Spliethoff Group has reduced voyage costs through using weather data from MeteoGroup for ship routeing. It operates a fleet of dry cargo, heavy lift and project cargo ships, freight roro and yacht transport vessels.
To assist with route planning and execution, Spliethoff uses MeteoGroup SPOS Weather Routing services including the latest SPOS9 software. This has become a vital tool for optimising voyages and maximising safety for crew, cargo and vessels, said Spliethoff business development manager Karel van Zijl. “It helps us to save time, money and fuel, and is one way we can minimise the environmental impact of our ships.”
Every day saved from a voyage has an impact on the company’s profits. “If the difference between a good and bad weather routeing is one day, that could mean saving 40 tonnes of fuel, or around US$16,000.”
SPOS9 is used on board around 100 vessels in the Spliethoff fleet and at its head office in the Netherlands. “SPOS lets our masters navigate with minimal fuel consumption by calculating and recalculating optimum routes and anticipating oncoming weather and sea conditions,” he said.
The software can also be used for other running costs and against estimated times of arrival. There are built-in ship models to help vessel masters choose the best possible route.
Spliethoff is also using SPOS for verification “to check the extent to which the weather forecasts and predictions were accurate, and to optimise our fuel efficiency further,” said Mr van Zijl. The shipowner also interacts with weather experts at MeteoGroup.
“We encourage our masters to use this expertise for second opinions if they would like to compare ideas,” he said. “Ultimately it is always up to the master to decide how to follow the SPOS guidelines, as they are the ones with final responsibility.”
MeteoGroup regularly trains Spliethoff’s masters and deck officers in its software to allow them to enter the appropriate parameters, limits and ship data, such as fuel consumption and vessel trim. Spliethoff is working with MeteoGroup to add its own individual ship models into the SPOS ship library.
Spliethoff Group operates a large and modern fleet of more than 100 vessels, ranging from 2,100 dwt to 23,000 dwt. Almost all its vessels hold Ice Class Swedish/Finnish 1A certification, and some have the higher Super 1A class.