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AP Networks: Making drydocking more predictable

Bethesda: For shipowners drydocking remains an obscure art – one where total costs are rarely known until long after the ship has restarted work. Trying to make sense of this crucial, yet logistically tricky, part of a ship’s life is US-based Asset Performance Networks (AP Networks).

Having long been associated in the oil and gas industry, where it advises on turnarounds — or shutdowns — for the oil, gas, chemicals, and upstream industries, AP Networks has taken this expertise to recently branch out into shipping.

“In our experience drydocking shares many of the same characteristics as turnarounds,” says the company’s founder and ceo, Brett Schroeder.

“They require excellent planning, preparation, and alignment across all parties for a successful outcome.”

Drydocking and turnarounds also have the same business drivers, Schroeder notes. They impact the bottom-line through the cost of the event, the revenue lost due to being off-line, and the potential harm to reliability if performed poorly.

AP Networks has recently issued a drydocking performance benchmarking study in response to many shipowners clamouring for better metrics to measure their drydocking performance. To date, measurement has been limited to simple metrics around meeting cost and schedule targets.

“There is,” says Schroeder, “a need for metrics that can help companies analyse their cost and schedule efficiency and quality across various regions and vessel type.”

AP Networks’ goal is to have a set of metrics that will allow companies to answer key questions that directly affect business operations. For example, do the lower costs for drydockings in China come at the expense of quality and performance? The unpredictability of drydocking may finally be coming to an end.

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