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Q&A with our Weather Studies Department

There are seemingly countless ways in which weather and other environmental parameters affect the world of shipping.

While the shipping division of StormGeo, (formerly AWT) is the premier global weather routing company, we realize that it is not just at-sea weather routing which contributes to the safety and fuel efficiencies of voyages and the bottom line on whether voyages are profitable or not.

The following are a few of the various questions asked of our Weather Studies Department and a brief sampling of the outputs that we have generated in order to answer some of the interesting questions that are posed to us.

Question 1

Our logistics team is studying a possible transhipment business at the following positions […] The scope of the analysis is to find out a suitable open sea area among those requested where to carry out off shore bulk handling operation (ship to ship) by out floating facilities. Such operation can be carried out within the following limits: Hs - not to exceed X metes, Swell - not to exceed X meters and Wind Speed - not exceed X knots. We need to identify the annual operational days within such limits. The historical weather data (wind, wind waves, swell) and, if possible, currents at the above locations are requested for a 1 year period.

Solution 1

A threshold study can identify how often, for a request time period, all of the required parameters for a specific operation are met. It can be seen below that there is quite a difference between how often one parameter is met, as compared to when all parameters are met.

Jan1

Question 2

We are evaluating a long term dry bulk contract and wondering how we could approach the weather risk. The route to be evaluated is a round trip from Brazil to North China, (ballast back to Brazil after discharge in China). Usually in the commercial evaluation we consider X-Y percent of sea margin (on distance or speed) but we are not certain of its accuracy and on a contract of this volume it starts to be a major issue. Could you help us on assessing the bad weather risk?

Solution 2

A trade route study can identify reasonable expectations for time, distance and ultimate fuel consumption expectations for any set of ports under considerations as a trade route. The same solution can be applied to calculate yearly, seasonal or monthly sea margins along specific trade routes

 Jan2

Question 3

Please provide us with a voyage temperature analysis for the voyage from Australia to Europe, with temperature sensitive cargo. We need to evaluate the sea temperatures encountered en route to provide the vessel with proper cooling equipment.

Solution 3

Average conditions for the voyage would not be meaningful. Therefore, sea-surface temperatures were extracted at defined way-points along the route to present expected monthly conditions along the route. Same possible for air temperatures and other parameters.

 Jan3Jan4

Question 4

We have Charterers claiming deviation arising out of the Master’s refusal to go through the Qiongzhou Strait from Hong Kong to Qinzhou but instead he preferred to go south off Hainan Island. The ship was a laden Panamax. Please send us a list from your records which would show if any laden Panamax ships have passed via that strait during the last 6 months.

Solution 4

All tracks can be extracted and shown, basis the ship type and reported draft to identify where other routed ships did, and didn’t sail.

Jan5

Perhaps the readers of this article face similar problems and finding the answers to some of these issues are not necessarily easy. StormGeo's personnel enjoy the complexity of the questions asked and have developed a suite of products to answer the many questions which we have received over time.

While the Internet is a wonderland of data, making sense of it and utilizing it properly requires special tools in order and proper consultation in the usage of the data. StormGeo has personnel dedicated to helping you understand the complex issues which affect shipping.

Did you find this information interesting? Contact us for more information.