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A holistic approach to weather advisory: Digital and human intelligence to unlock commercial and environmental benefits

As the shipping industry continues to make progress in its decarbonisation journey, it is increasingly looking at weather routing on every route combined with voyage optimisation as one of the key enablers that can accelerate the sector’s green transition. The combination of voyage optimisation with integrated weather routing on every voyage unlocks important added benefits for shipping’s decarbonisation.

Weather has a huge impact on vessel safety and efficiency. Weather routing solutions can now not only allow owners and operators to avoid bad weather, but also have the added benefit for profit and planet.

Modern weather routing is possible thanks to sophisticated algorithms which perform millions of calculations in a fraction of a second. These new technologies have the potential to generate more accuracy and granularity based on complex and dynamic weather data. When these technologies are coupled with human expertise that guides the digital transition, the result is an extremely powerful solution to inform decision-making.

ZeroNorth sets itself apart by offering integrated weather together with vessel and bunker optimisation. The operation optimisation journey has begun and there is a fantastic potential for digital solutions than is currently being realised.

Combining data and algorithms to create powerful weather routing outcomes

At their core, weather routing utilises dynamic data a ship experiences at sea, including wind, waves, currents, tides, and ice. On top of this external information, data about the ship is needed to accurately predict how it will behave.

For example, the ship’s engine has a certain power output that will drive the propulsion system. However, how much that propulsive power translates into the forward motion of the ship, and how much fuel is consumed, are very dependent on the weather conditions, the hull fouling and how the ship moves through its so-called ‘six degrees of freedom’.

Weather stations, buoys and satellites provide external data for forecasting, but at times, this data is lacking, and either historical data or navigation rules - such as traffic separation areas and hazards such as reefs and sand bars - are used to build a more complete picture of the weather conditions the ship is likely to encounter.

We combine data – both external and related to the performance of the vessel – together with our algorithms creating an intelligent system that performs millions of calculations, from the outset of the ship’s voyage and throughout, to predict the optimal route and speed for a ship at any given point of the voyage, whilst also calculating its estimated time of arrival dynamically.

Digital intelligence and the human element – combining to provide unparalleled weather advisory

Weather conditions can change rapidly, and forecasts also vary at the same speed. ZeroNorth’s solutions team, comprised of seasoned master mariners and meteorologists offer advisement to operators and masters, securing that the voyage plans are followed enabling companies to gain the benefit of an optimised route.

Our team’s wealth of expertise in vessel operations, together with our optimisation technology, provides unrivalled weather advisory that takes into consideration engine performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions, and that can be accepted and embraced by all departments involved in the vessel’s operations.

Unlocking commercial advantages through weather routing

For shipping companies to maximise the commercial benefits of weather routing and voyage planning, they need to combine the priorities of seafarers and shore staff, break down the data silos, and arrive at an optimal outcome that meets everyone’s requirements. This outcome must consider parameters such as charter rates and fuel prices, as well as weather forecasts and ship motions.

The ZeroNorth Optimise platform provides that functionality in a single platform that brings the data and the people together. By combining in-depth analysis of all the weather factors affecting voyage and vessel performance with sophisticated algorithms and human expertise, owners and operators can make better informed and more transparent decisions. They can evaluate options not only based on weather, but also based on voyage route, vessel speed, fuel prices and ship Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) rating and can immediately see the consequences of their choices through simulation.

ZeroNorth’s weather advisory in combination with integrated weather routing and advanced algorithms in its platform decarbonisation optimise operations. In this way, we are contributing to smarter decision-making in maritime and, ultimately, a greener future for global trade.