The following services are available through Ocean Weather Service's associates and Partners:
Optimum ship routing is the art and science of developing the “best route” for a ship based on the existing weather forecasts, ship characteristics, ocean currents and special cargo requirements. For most transits this will mean the minimum transit time that avoids significant risk to the vessel, crew and cargo. Other routing considerations might include passenger comfort, fuel savings or schedule keeping. The goal is not to avoid all adverse weather but to find the best balance to minimize time of transit and fuel consumption without placing the vessel at risk to weather damage or crew injury.
A preliminary routing message is transmitted to the master of a vessel prior to departure with a detailed forecast of expected storm tracks, an initial route proposal with reasoning behind the recommendation and also the expected weather conditions to be encountered along that route or any alternate routes. This allows the master to better plan his route and offers an opportunity to communicate with the routing service any special concerns that he or she might have due to special cargo requirements or ship condition. Once the vessel departs, the vessel’s progress is monitored closely with weather and route updates sent as needed.
Routing services save ship operators money by reducing the average time of transit and therefore also saving on fuel. By avoiding the worst weather conditions, weather routing minimizes the risk for damage to cargo or ship as well as the risk of injury to crew or passengers. Over time, routed ships benefit from reduce insurance premiums as well based on an improved track record.
Vessel performance monitoring services allow a ship operator, owner or charterer to get a daily performance analysis regarding a vessel’s speed and fuel consumption based on the charter-party specifications and the actual weather and currents encountered. Although no weather or routing advice is offered, alerts can be generated to the vessel owner, operator or charterer whenever a performance issue is discovered enroute so that the charterer or vessel operator/owner has a “heads-up” on performance issues prior to the ship’s arrival.
At the end of the voyage, a full “Voyage Performance Evaluation Report” is generated to offer a more detailed look at the actual performance or non-performance of the vessel. This report will look at several factors, including the charter party terms, the actual speed and consumption, whether the vessel was in ballast or in a laden condition and the actual wind, sea, swell and ocean currents encountered. In addition, the performance during “good weather conditions” as specified in a charter party agreement is often reviewed separately. This type of report can allow a charter to withhold hire or gives the owner/operator a better opportunity to negotiate a settlement or head-off an unwarranted speed claim.
If you are considering a trip by land or sea Ocean Weather Services can help you plan ahead. Below are several links to both climate and current marine weather forecasts and charts. If you want some help planning ahead, Ocean Weather Services can provide you with expert weather advice as well.