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Climate change driving weather routing demand

Hurricane Dorian
Weather routing is more popular than ever among shipowners and charterers due to changes in weather patterns and higher fuel prices, Thomas Skov, sales director EMEA, Weathernews Inc, told the Seatrade ShipTech Middle East conference in Dubai on Tuesday.

Skov explained that changes in air and sea temperatures are creating a more unstable environment at sea, with increased typhoons and hurricanes, and this is pushing shippers to seek out weather advice. “When the weather is good, we tend to ignore it; when it turns bad you want advice,” he said.

Skov added that weather routing is considered a low hanging fruit in terms of improving efficiency, and with fuel prices expected to leap by 40-50% in the wake in IMO 2020, more shipowners and charterers will be wanting to reduce fuel consumption next year.

“A small change in how you plan your voyage can have a huge impact. The most fuel is saved when the weather is with you. Safety is the number one priority, but within that limitation there is a lot you can do to take advantage of the good weather along the passage.”

Skov said his company was working with e-navigation leader Navtor to integrate weather modelling into the ECDIS system. “This is the future,” he said.