A pioneer in the maritime industry

Bahri is one of the world’s foremost transportation and logistics companies. Established as the national shipping carrier of Saudi Arabia, Bahri has played a leading role in the transformation and growth of the global shipping industry through an unrelenting focus on operational excellence and its commitment to delivering technology-driven, value-added onshore and offshore services to its customers.

As one of the largest providers of maritime services globally, Bahri structures its operations around six business units that include Oil, Chemicals, Logistics, Dry Bulk, Ship Management, and Data. Bahri’s service offering includes transportation of crude oil, oil products, chemicals, vegetable oils, dry bulk and general cargo, as well as technical management.

Bahri also created a dedicated Big Data business unit in 2015 – called Bahri Data – as part of the company’s quest to become a knowledge-based business, thereby further enhancing its status as a pioneering exponent of data-driven decision-making in the maritime industry.

Bahri is today the largest owner and operator of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) in the world and the largest owner of chemical tankers in the Middle East. The company currently owns 92 vessels, including 45 VLCCs, 36 chemical/product tankers, 6 multipurpose vessels and 5 dry bulk carriers. Bahri also boasts of a wide network of agents across the Middle East and Africa, USA, Europe and Asia.

Avoiding miscalculations and information gaps

Driven by its core values and responsible business strategies, Bahri is committed to positioning Saudi Arabia as a unique regional logistics gateway to three continents and contributing to the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision by continuously expanding its services and presence across the world.

“As the Saudi national carrier, the company supports the objectives of the National Transformation Plan (NTP) on the world stage by connecting economies and facilitating new trade lanes to enhancing our position as a major trading hub. In order to do so, it is essential for Bahri to operate at maximum efficiency without compromising on quality or safety,” says Faisal Al Husseini, Head of Chartering at Bahri Chemicals, with responsibility for managing the fleet of chemical and product tankers.

Commercially managing fleets of vessels is highly inefficient when you rely on manual processes. “The business model needs to facilitate rapid decision-making while being inherently robust and accurate,” said Al-Husseini.  “In a rising or falling market having information that is accessible, timely and accurate is critical.  Relying on manual processes impairs our agility and could result in costly miscalculations”.  Important functions take far too much time and they may be prone to errors, such as voyage estimates, time bars and demurrage miscalculations are but a few examples. Manual processes also have the potential to compromise safety and increase risk, while costing time and money.

“Across the chemicals and CPP fleets we’re operating in very competitive markets where we trade hundreds of cargoes a month. We need to have information at our finger tips so that we can zero in on the most profitable voyages and allow customers to vet our ships and check restrictions in a timely manner. We also need to ensure smooth operations for our vessels by making sure certification and documentation is up to date and instantly available whenever we need it,” Faisal Al Husseini says.

Supports accuracy, speed and commercial efficiency is a highly detailed comprehensive database including almost 1200 questionnaire templates. We continually maintain our vessel information in the database. The core functionality of the system allows documentation to be uploaded, and a host of supporting features support accuracy, speed and commercial efficiency when using the information.

This includes automated completion of questionnaires and direct integration to allow management of oil company and terminal vetting. It contains mooring and tank plan diagrams and calculators, for error-free factoring of distance, draft, DWT, and displacement.

Milbros is a companion product from the suite of Q88 information management solutions for the shipping industry. Milbros is primarily concerned with reference information that supports safe cargo handling. This includes comprehensive searchable information on commodities, cargo tank coating compatibility, regulatory and statutory data, tank cleaning and health and safety.

An industry standard that deserves to be recognized

Faisal Al Husseini says: “Our in-house technical managers, Bahri Ship Management, are responsible for making sure certificates are renewed, updated and uploaded to Q88. Whenever we need to fix a ship or go through a vetting procedure, all the information we require is always to hand. It helps our team to work quickly, because we can pull what we need from the system at any time and from any location and move from one cargo to the next, fast.”

“On chemical voyages we often have multiple discharge ports where we regularly encounter terminal physical restrictions such as displacement or waterline to manifold height. There may also be intransit cargo restrictions where a vessel could be prohibited from calling a port due to a specific cargo grade onboard. It’s also vital to understand how discharging affects the draft and how this might impact the order in which we need to visit the discharge ports. But if only it was that simple! We often carry numerous grades of chemicals and vegetable oils in segregated tanks, with each chemical having its own properties and carriage requirements such as sensitivity to heat and acceptable tank coating. Milbros is a critical assessment tool for us in this regard. Meanwhile the Q88 Draft Calculator means that I can run multiple scenarios without imposing too much on the master to revert with his stowage plans and draft calculations,” says Faisal Al Husseini.

He continues: “Occasionally we come across new or unfamiliar chemical grades that are perhaps only identified by an acronym. The Commodity Information from Q88 Milbros enables us to get on top of the identification and compatibility issues, such as the correct identification of the IBC code shipping name, wall wash test criteria and the compatibility with our existing tank coatings like Interline 9001, Marineline or Zink.”

One standout feature is that Milbros is an information sharing platform where all of our users  that are subscribed to the system contribute comments and information. Faisal Al Husseini says, “My operators really love this feature because it adds real-world experience to the database. In effect, recommendations are tested and reviewed, and where it is appropriate, information is revised by Q88 to improve the advice given.”

“Over ten years of using Q88 software, I haven’t come across another product like it. Everyone uses it, and it’s an essential part of our business. Today the shipping industry is moving towards digitisation and rapid access to secure information stored in the cloud is the key. Q88 has become a shipping industry standard. It’s a great product and it deserves to be recognized,” Faisal Al Husseini says.

Fritz Heidenreich, President of Q88 LLC says, “Bahri is truly progressive in its quest to become a knowledge-based business and its use of Big Data and advanced analytics for decision-support in the maritime industry. This is reflected in its use of Q88 to leverage the power of information to support effective and efficient fleet operations. We would truly welcome any other owner-operators that want to share in this to come aboard Q88.”