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OPERATIONAL REVIEWWEATHER FORECASTING


Maximising returns from performance systems


Millions of dollars are spent on maritime communications networks to increase the operational efficiency, performance and safety of fleets. Paul Lucas looks at the latest systems available on the market, and how users can get the most benefit from them.


T


he impact of weather is still under-estimated by many voyage analysts, according to British technology company, insight and monitoring specialist StratumFive.


It believes that operational efficiency targets are missed due to a lack of understanding and appreciation of weather. StratumFive believes that the combined


effects of weather account for around 80 percent of the negative effects on vessel performance.


Missing out Stuart Nicholls, ceo at StratumFive, commented: “This means that businesses miss out on significant efficiency gains – not to mention avoiding adverse weather conditions –which would help to minimise cargo damage, ensure the safety of passengers and crew onboard, and deliver more precise arrival times while also reducing fuel consumption and associated costs and emissions.” StratumFive’s voyage tracking and


monitoring software, OTIS, provides accurate location, weather, storm, ocean current, and high-risk area data. Nicholls said the software is compatible with all satellite networks and enables vessel owners and operators to make crucial decisions about their routes.


In September 2018, ship weather routing and fleet performance systems provider StormGeo acquired Nautisk, a supplier of maritime charts and publications to the merchant marine, from NHST Media Group.


www.heavyliftpfi.com According to Svein Kåre Giskegjerde,


StormGeo vice president of shipping, the acquisition has enabled it to integrate market-leading routing and weather services with state-of-the-art charts. “A major challenge in the shipping


industry is the lack of connectivity between voyage planning, route optimisation solutions and shore-based decision-making solutions. This results in operational inefficiencies and inadequate fuel savings,” he explained. Consequently, in November 2018,


StormGeo launched the Navigator Solutions Portfolio. Giskegjerde said the key advantages of the single-vendor system include sharing internal information and utilising the full benefit of digitalisation to improve performance and reduce costs. “The Navigator Solutions Portfolio is


significant news for ship operations and management because it improves the connection of the onboard navigational planning station to continuous shore analysis, advice and decision making,” he outlined. Alongside the launch of the Navigation


A major challenge in the shipping industry is the lack of connectivity between voyage planning, route optimisation solutions and shore-based decision-making solutions. –Svein Kåre Giskegjerde, StormGeo


Solutions Portfolio, StormGeo also introduced NaviPlanner BVS, a piece of navigation and route optimisation software. As part of the launch, StormGeo is offering customers free upgrades to the latest version. The software is already in use on more than 6,000 vessels, with many new features scheduled for release over the next 12 months, according to Giskegjerde. StormGeo also provides vessel key


performance indicators (KPI) via its Fleet Decision Support System (FleetDSS), which has been developed over the last three years by product manager Dr Thomas Weber.


Data overview FleetDSS provides owners with access to data on fleets or individual vessels, helping them to manage commercial, technical and environmental performance. The system’s KPI dashboard gives a quick overview of when a vessel has been deployed. It also shows how many days have been spent at sea and what types of fuel have been consumed. FleetDSS-equipped ships make


approximately 5,500 routings per month. Users can define their own diagrams and graphs using any parameter that they find useful. A ship’s past performance can also be reviewed and aligned with analysed weather data over a five-year period. Most users of the software are operators


that want to ensure their vessel is being run safely and efficiently. Vessel owners also utilise FleetDSS to monitor performance in relation to charter party requirements. “The owner or operator needs to have the tools to evaluate the performance of the crew. This is


January/February 2019 97


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