For routes to northern Europe, the transit past the Southern U.K. is always troublesome. Recently, the Master of a bulk carrier faced this route and expressed his concerns to StormGeo:
"Please be informed that we confirm our intended route; find attached the weather forecast for 4 May 2018. As can you see, we can save time and fuel passing via the English Channel where there is much better weather. If we choose passing via PENTLAND FIRTH we will lose our intended speed due to strong wind & swell and we will have to adjust speed to pass PENTLAND FIRTH with favourable current."
The voyage in question was from the Amazon River area to southeastern Norway with the recommended late spring route passing north of the U.K.
The mileage difference between the recommended route and the intended route was only about 35NM, thus StormGeo agreed that the time savings between the two routes was minimal. The most important difference was the time spent traveling through the North Sea SECA zone.
The following information was sent to our client and the Ship Master with regards to the time, distance and consumption for this vessel chartered at 13.5 knots on 32.8 MT fuel oil consumption per day.
Along the Main (or recommended route), the vessel would consume 37.52 mt more IFO, but 36.58 mt less of the more costly low-sulphur fuel oil. At a price differential of around $250 between the fuel grades, the monetary savings were about $9000.