Increasingly advanced routing systems are being introduced in shipping, one result being that the skipper on board makes the crucial decisions about the route. Avoiding rough weather and having the best possible advance route planning can minimise cargo damage and mean more precise arrival times. Choosing the optimum route also lays the foundation for reducing fuel consumption.
Shipping line Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, WWL, estimates that fuel consumption under optimal conditions can decrease by at least 5% thanks to SMHI Weather Routing.
"This means our services reduce fuel consumption for WWL considerably. A fuel saving of 5% corresponds to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of almost 150,000 tonnes a year," says Lennart Cederberg, product manager for SMHI Shipping.
"Looking at our total customer volume in shipping, carbon dioxide emissions could decrease by more than 430,000 tonnes a year thanks to our services."
Emissions of 430,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equates to the annual emissions from more than 170,000 cars.
Geir Fagerheim, head of fleet management at WWL, stresses that many other factors apart from the weather influence the saving, including engine problems and queuing at ports.
"Even minor improvements can make a big difference. The potential for fuel savings is greatest on long voyages and in fair weather conditions."
SMHI Weather Routing is a system that is installed on board the vessel and provides decision support when determining the best course. It takes into account factors such as wind, waves and currents, as well as the vessel´s characteristics, speed resources and type of cargo.
All forecast data is delivered by e-mail via satellite. The information includes graphical presentations of possible routes, as well as speed and fuel consumption calculations. Other SMHI services for shipping include Fleet Web, which enables shipping lines to monitor vessel positions.