- Why Interoutes?
Interoutes provides high standard services in fields such as Marine Navigation, Marine Meteorology, Ocean route planning advisory and Performance assessment. Interoutes provides service to their clients and to the Masters 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As a really independent routeing agency, all efforts are made to arrive to an accurate result and to provide objective ship performance reports, without prejudice to any party.
Interoutes is of the stance that the aim of the monitoring bureaus is to assess the performance of the vessels on voyages, in accordance with the latest arbitration awards in Maritime Tribunals and court decisions, ruling them.
The Performance and Claims Department has extensive experience in preparing the reports of the vessels, which are ready to be used in case of arbitration and legal proceedings.
Moreover our customers are aware about the vessel’s performance capability speed anytime they wish provided that a sufficient number of good weather days are defined during a specific voyage. In real-time monitoring, an Interim Performance evaluation report is available and uploaded 24 hours a day to our website so as the client in question to have a quick access for downloading it. Upon vessel’s arrival, the final and completed performance evaluation report is direct uploaded in to our system upon receiving master’s relevant arrival report to the port of call.
- Why Interoutes rejects new clients and for what reason they still insist on refusing to increase their fleet?
Interoutes, despite being in this field for more than 15 years, remains a limited business agency, with limited ships capacity that can be monitored. Contrary to others, most of the staff is experienced Greek captains with a lot of experience on ocean going ships and shipping offices.
For a long time they have been working with a limited number of first class and respectable clients, that are entrusting them and who have accepted their policy and have entered almost all their ships with them.
Interoutes policy is not to extend their business to the market by trying to attract new clients, but to improve the quality of the services provided towards the existed ones.
Their aim is to increase the number of ships they monitor with slow steps only after being assured that they are able to fully control them.
This is the main reason why the present management has never seen this job as business, but rather as a calling mission in assisting ships and shipmasters.
It is remarkable to notice that despite relevant requests in the past, Interoutes has never accepted to issue any voyage report in favor of any party. They always issue fair reports on all ships they monitor, irrespective of the party that has hired their services. Of course this is not likeable to some operators and/or managers. However, as enough time was taken to set up a very good reputation and respect in the market, it is imperative for them to maintain it at the highest possible level, irrespective of cost and/or consequences.
- On which Legal cases should a monitoring bureau based their assessment so as to produce an unbiased performance evaluation report?
The Performance Evaluation method is based on a Good Weather Analysis, a methodology for speed and bunker analysis calculations in good weather, as set out in three English Law precedents, namely:
- “The Didymi” case . 2 Lloyd's Rep 108 [Didymi Corporation vs. Atlantic Lines and Navigation Inc.]
- "The “Gas Enterprise” case . B.P. Shipping Ltd. vs. Exmar N.V. [The Gas Enterprise) - Court of Appeal. LMLN 0357]
- “The Gaz Energy” case. [Hyundai Merchant Marine Company Limited v Trafigura Beheer BV vs Daelim Corporation (The “Gaz Energy”) English Commercial Court: Flaux J:  EWHC 3108 (Comm) 29 November 2011 and English Commercial Court: Teare J:  EWHC 1686 (Comm): 21 June 2012]
as well as on the following cases and awards in London Arbitration:
- London Arbitration 13/97. LMLN 465: 30 August 1997.
- LMLN 533. 2000 Linden Navigation Corp v Grand Eastern Co Ltd (The ‘Dimitris Perrotis’)
- London Arbitration 20/00. LMLN 549. 23 November 2000.
- London Arbitration 15/05. LMLN 670, 20 July 2005.
- London Arbitration 04/11 LMLN 826, July 2011
- Time and Bunker Calculation.
In the past, the calculation was in accordance with the method set out in London Arbitration 20/ 07. LMLN 723 (01 August 2007). The method requires “Ranges” of allowed speed and consumption to be set up basis the warranties provided in speed and consumption and the corresponding margins.
After the case of “The Gas Energy” was published [The Gas Energy” [2011/2012]. (Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. Ltd v Trafigura Beheer BV – Queens Bench Division (Commercial Court). Flaux J:  EWHC 3108 (Comm): 29 November 2011 and Teare J:  EWHC 1686 (Comm): 21 June 2012] the method has been amended properly, so that to meet the requirements of the specific case in London High Court.
- How the good weather performance speed is assessed by the monitoring bureau during a specific voyage?
The performance of a vessel is assessed in good weather period only in order to determine the good weather performance speed, or her speed capability in good weather. Thereafter the good weather performance speed is applied on the entire voyage, as if the vessel has performed the entire voyage in good weather conditions. This method has been adopted in many arbitration awards and decisions in the High Courts such as the following:
- The Didymi case . 2 Lloyd's Rep 108 (Didymi Corporation vs. Atlantic Lines and Navigation Inc.)
Ship Performance Speed is determined based on Good Weather Analysis. Time lost and over-consumption calculations are applied to all weather conditions.
"Therefore once the breach of guarantee has been established by reference in good conditions, the loss is capable of being proved for all conditions. This is a normal exercise under the simple form of charter-party speed warranty, which relates to capacity of the vessel to achieve the warranted speed in good conditions. That capacity and any consequent loss may have to be determined from evidence, including expert evidence, about performance in less good conditions. Such extrapolations, which can apply to both speed and consumption, may be imprecise, but they are not outside the expertise of those accustomed to assessing a vessel's performance and would be within the contemplations of those familiar with maritime arbitration.
Other factors may also be relevant in this connection. For example, in extreme weather conditions, speed may anyway have to be reduced, so that any such period of reduced speed would have to be excluded from the assessment of loss.
The periods of time, therefore, by reference to which the loss to charterers resulting from the under performance in good conditions should be calculated can, and prima facie should include the bad weather periods as well. Expert evidence may be needed to proved how this should be done".
- The Gas Enterprise case . (B.P. Shipping Ltd. vs. Exmar N.V. (The Gas Enterprise) - Court of Appeal. LMLN 0357
Whether or not the owners are in breach is determined by the average speed during the good weather periods. Time loss and over-consumption calculation should be applied to entire voyage. Warranties apply for vessel's good weather performing ‘capability’
"The first step in the exercise is to find the average speed for each passage in accordance with sub-cl (4) during period when the weather was force 4 or less. That established the speed (and consumption) of which the vessel was capable during the passage in question and therefore determines whether or not the owners were in breach. To have included periods during which the weather was worse than force 4 at that stage of the exercise would have been unfair on the owners, just as it would have been unfair to include periods when the vessel’s speed was reduced by reason of poor visibility or congested waters. Once the speed of which the vessel was capable in fair weather had been established for each passage, the warranty took effect.
If the speed was less than the warranted speed or if the consumption of bunkers was greater than the warranted consumption for that speed, the charterers were entitled to recover compensating over the whole of the passage in question, not just that part of the passage which was performed in good weather. If the bad weather was such as to effect the vessel’s performance on any particular passage, the owners could take that into account in reduction of damages. The warranty was an undertaking as to the speed at which the vessel was capable of performing, not the speed at which she would actually perform".
- London Arbitration 13/97. LMLN 465: 30 August.
Time loss and over-consumption calculation should be applied to the entire voyage.
“If there was a deficiency in her capability when the wind was less than Beaufort 4, that deficiency must equally have applied at other times, and the charterers would be entitled to claim damages for it in respect of the whole charter period".
- LMLN 533. 2000
(Linden Navigation Corp v Grand Eastern Co Ltd (The ‘Dimitris Perrotis’) - Before Austin L Dooley, Lloyd C Nelson and Manfred W Arnold - 24 September 1999)
"Performance is determined by average speed during good weather days only. Resulting demonstrated performance is then applied to the entire voyage distance. Panel accepted current factor for this voyage.
The panel would confirm that actual performance was determined by the average speed during good weather days only, and that the resulting demonstrated performance was then applied to the entire voyage distance on the premises that underperformance on good weather days could not but mean underperformance on bad weather days. Furthermore, as both parties had incorporated ocean current conditions in their arguments, the panel agreed that such conditions on the good weather days should be considered since a performing vessel suffering speed loss from adverse currents remained a performing vessel, and vice versa. [.....]
After careful consideration, the tribunal decided that the subject vessel's performance on the second laden passage was the best evidence of her laden capability. The tribunal accordingly applied it to both laden passages, preferring Oceanroutes and Met Office material to the vessel's logbooks. That approach gave a good weather speed, allowing for current of 11.77 knots, for the first laden leg, and 11.37 knots for the second laden leg. Allowing 0.5 knots for ‘about 12.7 knots’ left a minimum good weather speed of 12.2 knots".
- London Arbitration 20/00. LMLN 549. 23 November
The Didymi  2 Lloyd's Rep 108 is quoted in this case. Performance is determined by average speed during good weather days only. Resulting demonstrated performance is then applied to the entire voyage distance
"The appropriate approach was as follows (see The Didymi  2 Lloyd’s Rep 108):
(i) The vessel's performance should be assessed in good weather conditions (generally Beaufort wind force 4 or below or as defined in the charterparty) on all sea passages from sea buoy to sea buoy excluding any slow steaming at charterers' request.
(ii) If a variation of speed from the warranted charterparty speed was shown, the variance should be applied with all necessary adjustments and extrapolated to all sea passages and in all weather conditions (excluding slow steaming at charterers' request).
(iii) If a variation of fuel consumption from that warranted in the charterparty was shown the variation should be applied with the necessary adjustments and extrapolated to all sea passages and in all weather conditions (including slow steaming at charterers' request)"
- London Arbitration 15/05. LMLN 670, 20 July.
Proper way to calculate Performance Speed and Time Lost. Good weather calculation
"Held, that although the charterers had contested the owners' suggestion that, in the event of the weather being bad throughout the voyage, the owners were under no obligation to perform as per their contractual warranty, there did not appear to be any disagreement as to the method of calculation set out in now well-established case law including, for example, The Didymi  2 Lloyd's Rep 166 and The Gas Enterprise  2 Lloyd's Rep. 352.
One had to take the vessel's average good weather performance and contrast that with the vessel's warranted performance to assess whether the vessel complied with her warranty or under-performed. In cases such as the present, where the owner received no benefit for over-performance, it followed that it was only necessary to make calculations where there was an under-performance.
In the event, the good weather performance of the vessel (between 0130 on 19 and 0200 on 20 November) could be assessed in round terms as 12.21 knots (305.3 miles ÷ 24.50 hrs less 0.25 knots current factor) against her warranted performance speed of 13.00 knots (13.50 less 0.5 knots for “about”). There was therefore an under-performance.
The tribunal had accepted the overall mileage steamed as 5,224.60 nautical miles. Thus, had the vessel steamed throughout at 13.00 knots she would have taken approximately 401.89 hrs (5,224.60 nms ÷ 13.00 kts). At her actual good weather speed of 12.21 knots she would have taken approximately 427.89 hrs (5,224.60 nms ÷ 12.21 knots) - a loss of approximately 26 hours.
- London Arbitration 20/ 07. LMLN 723.
In this case proper method was set out in calculating savings in time and bunkers.
Ranges in allowed speed and allowed consumption are calculated, basis the charterparty speed and the charterparty speed minus 0.5 kt for the "about" on the speed, as well as the charterparty consumption and the charterparty consumption plus 5%, on the consumption.
This is exactly the method followed by the Interoutes and the WNI (Weathernews, ex Oceanroutes) today.
- Why Interoutes uses Significant wave height in their report?
Interoutes as from the very beginning have adopted the Significant Wave Height in their reports.
The Significant Wave Height (Hs) is a mathematical concept that includes the wave spectrum of all kind of waves existing in a seaway at a specific time and not the wind-waves and primary swell wave only, used in the past. Consequently the Significant Wave Height is much more reliable.
The wave spectrum tells how the energy is distributed to different wave lengths and directions, defined traditionally as the mean height of the highest third of the waves, but now it is defined as four times the root-mean-square of the surface elevation (or equivalently as four times the square root of the first moment of the wave spectrum).
Hs is a standard measure of the wave height adopted universally and it is a concept used by naval architects in calculating ship motions, container lashings, horsepower requirements and resulting speed capabilities. With the inclusion of any exceptional high wind speed/short fetch situations, knowledge of the voyage's significant wave height conditions will describe the vessel's envelope of actual conditions for the purposes of determining performance guarantees.
This is the measure used today in all fields and it is the most accurate and reliable way of describing the actual state of the sea. It is defined in such a way that it more–or–less corresponds to what a well trained mariner observes when estimating visually the wave height from main deck level.
Besides as explained above, all official, internationally recognized and reliable organizations that provide weather data, use nowadays the Significant Wave Height in their scientific numerical and binary files.
- Interoutes’ recommendation for a clear stipulation in the charter party
Interoutes recommends the following clause to be built in to the charter party so as avoid further conflicts between the parties and to leave no room for any kind of misinterpretation.
Speed and consumption which owners warrant vessel will maintain during the whole currency of this charter party in good weather periods :
Laden abt….. kts on abt….. MT IFO, plus abt……. MT MDO
Ballast abt….. kts on abt….. MT IFO, plus abt……. MT MDO
Speed and bunker calculation as per “Al Bida” and “Gaz Energy” cases.
“About on Speed” :
It is defined as +0.5 knots upwards in calculating time gain and –0.50 knots downwards in calculating time loss.
“About on bunker” :
It is defined as +5% in calculating over-consumption and –5% in calculating fuel under-consumption.
Good weather definition: Winds up to and including Bft force 4 (16 kts) and/or WMO Sea State 3 (up to and including 1.25m combined wave height, corresponding to 2.0m significant wave height). For a steaming period to be considered as a good weather one, all period (or at least the 75% of the period) to be in good weather.
The effect of the ocean currents, either adverse or favorable, to the speed of the vessel to be taken into account in assessing her performance.
Any steaming period at safety and/or reduced speed, for any reason, to be excluded from the performance assessment. Owners and Charterers agree that evidence of the weather, seas and currents shall be taken from the independent monitoring bureau’s reports, which are to be accepted by both parties as final and binding.
(In case of blended/MDO consumption, add:)
Vessel has liberty to consume MDO when maneuvering, in/out of ports, starting auxiliary engine, navigation in shallow/restricted/congestion/poor visibility, canals, straights and rivers.
Masters must be informed to report to the monitoring bureaus the periods where the ship steamed at safety and/or reduced speed for any reason (for safety/ avoiding piracy threats/ passing straights / heavy traffic / fishing boats / reduced visibility, etc), so that such periods to be excluded in their reports.
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