For H-Line Shipping Co., Ltd., a leading shipping company operating 50 bulkers and LNG vessels globally, an advanced voyage optimization tool is essential to planning and executing the safest, most fuel-efficient voyage.
H-Line Shipping Co., Ltd. is a leading Korean shipping company that provides marine transportation services. Having gathered more than 40 years of experience in the industry, H-Line Shipping Co., Ltd. officially started anew in 2014. H-Line transports raw materials such as iron ore and coal, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) all over the world, operating both bulk carriers and LNG vessels.
The company operates industrial carriers at a global scale, transporting raw materials from Australia, Brazil, Canada and South-East Asia, as well as importing LNG supplies from Indonesia, Oman, and Qatar. They therefore needed global weather and ocean current forecasts to be able to plan and determine the safest and most efficient routes for their fleet.
As well as needing access to the latest weather and ocean data, H-Line also wanted to be able to track the position of their ships in order to provide shore-based decision support.
The company needed advanced weather forecasting that could enable the ship captain to make tactical, data-driven decisions on the go. They were looking for a user-friendly system onboard that would give the captain the latest weather and ocean data in real-time, facilitating route optimization as well as safety.
Furthermore, H-Line Shipping had previously received weather information from other service providers, but none of these could provide the vessel’s actual position. Along with access to the weather forecast, the company wanted to be able to track the latest position of their vessels in order to enhance onshore fleet management.
StormGeo-AWT’s on-board Bon Voyage System (BVS) supplies around-the-clock weather routing information directly to the ship, helping the captain to plan the optimal route.
In real time, BVS delivers the latest weather and ocean data to the ship. This is done via broadband, email or KVH IP-MobileCast in a highly compressed format to minimize communication costs. The data is used to generate color-enhanced maps and graphics that allow the ship’s captain to identify potential concerns ahead of time.
“BVS has excellent graphics and is user-friendly compared to other systems,” said Capt. Lee Jong Hyeok, Ship Captain at H-Line Shipping Co., Ltd. “Also, captains can download weather data any time they want,” added Capt. Lee, which enables captains to optimize a voyage on the go based on the specific weather constraints.
“The best advantage of using BVS is the weather forecast coming together with our vessel’s noon position. Before, we got weather charts from various service providers, however they do not reflect the vessel’s actual position. StormGeo-AWT gives us a weather forecast which reflects our latest position – and the weather forecast is highly reliable.” H-Line can now keep track of their vessels as well as the weather, helping them to provide shore-based decision support.
For H-Line Shipping Co. Ltd., a key value of StormGeo-AWT’s BVS is its user-friendly functionality. “BVS is a user-friendly and intuitive program,” said Capt. Lee, “the weather information is easy to understand. The system is easy to use, and you can learn the program functions quickly. It is also useful that you are able to upload a route file to the program without drawing a route.”
H-Line has also benefited greatly from BVS route planning support. “In the North Pacific Ocean at winter season the weather was very heavy, so a vessel decided to deviate to avoid heavy conditions. However, we were exposed to bunker shortage due to the increased miles. We needed to calculate ETA, speed and miles to go. BVS was very useful in preparation for the bunker and in calculating ETA. Thanks to BVS and StormGeo-AWT’s strategic routing service, our vessel could arrive without a bunker shortage.”
Using BVS, captains can calculate the least time, fuel or cost of a route, enabling H-Line to accurately calculate ETA and determine the safest, most fuel-efficient voyage.
“BVS is the most reliable program providing the weather forecast, together with the vessel’s actual position and route recommendations,” Capt. Lee concluded.