Weather Routing are more relevant now than ever

September 2023 was the warmest globally, and 2023 seems to be the warmest year on record. Also, extreme weather events seem increasingly common due to the evolving climate, with hurricanes, droughts, floods, heatwaves, and wildfires posing significant challenges. Understanding these patterns is essential for effective preparedness and response efforts.

In maritime transport, weather routing services play a critical role. These services utilise real-time weather data and advanced route optimisation algorithms to assist ships in navigating safely and efficiently through varying weather conditions. Factors such as wind, waves, currents, and weather forecasts are considered in addition to operational criteria to determine the optimal routes for vessels, ensuring their safety and minimising potential disruptions.

Weather Routing (WR) services underwent a significant transformation between 2006-2008, triggered by a substantial spike in bunker prices, soaring from approximately USD 100 to USD 700 per metric ton (HFO). Since this pivotal shift, fuel consumption has become integral to WR, safety, and time.

Addressing Emissions: With Weather Routing Services in the Shipping Industry 

With growing concerns about the climate crisis and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, the shipping sector must seek innovative solutions to mitigate its environmental impact while maintaining its essential role in global commerce. Weather routing services have a significant role in addressing the challenges of the climate crisis. Help mitigate risks, reduce emissions, and promote sustainable practices in the maritime industry. 

Gale Force stands out in Weather Routing Services with an exceptional team of Marine Meteorologists and Performance Specialists. These skilled professionals deeply understand meteorology and have undergone rigorous training to interpret weather data to provide accurate and insightful advice to customers. This assists vessel operators and Masters in making informed decisions for voyage planning, specifically when navigating ocean crossings.

Effective communication between the vessel's Master, operation, and the Marine Meteorologist is a cornerstone of Gale Force's approach, setting us apart in the maritime industry. This collaboration fosters a dynamic exchange of insights, allowing all stakeholders to make well-informed choices. The outcomes of this synergy are efficient operational decisions and the implementation of emission reduction strategies that serve both environmental sustainability, safety for vessels and cargo, and the interests of vessel operators. 

A comprehensive understanding of weather patterns and our commitment to open dialogue allows us to provide the best possible Weather Routing Services. 

Diversity in Weather Routing Services  

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the market with new routing companies providing exclusively automated route optimisation services. Many of these players claim that traditional weather routing is obsolete compared to their superior automated solutions. It's worth noting that a significant transformation occurred in 2006-2008 when the focus towards optimal performance increased; most traditional weather routing providers began incorporating automation, often earlier in certain aspects of their workflow.

Combining the best of both worlds

In the ever-evolving maritime industry, automatic routing and manual route advice synergy offers a comprehensive approach to vessel operation. Automatic routing provides precision, efficiency, and awareness driven by data and algorithms. At the same time, manual route advice can also add human expertise, adaptability, local knowledge, safety aspects, and maybe the most important part, how to act if the forecast shows uncertainties. By integrating these two approaches, the maritime sector can optimise safety, efficiency, and cost savings while ensuring vessels have the flexibility and judgment required to navigate the complexities of the open sea. 

Ultimately, it is not a question of choosing one over the other, but rather recognizing the immense value in combining the technological marvel of automation with the human touch of experienced marine meteorologists.

Regardless of how the service is delivered, it can often be divided into different service levels. 

Levels of Service:

  • Basic Service: Simplified routing solutions that focus on the essentials but may overlook nuances. Often chosen for their cost-effectiveness.
  • Intermediate Service: Offers a balance between simplicity and comprehensiveness, catering to a broader range of vessel types and voyage complexities.
  • Advanced Service: Comprehensive solutions considering every routing aspect, accounting for vessel-specific needs and dynamic weather conditions. Services belong to this category, providing a holistic approach that ensures safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

Your Navigator to Safety and Efficiency 

In the world of maritime operations, the importance of Route Advice cannot be overstated. It's not just about finding the way; it's about finding the safest and most efficient way. In the ever-evolving weather routing services, making the right choice is paramount.
An extensive Marine Meteorologist team leverages vessel specifications, vessel performance data, and weather data to determine the most cost-effective, sustainable, and secure route for your maritime operations. Our services embody the essence of intelligence by seamlessly integrating automated tools with the insights of experienced professionals.
Our Marine Meteorologists consider vessel conditions, weather, ocean currents, route limitations, and criteria to advise captains and fleet operations. Incorporate assessments of present and expected weather elements, including ocean currents, sea temperature, winds, swell, and ice, to recommend optimal routes for the vessel during the voyage.
Weather Routing Services at Gale Force:
1. Weather Routing: Identifies the optimal route based on weather parameters and given route parameters such as ETA and C/P Speed.
2. Route Advice: Gale Force provides propulsion setting recommendations and Weather Routing.
3. Route Optimization: Optimized speed setting based on provided ETA or Consumption.
4. Route Forecast: Weather and current information along the vessel's route.
5. Route Comment: Comments provided by Marine Meteorologists regarding the route.

These services accommodate a range of requirements, from a comprehensive package that includes a weather-optimized route and instructions based on specified criteria to a basic overview of anticipated weather conditions.

"Gale Force derives its strength from the potent synergy of in-house marine expertise and cutting-edge maritime technology. Collaborating with expert partners further amplifies our competitive edge and propels the maritime industry toward a sustainable future." Tom Sandberg, CEO and founder of Gale Force. 

To learn more about our most complete offering, check out our services, where we optimise your route based on your criteria and provide recommended propulsion settings.

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