The Five Teams You Need to Create Reliable Weather Routing Advice

For optimized weather routing and weather guidance in shipping, you need a team of people. One person alone cannot do everything that’s needed. Or, at least, they can’t if you want to do it right. In this blog post, we’ll reveal the five teams that form the ultimate weather forecasting squad for shipping.

 

Team 1. Data provisioning

 

First up is the data provisioning team. Here is where you find data analysts that document all incoming weather data – ingesting and processing it in a way that other teams can understand. The members of the data processing team speak the required technical languages and know how to decode weather data, no matter where it comes from.

 

Team 2. Weather forecasters

 

Where the data provisioning team focuses on information that’s already been gathered, the weather forecasters look for information on future events. They monitor the weather 24/7, so they can inform customers of upcoming weather conditions. They’re also responsible for adjusting the forecasting systems when observations differ from actual weather conditions. In addition, the weather forecasters report on extreme weather, such as heavy storms.

 

Team 3. Routing services

 

In shipping, accurate weather data is only part of the puzzle. You also need to know what to do with the information. This is why the routing services team is so talented. The team includes master mariners, who understand what a ship can handle and the performance levels a vessel should achieve. Their knowledge and skills enable the team to deliver premium route advice.

They are aware of the routes at sea, the obstacles, sea currents, straits controlled by pirates. Plus, they understand the processes onboard the bridge. So, for example, they know when it is feasible and practical to issue new route, speed or fuel guidance.

 

Team 4. Professional services

 

Although the meteorological services team provides customers with specific weather information, customer-centricity is taken one step further by the professional services team. Here, customer-specific data from the meteorological services team is used to create solutions that add immediate value to the customer’s product or service.

 

Team 5. Weather systems

 

Data has to be checked for accuracy, completeness, and irregularities. This is why the other half of the meteorological research team concentrates on the testing and verification of forecasting reports. The weather systems team defines and tests algorithms to improve the quality of observations and forecast verification. They maintain and conduct research on the existing forecasting systems and integrate new developments and improvements. You might say the weather systems team is the R&D department of the weather forecasting squad!

 

Why Master Mariners are Crucial for Reliable Ship Routing Advice

"Ten years ago a route analyst was not yet such a familiar concept. Nowadays it is not only important to avoid rough conditions but above all to get the performance of the ships as high as possible. A lot of customers want to know how their ship performs, fuel- and speed-based."

- Eefje Verhoeven, Senior Route Analyst

 

The Master mariners and ex-seafarers, part of the routing services team at MeteoGroup, are a real strength. They speak the same language as customers in shipping and understand the realities of life at sea.

 

They are aware of the routes at sea, the obstacles, sea currents, straits controlled by pirates, and they understand the processes onboard. They know very well how the bridge is being used to change routes or change fuel or speed. They are also conscious that it’s impractical to advise different speeds and courses all the time, so they provide feasible advisories.

Master mariners also understand what a ship can handle and the performance levels a vessel should achieve, in given circumstances.

Shipping customers, who use Routeguard, are in direct contact with the former seafarers at MeteoGroup. These master mariners consult with the customer, to find out their exact requirements for each voyage - and help them to optimize their routes.

Sometimes this means helping customers to make the fastest crossing, other times the customer needs to arrive at a specific ETA or may need to cover the route as economically as possible. Regardless of the priority, the master mariners will use their expertise to guide the ship. The master mariners also learn everything they need to know about a fleet, to tailor their advice to the ship’s specific capabilities.


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Ten years ago a route analyst was not yet such a familiar concept. Nowadays it is not only important to avoid rough conditions but above all to get the performance of the ships as high as possible. A lot of customers want to know how their ship performs, fuel- and speed-based.

- Eefje Verhoeven
Senior Route Analyst