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About SOFeXchange

Overview

01.

Problems with traditional statements of facts

Statements of Facts have traditionally been delivered from Agents, Masters and Inspectors in a wide variety of formats. These differ from port-to-port and vessel-to-vessel with little or no consistency. Transcribing these into a Voyage Management System(VMS) or a Laytime Calculator has long been a troublesome process fraught with typographical errors. This results in slow processing, delays in collecting demurrage and calculation errors. SOFeXchange changes this. It provides one single place to enter events in real time. All parties who enter the events can see them in real time. Intelligent processing of events assists in improving both the speed and ease of entry. SOFeXchange is a resource shared between all parties.

02.

Whos involved

The users of the SOF – the Owner, Charterer and Trading Partners – can all see the SOF as it is created. This means that demurrage processing can commence as soon as the SOF is signed. It is not necessary to wait until the SOF is sent to you by a hub agency, or until you receive the SOF as part of a claim. This means that accurate demurrage costs can be included in trading Profit and Loss accounts, rather than estimates. The SOF can be downloaded in any format that suits the business needs. SOFeXchange will do any conversion in format or event coding for you. SOFeXchange will provide the data either as a list of events, or as a laytime sheet. SOFeXchange can also add weekend periods into the laytime sheet, in any one of 37 different SHEX definitions.

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Benefits and Costs

 Assume a clerk takes 1 hour to input and check a completed SOF that can be retyped into a Demurrage Calculator from a PDF file. A clerk’s salary could be £30,000 per annum, so true employment costs would be double this, say, £60,000 per annum. Assuming 220 days with 7.5 hours worked per day, this gives the clerk an hourly rate of around £36 (or $48 per hour). With 

SOFeXchange this work can be done in seconds because the SOF is presented in the format best suited to the Demurrage Calculator, and there need be no retyping at all.  Thus, the clerks time is saved.

  • If a company has 10 vessels, each of which, on average,  performs a voyage every 20 days, there will be about 180 voyages per year. As each voyage has at least one load and one discharge, there will be in the region of 350 port calls per year. Hence the annual cost for SOF is $8,750. If delays, errors,  incorrect SOFs, etc,  result in 1 in 1000 claims that failure (a failure rate of 0.1%), that means one claim is fully lost every 3 years. If the cost of such a claim is a loss in demurrage of $50,000, this is a return on investment of 47%.

  • SOFs have traditionally been rounded to the nearest 6 minutes. There is no reason for this other than the fact that it is industry practice. SOFeXchange encourages accurate recording of event times. Even with a low demurrage rate of, say, $10,000 PDPR, a saving of anything over 7 minutes per port call will result in a pay back.  For larger vessels, where port stays are much longer, the potential savings are substantially higher.

  • Having the completed SOF available via SOFeXchange,  immediately the port call completes, allows the demurrage team to complete a claim without the delay that they experience today. This results in trading PnL’s being accurate, instead of relying on estimated demurrage data. That improves management reporting of trading positions.

  • The timely availability of the SOF allows for invoicing to happen faster than at present. This means the estimated returns can be actualised and the counter party becomes a trade debtor far sooner. Being able to collect the money earlier results in an improved cash flow position.

There is a charge of USD $25 per port call. This allows unlimited downloads in any format, any number of times. The download is not to be reused or shared outside of the company, but can be used throughout the organisation.

Assume Demurrage is USD 20,000 PDPR. The SOF is 25/20,000 = 0.00125 days = 2 minutes. If we save 2 minutes per port call then we have made a positive difference by more accurate data.

03.

Integrations so far

SOFeXchange is fully integrated with CMS from HUBSE, meaning that users of CMS can directly import the Statement of Facts with no additional steps necessary. SOFeXchange has a full Application Programming Interface (API). This allows customers to create the voyage set-up direct from the Voyage Management System (VMS). The events can be pulled from SOFeXchange or SOFeXchange can push these to your application. Osiris Consultants will assist in integration work and can add client specific RESTful API calls.

04.

Free for users

For people who fill out and supply the SOF, such as Masters, Agents, Inspectors, and Surveyors usage of SOFeXchange is totally free. There is no requirement to sign up to the application. There is no software to download. You will be invited via email to port calls by the Owner or Charterer. It will run on any standard web browser, on a desktop, mobile phone or tablet. Custom application for iPhones, iPad and Android devices are in product plans.

05.

Consumers of statements of facts

The consumers are people who make use of the Statement of Facts to compute or verify demurrage claims. There is a single fee for using the SOF at each port, but you can download the SOF in as many formats as many times as you choose.

"The addition of SOFeXchange to Podium meets a number of our objectives with respect to solving real day to day practical problems with innovative solutions whilst generating valuable data for longer term benefit.”

Ross Martin - StratumFive COO