April Gains Time

As part of our ship routing service Fleetweather provides clients a detailed Prevoyage Brief (PVB) which includes a table as well as visual graphics illustrating the best safe route to follow.  The Prevoyage Brief highlights the forecasted savings in distance through water that can be achieved by following our recommendation over the shortest route or compared to received intentions from a master.  It takes into account the wind, sea, and currents that are expected along the route to determine the earliest arrival time route.

Fig 1. Example PVB Gibraltar to Port Canaveral departing 01 April 2021. Alt-1 is the masters route vs. Alt-2 which is Fleetweather’s recommended route saving 9.4hrs and 123nm distance through the water

You might be wondering how much savings can be achieved particularly during months where global weather is generally more benign.  We have recently completed a case study for a client covering the month of April.  April is a relatively lighter weather month globally as the Southwest monsoon has not yet started, the Northern Hemisphere is in springtime patterns and the Southern Hemisphere is just entering early autumn.

Our case study shows that for 62 percent of voyages the shortest route or masters’ choice was also the earliest arrival time.  This means that for 38 percent of voyages we were able to gain time savings.  Keep in mind if your company is not using a weather routing service the initial percent of voyages we can save on will likely be higher as these numbers are based on a case study of an existing customer which has been using the service for years.

Within the 38 percent of voyages where time gains were possible savings ranged from 0.1 percent to 13.9 percent savings.  The average savings was 2.6 percent.  Typically we achieve higher savings rates along Trans-Oceanic passages;  however, you can also get significant savings along coastal routes as well, particularly near some of the major ocean currents or if many current eddies exist across the area.

Fig 2. Average April route savings percentage based on route type

Since the weather patterns and ocean currents are constantly shifting, so do the areas where one can achieve the best savings.  As a result, despite it being for April this year, Fleetweather still managed to maximize savings with an average of  3.5 percent for the North Atlantic. Furthermore our Indian Ocean recommendations saved an average of 3.4 percent, while the Pacific Ocean recommendations saved an average of 1.3 percent and were held lower by mostly coastal west Pacific routes.

Fig 3. Average April route savings percentage based on ocean basin

Overall savings from weather routing are proven even during more benign seasons/months with significantly greater savings possible in more adverse seasons/months.  If your company would like to take advantage of this please reach out to us and we would be happy to assist!

Stay connected and safe.

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