How to use Weather Routing step by step

An instructional guide on how to use the new MarineTraffic service

Launched two months ago, our new Weather Routing (WR) service is an easy to use tool for ship owners, fleet operations managers and/or charterers among others as it is utilising weather forecasts to save emissions and increase efficiency, something that will play a role and have a strong impact on the wider efficiency in the industry.

It is actually a set of tools that allows our users to plan an optimised voyage based on the weather routing capabilities offered by MarineTraffic in collaboration with NAPA.

How to use Weather Routing 

To make use of this service and view optimised voyages on the Live Map, simply go to the Toolbar on the left, and select the WR icon on the bottom.

First, select a vessel for which you’ve already purchased the service, then select the expected time of departure (ETD) and how you want to run the optimisation of the route.

In other words, the primary and key parameter for any optimal route is the lowest cost possible, though there are secondary parameters you can set to fit your own needs per voyage as well.

For example, you may want the lowest cost possible route when keeping the vessel speed steady at 12knots; or you may wish the vessel to arrive at the port of destination at a specific date etc.

Adding to these, any user may manually select to view whether the route is allowed or not to sail through specific areas, apply wave height restrictions, and more.

By choosing the ‘Bunkers’ label, you can adjust manually what type of fuel your vessel is going to burn within and outside ECA areas as WR is looking to find for you the most cost efficient route in terms of cost and not fuel quantity.

Another automatically prefilled field, based on the AIS analytics, is the predicted draught of the vessel in each condition, i.e. the most common draught this specific IMO number is reporting through AIS in a ballast or laden position – a great piece of information for charterers who might not know the exact draught of the vessel.

When all fields are complete, two routes, one in blue and one in grey, appear. The blue one represents the Optimised while the grey route represents the Shortest route possible.

What you see on the left panel

On the side panel, you will see two sections, each containing the total distance, duration, bunkers cost and CO2 emissions of each route.

  • Clicking on the title of each section takes you to the detail-view mode for even more information on the specific route. 
  • Clicking on the ‘Export’ icon gives you the opportunity to export a pdf report for the selected route, which you can share among the crew.
  • Clicking on the ‘Copy route’ icon gives you the chance to copy the route so you can easily customise it by editing its waypoints.

What you see on the Live Map

The two lines presented on the Live Map are the optimised and the shortest route respectively.

If you click on the Weather Maps timeline on a future timestamp, then the corresponding weather maps are loaded and a representation of your tracked vessel appears on the lines showing the hypothetical location of it at that point of time in the future. 

This allows you to see how the weather system is moving against the vessel in each route, and helps you visually understand the reasons why the optimised route is the most efficient one.

What’s more

This service gives you the ability to have the Optimised route exported as a PDF which can then be sent to the crew. In more detail, the PDF export

  • includes a detailed table with waypoints, navigational and weather data
  • highlights rough weather conditions to alert the crew.

This is a new single service of choice, on a per vessel-per month -and not on a per voyage- basis. In other words, the more vessels you purchase the service for, the more value you get.

What’s worth mentioning here too is the fact that when you purchase the Weather Routing service, you simultaneously get more top-notch services MarineTraffic offers, i.e. the SAT AIS single service, Nautical Charts, Weather Forecast and the Advanced Live Map; all are automatically activated in your account for the vessels selected.

So, if this looks like a solution to your current challenges, book a free trial here and see what it can offer you.

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