A Tale of Two Cities with Demurrage Pain in Common

June 14, 2015

The past two weeks saw me venture to Bergen, Norway and Geneva, Switzerland. Both are iconic European cities that readily captured my heart. Bergen with its harbor, small town charm and nearby fjords; and, Geneva with Lake Leman, surrounding Alps and international flair.

View of Bryggen in Bergen

View of Jet D’eau in Lake Leman, Geneva

Beauty and charm notwithstanding, these towns are notable for driving worldwide commerce in shipping and trading, respectively. So, what’s not to love?

On Friday, June 5th, the Bergen shipping community hosted the 2015 Shipping Dinner, a biennial event that drew about 1,300 persons this year and has continued to grow since its inception in 2003. This event leverages opportunities for business meetings, golf, boating, parties and culminates with the Shipping Dinner.


I’ve wanted to go to Bergen for many years and never seemed to get it in my travel plans. However, when Joachim Grieg shipbrokers graciously extended an invitation I started planning my trip immediately.

While there I had the pleasure of visiting many ship owners that I’ve known since 1987 and with whom Haugen Consulting has negotiated numerous demurrage claims. Over the years we have also trained many owners in demurrage as our programs encompass a fair and balanced approach based on both English and U.S. precedent.

Now we bring something new to the table. With our vast demurrage expertise we formed Haugen Software in 2013 and built a SaaS demurrage solution, Voyager, that’s getting a lot of enthusiastic attention.

I had the pleasure of demonstrating Voyager to several ship owners in Bergen including Odfjell Tankers, Hansa Tankers, Atlas Bergen Chartering, and JO Tankers, and they were all very impressed. Our approach is simple, make the demurrage workflow easy while providing powerful analytics. This is accomplished by reducing data entry, sharing claims in the cloud, and easy reporting of key metrics that helps drive better business decisions. In all, Voyager users vouch that they save 40% of their time.

While in Geneva, last week saw me teaching tanker operations and demurrage to oil majors and trading companies like Total, Mercuria, and Sahara Oil.

Mr. Osobase Borha, Operator at Sahara Oil completes Demurrage Training

The delegates worked the hands on demurrage exercises in Voyager and, as a bonus, received a trial subscription upon completion of training. The next training courses will be conducted in Amsterdam from September 28 – October 2, 2015.

Tomorrow, Monday, June 15th, Haugen Software is hosting a Voyager demo at the Swissotel Metropole, Geneva, at 11 a.m. If you are reading this blog please share it with others that may be interested. All are welcome to attend.

In closing, while Bergen and Geneva are distinctly different cities that are home to different enterprises, they share a common pain — demurrage — and it’s our mission to eliminate it!