Spliethoff optimizes efficiency with MeteoGroup SPOS9 Weather Routing

One of the largest shipping companies in the Netherlands, the Spliethoff Group has nearly a century of maritime experience. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the group offers a broad portfolio of specialist services in sectors including dry cargo, breakbulk and project cargo, project and heavy lifts, container and Ro-Ro cargo, shortsea, yacht transport and Ro-Ro tonnage.

With its extensive in-house engineering and logistic capabilities, the Spliethoff Group companies work together closely to achieve safe, integrated and cost-effective solutions. MeteoGroup SPOS Weather Routing Solutions help Spliethoff to deliver on its promises.

Quality, Health, Safety and Environment
The Spliethoff Group operates a large and modern fleet of more than a hundred vessels, ranging from 2,100 to 23,000 tonnes. The company is used to operating in challenging conditions, and almost all its vessels hold Ice Class Swedish/Finnish 1A certification, and some even Super 1A. Spliethoff strives to maintain the highest quality, health and environment levels under all these circumstances. It has the highest safety management standards, constantly striving for a zero incident/accident working environment. It focuses on environmental responsibility in strict compliance with applicable legislation in operating its vessels worldwide, including in Emission Control Areas and through sensitive marine environments.

Crew, Technical and Operational Departments strive constantly to minimize both fuel consumption and air emissions (sulfur, nitrogen, CO2). The company is constantly on the lookout for new ways to optimize the efficiency of vessels’ propulsion systems and to facilitate economic sailing.

IT systems and SPOS
In-house-developed IT systems ensure smooth cooperation between fleet and office, providing the basis for full compliance. All vessels use advanced weather routing systems to track and avoid bad weather, and to optimize voyage conditions. Special attention is devoted to speed optimization. MeteoGroup SPOS has been an important tool for Spliethoff for many years, for its weather routing and for optimizing voyage conditions.

Spliethoff’s Karel van Zijl explains why the company has been a long-time SPOS user: “Weather Routing is a vital tool for us to ensure maximum safety for our crews, cargoes and vessels. It also helps us to save time, money and, of course, fuel. This is one way we can minimize the environmental impact of our ships. SPOS is used on board some 100 vessels in the Spliethoff Group, and in our office.”

“The new SPOS9 version lets our Masters navigate the globe safely with minimal fuel consumption and emissions, by calculating and recalculating optimum routes and anticipating oncoming weather and sea conditions. SPOS9 further improves user friendliness for the Masters and officers on the bridge.

“We appreciate the serious improvements MeteoGroup has achieved with the new version, like the SPOS9 routing network, based on decades of experience, and the various routing options to optimize voyage fuel consumption, running costs and ETA. Pre-built ship models also assist our Masters in deciding on the best possible routing.

“Another change happening right now is that we’re using SPOS increasingly through the data itself, e.g. for verification to check the extent to which the weather forecasts and predictions were accurate, and to optimize our fuel efficiency further.

“We enjoy good interaction with MeteoGroup. Lines are short and MeteoGroup’s Weather Room is easily accessible and always available. We encourage our Masters to use this expertise for second opinions if they would like to compare ideas. Ultimately it is of course always up to the Master to decide how to follow the SPOS guidelines; he is the one with final responsibility.

“Although the SPOS system is quite user-friendly and easy to operate, it’s good that MeteoGroup comes regularly to train our Masters and deck officers. The better people know how to enter the appropriate parameters, limits and ship data (like fuel consumption, trim etc.), the better the results are. In that respect we’re also very happy with the built-in ship library that comes with SPOS9, and we are now working with MeteoGroup (and Marin) to include our very own individual ships in this system for better results. These results can actually be quite spectacular. For example if the difference between a good and bad weather routing is one day, that could mean saving 40 tons of fuel, or around 16,000 dollars."

“Naturally there are always new things we would like to see, and we trust that MeteoGroup will continue to innovate as they did with SPOS9.”

 

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