Delivery voyages offer the ultimate shakedown sea trial and a professional crew will take care of planned and unforeseen maintenance issues during the voyage.
Additionally, reporting defects will highlight warranty issues and reduce downtime before tugs are commissioned at the port of destination.
Delivery teams are also uniquely positioned to provide a thorough handoff to incoming operations teams.
Some challenges that erode value include a short lead time to engage a delivery company, or vessel limitations such as the lack of a working autopilot, limited fuel capacity, or an insufficient number of berths.
Owners engaging a reputable delivery company can protect value as the significant challenges of moving a vessel designed for coastal waterways across oceans can often be overcome.
The right crew is also essential for voyages of this magnitude. Therefore, it is crucial to focus primarily on safety and mindset to balance speed and efficiency.
A project management team is also crucial, usually comprising superintendents and crew specialists whose primary business is ship delivery.
In addition to start-up delivery processes, an experienced superintendent has the knowledge and experience required to assist customers with services beyond the scope of work, such as vessel storage, preparation, local procurement and site interfaces.
An effective ship delivery business also has a dedicated management team ashore to oversee the mobilization of tugs, the pick-up of ships, as well as the day-to-day management of voyages and crew. This team takes care of the operational and administrative management, using the know-how acquired during decades of ship deliveries.
Although the essential elements of a ship delivery business may seem obvious, it is worth stating them. ISM accreditation is mandatory, as is a focus on crew welfare, greenhouse gas emissions and safety compliance. Being aware of compliance and regulations is also essential, as it is never as easy as most think.
A proven track record is essential for a company tasked with managing assets worth tens of millions of dollars across the world’s oceans. Like any business, a successful long-term relationship with owners and shipyards is preferable to a one-time transactional relationship.
Increasingly, the Sustainable Development Goals are at the forefront. So keep an eye out for ship delivery companies already at the forefront of this.
Ultimately, economic benefits drive the ship delivery business. A tug doesn’t generate revenue while it’s being delivered, so the best delivery service is the one that gets the ship up and running the soonest. Sort of like getting the latest online purchase as soon as possible.