a stowage simulation that I execute via the simulator) but I also explore if alternative rotations (change of rotations) are workable or better, again, this is me executing a stowage simulation via the simulator. 


Q: What did you do before the simulator? 

A: I used a simple baplie viewer combined with looking at pdf files, which only gave a mathematical/static overview of the vessel, thus I had to use my experience and then I often had to ask the stowage team to test stow the vessel in order to validate my ideas.


Q: Does that mean that you are asking the stowage team for fewer test stowages today? 

A: Yes, and we are more confident that our rotations are workable when stowage will do the final stowage.


Q: What is the value, seen from your point of view, that UF gets from you using the simulator? 

A: We have more free resources to do our main job. We can make decisions quicker. Less people are involved in making those decisions and if we need to involve others (for example the stowage team), then our ideas are to the limit as a result of using the simulator, thus it makes more sense for them to check it and thus the questions or ideas we ask or present are good ideas and we avoid wasting other department’s time with ideas that are not executable.

In short, we are not wasting other people's time and we are today much faster in making decisions/producing ideas. 


Q: Has any of your external stakeholders noticed that you are able to make decisions faster? 

A: We have weekly calls with the terminals, and in the past, we often had to tell them that we had to come back to them within an hour, but now we are able to run the simulations while we speak and thus answer much faster, which is recognized by the terminals.


Q: Has using/getting the simulator impacted your motivation and engagement? 

A: It is much more fun to check a stowage plan as in the past you could not validate it and thus you were not sure if the plan was executable or not and thus you did not like to take such decisions. Now, by having the simulator, I am more motivated, and it is more fun to take such decisions as they are founded in a concrete simulation that I trust. 

Thus, to recap, the decision is more fun to take than it was in the past and the UI is much more fun and intuitive to use.


Q:Anything else? 

A: The cooperation with Sealytix was very good. The feedback was taken seriously and often the suggested improvement ideas that I suggested were already in the process of being developed. The way Sealytix thinks of or approaches a problem is the same way as the shipping company.

Operations Coordinator Unifeeder 2023

The coordination team is overall in charge of ensuring that the vessels run on schedule as cost effective as possible. They use SLX | STOW to serve this purpose. Notice that another name for the coordination team, would be the marine team in other companies. 


Q: Where do you use the simulator?  

A: I use the simulator mostly to check rotations, swap rotations and thus minimize the workload on the stowage department in connection with these two tasks. In addition, check at an early stage, the feasibility of ad hoc calls. I use it also to see where to discharge cargo for example Rotterdam or Hamburg port, if I am planning to omit a terminal, as a means to getting the vessel out faster of the port.  

The fact that I can simulate these tasks frees up time for the stowage team that in turn can focus on the final stowage plans instead of making pre-stowages as per my requests.


Q: What did you do before the simulator?  

A: I would reach out to a stowage colleague and explain my intentions around the revised rotation in order for him/her to make a pre-stowage to check the feasibility, and if not feasible then discuss with him/her what would work. Now I more or less get an overview in 10 minutes by myself.


Q: What is the value, seen from your point of view, that Unifeeder gets from you using the simulator?  

A: The value is that I can make correct decisions when I need to, as I do not need to wait for data or wait for another person (a stowage colleague) and thus I also do not take up their time. I often use it in Rotterdam, where I while speaking with the terminal, can check rotations and that greatly improves the communication with the terminal as this means fewer changes in Rotterdam and more precise berth planning, avoiding last-minute changes.

So, the way I see it is that I can make sound decisions based on preliminary information.  

In the past, I could only look at the discharge and the load information and compare those numbers and even though the discharge numbers would be higher than the load numbers I could not see if one port of discharge was below another, which could result in that I would have to arrange for a pure discharge call and then come back to the terminal and make a load only call after calling terminals in-between. This would delay the vessel and I can now avoid that by using the simulator to simulate that all is good. 

Thus, to recap, the simulator has enabled me to make better and faster decisions based on data available or volume available at the time of decision making. As an added benefit, the fact that I can do this myself has reduced the workload in the stowage team.


Q: Has any of your external stakeholders noticed that you are able to make decisions faster? 

A: I do not know if the terminals have noticed it, but I often see that I can come up with rotations that will work in advance instead of having to work on rotations once the vessel has arrived and that is a great help to me/Unifeeder and I also assume that the terminals appreciate that we try to limit last minute changes to their berth plan. 


Q: Apart from the stowage team benefiting from you being able to make the simulations yourself, are there other departments that you know of, that have also benefitted from you making earlier decisions? 

A: I would assume that the marine colleagues in the CDF team are benefitting from me making earlier decisions and thus avoiding last-minute decisions so that they have a clear path through the terminals (CDF is short for the central data function and is located in Aarhus. The team is a 24/7 and oversees operations of the vessels. When 9 – 17 colleagues are off, then the team has also taken over the role of local operations in some ports).


Q: Have using/getting the simulator impacted your motivation and engagement?

A: I would not say that directly but being part of the subject matter expert group has had a positive impact on my motivation in terms of driving the use of the simulator and learning more about the functionality and also that I have had the opportunity to steer the development, has motivated me to use the simulator even more, which in turn has made the benefits even more clear to me. 


Q: Anything else? 

A: Not really, as I see it, there is no downside to us in coordination using the simulator as it is just a tool that enables us to make the best decisions possible at any given time considering the stowage, the volume, and the intake of the vessels.

Head of Global Fleet Opt. Unifeeder 2023

Global Fleet Optimization at Unifeeder continuously monitors and executes opportunities for improving the performance of the vessels and the service network. The team is in charge of the collaboration with Sealytix and deployment of SLX | STOW and CAPSIM Plugin for STOWMAN.


"As the Head of Global Fleet Optimization at Unifeeder, I have had the opportunity to work with Sealytix over the past few years.

While I may not be directly involved with it on a daily basis, I have observed its significant impact on our operations from a strategic, helicopter view.

Sealytix has proven to be a valuable asset for Unifeeder, enhancing our ability to make informed decisions and optimize our fleet on a global scale.

It has provided us with a platform to analyze and simulate various scenarios, ensuring that our vessels are utilized efficiently while minimizing costs.

One of the notable advantages I've observed is the ability to assess the feasibility of ad hoc calls and alternative rotations. This empowers our teams to make quicker and more accurate decisions, ultimately leading to improved operational efficiency.

Furthermore, Sealytix has streamlined communication with external stakeholders, such as terminals, by enabling us to provide precise berth planning and reduce last-minute changes. This enhanced collaboration has a positive impact on our overall performance and customer satisfaction.

From a high-level perspective, the value of Sealytix is clear. It allows us to maximize our fleet's potential, reduce reliance on manual processes, and ensure that our vessels are operating in the most cost-effective manner possible.

In conclusion, while I may not engage with Sealytix on a daily basis, I recognize its vital role in our global fleet optimization efforts. It aligns with our commitment to efficiency and sustainability in the container feeder industry."