4 Characteristics to Look for in Your Weather Routing Solution
Voyage planning and route optimization are complex. Balancing safety, efficiency, and costs is a challenge for shipping companies around the world. Add port rotation, ETAs, and speed ranges into the equation, and you can see how the whole process can very quickly become even more complicated!
As a ship master, fleet operator, or planner, you bear considerable responsibility for revenue, cost, and the safety of your crew. You don’t take those responsibilities lightly, and you know that sound weather-routing decisions are essential to fulfilling them. But what exactly does this look like in practice? Here are four characteristics to look for in your weather routing solutions.
#1 Supports and unburdens captains
Weather conditions, including wind, waves, and currents, will change as a voyage progresses. As a result, it means routes need to be recalculated and reoptimized throughout the voyage.
To help, ship captains need a reliable and accurate decision supporting tool, to give them both confidence in their decisions and to help support them in execution.
#2 Calculates optimized routes based on your KPIs
Today, weather routing is not only crucial for avoiding adverse weather conditions but also to ensure each ship runs at peak performance. From pre-voyage planning to compliance and beyond, weather routing supports sustainable and cost-effective shipping.
Sailing the shortest distance between two ports isn’t always the quickest or most efficient route. Modern weather routing solutions help enable you to optimize your routes based on the KPIs of the voyage. Whether this is to manage fuel consumption, reduce costs, or meet your ETAs and other charter-party conditions, modern weather routing can help.
#3 Communicates and report with onshore teams
A lot can change after a vessel leaves port. While the most efficient route will be planned, the optimal route can change with the weather. It’s why onshore teams need detailed weather information. They need it to pre-plan routes before a voyage, but also to adapt during the passage, and to analyze post-voyage.
Adverse weather alerts can let you know if conditions are changing on your planned route. This insight enables you to plot an alternative route before it affects the performance of the voyage or becomes a safety risk.
Fully configurable ship-to-shore reporting eliminates duplication and redundant work. It ensures that all routes, communications, and performance indicators are available for onshore stakeholders, while integrations provide a shared view across fleets.
#4 Solution is supported by the experts
Vital to all of this is accurate weather data, underpinned by maritime expertise.
All forecasts should start with numerical weather prediction model data that passes a complex in-house post-processing procedure. Combining the knowledge of nautical meteorologist and ex-seafarers means complexities, such as current, straits controlled by pirates, and common obstacles can be taken into account with all route advice.
Whether you’re planning a voyage or making rapid route adjustments as weather patterns change, you should never compromise on your weather routing solution.
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Whether you’re planning a voyage or making rapid route adjustments as weather patterns change, never compromise on your weather routing solution.