As we are again into the winter season in the northern hemisphere and bunker prices have generally increased during the year, finding the optimal route is, as always, critical.
Ships sailing the route from the Mediterranean Sea to northern Europe, and vice-versa, face the Bay of Biscay and the decisions for crossing the region notorious for high winds and waves.
The example we look at today is a northbound voyage. The vessel, consuming about 18 mt/day, could maintain course and speed towards the English Channel, but the following would be the outcome with 11 meter waves reaching the vessel’s track shortly after the following image time.
The vessel would consume approximately 7,000 USD worth of fuel in 10-11 meter waves while making little to no progress towards destination. By following the recommended route, to hold position west of Portugal for about 1-day; however, the ship could avoid the severe conditions. With charter rates less than that value, the charterer saved money while the severe conditions were avoided.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, ships are trying to find the optimal solution for trans-ocean crossing.
In this instance, this liner vessel planned a route towards the Azores owing to concerns regarding a low expected well east of Newfoundland. The intended plan called for increased speed owing to the additional distance.
StormGeo recommended an alternate route to remain SE of the ECA zone, but then more NE-ward for storm avoidance. This can be seen in the following image and the recommended route was successfully followed.
785 mt of fuel oil were consumed along the recommended route. Owing to the higher speed required along the intended route, and the non-linear relationship between speed and consumption, approximately 100mt of fuel were saved on this voyage, worth in excess of 35,000 USD.