Maritime Spare Parts Management: Current State-of-the-Art

Pahl, Julia
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Having the right spare part at the right time to the right place for ship maintenance to the minimal possible costs is an exigent management problem that maritime shipping companies face. This is especially challenging in bulk shipping where routes are not fixed, but subsequent port calls depend on spot market dynamics. Thus, spare parts allocation ahead in time is limited, but possible if failures rates of ship components and their timing can be foreseen, so that spare parts can be allocated to hedge against the risk of long waiting times and thus ship downtimes. Thus, monitoring the condition of components key to the ships performance is essential to the task. This can enable companies to significantly reduce operational costs of their fleet leading to a competitive advantage in a highly volatile market regarding demand and demand-driven freight rates. However, shipping companies seem far away from applying such methods due to various challenges ranging from data gathering and cultivating an understanding of data quality needs, adaptation to move from preventive towards predictive and condition-based monitoring, and the introduction and application of decision support tools for sourcing, spare parts allocation, and inventory management. In this paper, we investigate the current state of the art of maintenance and related spare parts logistics management for maritime shipping and discuss the application of methods to the bulk carriage market. We add practical knowledge from case companies and discuss how challenges can be overcome in providing guidelines for companies.
Intelligent Decision Support for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, bulk carriage market, guidlines, maintenance planning, maritime spare parts management, survey
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