How to Benchmark Performance with SoF Insights

SoFs host valuable information around port congestion, ship readiness, and operational efficiency. And across the complexities of maritime supply chains, gaining clear, actionable insights from Statement of Facts (SoFs) can be a game-changer for charterers looking to cut costs.

When analyzed in the aggregate, SoF events provide insight into the operational performance of different ports & stakeholders, contracting opportunities, and how to reduce demurrage and risk exposure.

In this post we introduce a step by step framework for benchmarking performance with SoF Insights. By embracing this approach, maritime professionals can uncover valuable insights, drive operational efficiency, and make informed decisions that positively impact the bottom line.

Step 1: Digitize Your SoFs to Capture All Port Call Events

Start by ensuring your team is processing every SoF event, and cataloging its range.

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All critical information should be captured here, such as: shipowner, port name, terminal, type of cargo, and other relevant data. This will enable you to compare port call events and specific ranges between different criteria.

The most common way to do this is by using a spreadsheet. It’s quick and flexible, but difficult to scale and keep track of. We advise you to do this through a system. This ensures information is stored in an actual database, updated in real time, and easily accessible for any party.

Voyager’s AI SoF processor simplifies this workflow by transforming any Statement of Facts—whether digital or handwritten—into a comprehensive digital log with one click of a button. Learn More

Step 2: Standardize Your Data

It is important to standardize key event names used to log your data, such as NOR tendered, berthing complete, etc. Different vessels and surveyors might use different terminology to define these events, so it’s crucial to ensure that these events are entered into your database in a homogeneous manner.

What you want is to create a pattern to register this information, and keep this pattern throughout every SoF you process. Creating an organized database of voyage data is a critical step, otherwise you won’t be able to make relevant analysis.

Create a common template for data entry that outlines common event names and definitions. This reduces variability in data logging and ensures consistency across different users, especially when you have multiple people processing SoFs. Learn More

Step 3: Aggregate your Data Into Ranges

A Statement of Facts registers key events that happened with a vessel in a specific port or terminal. When compiled into ranges, these events can give you insight over operational performance and efficiency, and can later be used to drive better voyage planning and commercial decisions.

A standard way of looking at this is through three time-frames:

  • Notice of Readiness to All Fast, or Pre-Berth: The period where the vessel is available at the port for berthing, up to when the vessel is securely moored and all necessary lines and connections are established. A high NoR to All Fast range can mean congestion at the port or berth, possibly due to a lack of available berthing spaces, weather issues or other logistical delays.

  • All Fast to Operations Start, or Pre-Ops: Represents the preparatory activities leading up to the commencement of cargo operations, including necessary inspections and paperwork. A longer time might indicate delays in inspections or equipment readiness at berth.


  • Operations Start to Operations Complete: The actual time frame in which the cargo operations—whether loading or unloading—were actively carried out. This is a proxy of a port’s efficiency, and a longer period here can point to inefficiencies in cargo handling, equipment malfunctions, manpower issues, or even complications related to the cargo itself.

A waterfall chart is a good way to visualize these time ranges, and provides immediate insight into the efficiency of single or multiple port calls. This not only makes the analysis more intuitive but also helps in identifying patterns or anomalies. Learn More

Step 4: Compare These Ranges Between Different Ports, Terminals or Business Partners

Each time frame provides insight into a different aspect of the logistics of a vessel at port. What you want is to compare these ranges between different criteria, looking for data patterns or outliers that can be turned into operational or financial advantages.

Your combinations will depend on the depth of your analysis, but some examples can include:

  • The Pre-Berth times for different ports in a specific country or around the world.
  • What’s the Average Operational Time of different stakeholders (stevedores, shipowners).
  • Which vessels and terminals take longer to start Operations.
  • Seasonality of Congestion at various ports due to weather, farming cycles, etc.

Anomalies – like “Awaiting Samples” – that can be addressed almost immediately with surveyors or other counterparties, and more.

Drawing insights from operational data allows for a smarter approach to stakeholder selection, voyage planning, contract negotiations, and claims management, having impact on the entire maritime supply chain. Learn More

The SoF Data Approach

Knowing how fast a ship can load or unload, how seasonality impacts berth efficiency, and the expected demurrage bill of a voyage, is extremely important for a successful trade. The more you know about a specific port, the better you can forecast vessel availability, its impact on the cargo value chain, and the correct voyage P&L.

The goal of this analysis is to help you answer questions like: Should I make changes in my list of suppliers, or explore other routes? How efficient is my current process, and are my KPIs within a normal range? Are there any patterns of delay in a specific region, or with a specific stakeholder? 

If you’re interested in exploring more about how SoF Data can be used to support chartering, operations and demurrage teams, take a look at our recent report Tanker Insights – Port of Houston. It sheds light on key indicators including Vessel Turnaround, Seasonality, and Demurrage, a glimpse into how this data can drive strategic decision-making and enhance operational efficiency.

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