Knutsen is the largest shuttle tanker operator in the world, as well as a major operator of LNG carriers. As a fully integrated shipping company, Knutsen handles full in-house shipping management, including technical and commercial operations. Their business also includes chartering, building supervision, conversion, and project development. Knutsen Group considers their strong focus on health, safety, security, environment and quality throughout their entire range of activities to be fundamental to their business.
The company’s strong focus on technology development has resulted in its own proprietary technology for VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) reduction during tanker loading— now known as Knutsen KVOC® Technology. Knutsen has also developed improved technology for ballast water treatment, dubbed the KBAL® system. Their focus on harnessing technology to improve operations extends to choosing best-in-class software like Q88 and Q88 Onboard for their commercial workflows. As a customer since 2003, the company has leveraged Q88’s solutions to create new efficiencies, enhance connectivity, and simplify workflows. Tor-Arne Berger, Product Manager at Q88, had the opportunity to sit down with Captain Jan Svendsen, Vetting Manager at Knutsen, to learn more about the advantages Q88 delivers.
With Q88 Onboard, Knutsen’s office can seamlessly include vessels directly in workflows for optimal efficiency. Q88’s cloud-based technology enables the office and vessels to work together in a shared system, with the ability to access the platform from any location with just an internet connection. As a long-time user of Q88 Onboard, Knutsen greatly values its intuitive platform and dynamic tools that support greater productivity in their day-to-day workflows.
Q88 Onboard is designed to streamline and optimize data sharing between the ship and shoreside offices. Knutsen’s HR department uses Compass for their crewing system and uses the integration to push data into Q88. With Q88 Onboard’s Officer Matrix, officer details are managed from the vessel, and the master needs only to sign officers on and off. This greatly streamlines the workflow by capturing all the necessary data directly from the vessel. For Knutsen’s Jan Svendsen, one key advantage of this feature is the time it saves: “Take, for example, updating the crew matrix. The conventional method is that the master types in the information using an Excel sheet, and then sends it to the office. They must then put it all together and submit it. With Q88 Onboard, the master can enter all the data into the matrix himself and submit it directly. This means that the work is cut in half and a lot of time is saved.”
Capt. Svendsen also highlights Q88 Onboard’s ability to ensure crew compliance. Knutsen contracts with first class charterers, including oil majors and leading energy companies. Safety, reliability, and complete compliance with regulations are top priorities for charterers, so Knutsen is focused on maintaining the highest standards of performance in these areas. Q88 Onboard’s Officer Matrix compliance tool immediately indicates whether or not a vessel meets the charterer’s specific requirements: “We use this feature a lot. Before we submit anything, we can check if there is likely to be a problem. If there is, we can make the necessary changes to ensure that we remain compliant. This saves us a lot of time and trouble.”
With Q88 Onboard, Knutsen can handle questionnaires and manage information more efficiently than ever before. Through the platform, critical data is no longer solely handled by onshore offices—instead, it is updated directly from the vessel. All the information is available onboard, allowing the master to return the questionnaire without involving office staff.
Over the years, Q88’s solutions have enabled Knutsen to streamline workflows while improving connectivity across the business. This includes sharing certificates and questionnaires so that all stakeholders have access to the same, accurate information, as well as tracking certificate renewals and expiration dates from a single source of truth.
With Q88, Knutsen records their inspections and observations in one, centralized location for greater data accuracy and insight. Capt. Svendsen explains: “Where we find Q88 especially useful is in benchmarking our performance and comparing our operations to the world’s fleet. The data provided indicates patterns and allows us to develop and improve our operations if and as needed. Our aim always is to be the best at what we do, and Q88 definitely helps us achieve this ambition.”
Q88 Onboard allows Knutsen’s officers to review, update, and manage pertinent vessel data directly from the bridge and in real-time throughout the voyage. The platform provides a flexible approach that facilitates timely connections and communications between the owner, the shoreside office, and the onboard officers. “When there is a good balance between remote and in-office work, things tend to be handled more efficiently. We don’t duplicate tasks, we don’t get in each other’s way, and we get the right information to the right people at the right time. This speeds decision making and makes us more efficient,” says Capt. Svendsen.
Knutsen Group and Q88’s working relationship started 20 years ago and continues to this day. As Tor-Arne Berger, Q88’s Product Manager, is quick to point out: “When a supplier-customer partnership lasts 20 years or more, it’s fair to say that there is a strong level of trust. We value this trust highly since it goes beyond merely having a satisfied customer. It means that we are partners in an ongoing quest to provide unparalleled support that can deliver optimal efficiencies.”
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