Virtual Arrival and Introduction (VA)

One major initiative for the removal of some of the Just-In-Time barriers that were explained in the previous section, is the adoption of the “Virtual Arrival (VA)” concept that has been introduced in recent years, mainly in the tanker segment. VA aims to reduce waiting times and achieve longer passage times and thereby reducing the ship’s voyage average speed. A significant level of energy saving is expected with virtual arrival (INTERTANKO and OCIMF 2010). It is worth mentioning that port related air emissions are also reduced significantly via this initiative. The justification for VA is that it is not efficient for a vessel to steam at full speed to a port where known delays to cargo handling / transfer have already been identified. By mutually agreeing to reduce speed to make an agreed arrival time, the vessel can avoid spending time at anchor, awaiting a berth, tank spaces or cargo availability. Emissions can thus be reduced, congestion avoided, and the safety improved in port areas. For VA to succeed, there is a need to establish an “agreement or contract” between the parties involved in ship operations (e.g. ship operator, ship owner, charterer, port, etc.). The contract aims to remove the barriers that are currently in place by existing charter party contracts and also facilitates the sharing of any financial benefits that result from VA implementation. As part of the agreement, all the parties will commit to reduce a vessel’s speed during the voyage in order to meet a revised arrival time when there is a known delay at the destination port, cargo delivery date, etc. The reduction in speed will result in reduced fuel consumption, thereby reducing GHG and other exhaust emissions. The VA agreement, by virtue of reducing emissions and costs, is of mutual benefit to vessel owners and charterers. Furthermore, by minimizing vessel waiting times, a reduction in emissions and improved safety within the port areas are also realized (MariEMS 2017).