A 33% reduction in maintenance costs. 15 additional days of uptime each year. And 7.7 fewer tons of waste oil to dispose of annually. Those are just a few of the results Xiamen Port Shipping Co. Ltd. has achieved through a Cat® Customer Value Agreement (CVA). Cat CVAs empower customers with the right combination of technologies and solutions to sustainably improve maintenance and operations, extend the equipment's life, and avoid failures associated with downtime, all while ensuring safety compliance.
A tug and fireboat operator based in the port of Xiamen — home to the world’s top 20 shipping companies — Xiamen Port Shipping handled most maintenance in-house after buying its first Cat engine in 1995. But after learning more about Caterpillar’s marine support capabilities, the company decided it was time to start taking advantage of Cat dealer services to manage maintenance and costs.
“They were impressed by our ability to overhaul engines quickly and provide marine services in-region, as well as our technology capabilities and training,” says Lin Zhi Yong, parts sales support representative for China Engineers, Limited (CEL), the Cat dealer supporting customers in seven Chinese provinces, including the critical shipping areas of Fujian and Xiamen. “We sold them a Cat 3516C engine and developed a customized marine CVA for their business.”
CVAs are tailored plan designed to help address evolving needs and expectations throughout a vessel’s lifecycle, with the ultimate goal of keeping that vessel working profitably on the water. A CVA can be as simple as providing genuine Cat parts, Equipment Health Management data and access to dealer marine support. Or it can include total marine maintenance and repair solutions, predictive analytics, dealer training and more.
For Xiamen Port Shipping, CEL developed a CVA for all eight of the company’s Cat-powered vessels that covered parts, services and a custom oil analysis study.
“Xiamen port is very busy, so uptime is critical. The customer’s objective was to limit the downtime of its tug fleet as much as possible to optimize the cargo vessels coming in and out of the port,” Lin says. “We wanted to see how long their engines could operate before needing an oil change.”
After studying engine oil and diesel fuel quality, engine load factor, preventive maintenance practices, contamination control measures and historical trends from Cat S•O•SSM Services fluid analysis, the CEL team concluded Xiamen Port Shipping could extend engine oil change intervals without sacrificing performance. This decision was supported by certified technicians doing the work and using Genuine Cat parts, which are designed to protect the engine.
That’s led to big improvements in uptime, along with significant reductions in maintenance costs and waste, including the environmental impact of having 7.7 fewer tons of waste oil to dispose of annually. The company has experienced zero engine-related issues or failures since making the change.
Pleased with less downtime and lower operating costs, Xiamen Port Shipping continues to renew its CVA annually. And learning about the company’s CVA success has inspired other Chinese marine operations to sign agreements for their own CVAs. Since 2015, CEL has significantly grown CVAs with government entities and private organizations in the region.
“Chinese customers used to view Caterpillar as only parts and technician labor, but now they view us as a trusted partner who can save them money and get work done fast,” Lin says. “Customers now have a more modern view on marine maintenance, looking at the condition of the entire vessel and not just the engine. More customers in this region are relying on Caterpillar for aftermarket services and expertise.”