05 December 2023
US-based software firm Sofar Ocean Technologies has introduced a real-time data-driven application for route optimization. Namely, Wayfinder – The Dynamic Route Optimisation Platform.
The solution will minimize fuel emissions as well as enhance maritime route efficiency.
Firstly, the company operates the world’s largest fleet of open-ocean weather sensors and integrates them in real-time. Hence, the observational weather data collected produce forecasts that are up to 50% more accurate than NOAA and ECMWF.
Furthermore, by combining the historical noon report data, ship properties and historical weather data, Sofar generates a digital twin. Therefore, a unique speed, fuel, and safety profile for each vessel allow predicting performance in all conditions.
Wait. What is a Digital Twin?
Each day, Sofar evaluates over 100 million routing options based on the latest weather forecast data and customers’ business needs. Thus, deliver the safest and most profitable route directly to shipmasters and fleet operations staff.
Safety: Improved situational awareness of conditions at sea
- Avoid severe weather
- Vessel-specific safety thresholds
- Proactive warnings and alerts
Savings: Maximize voyage gains with real-time data
- Decrease bunker costs
- Shorten voyage durations
- Increase TCE
Ease of Use: Lightweight installation procedure
- No CAPEX costs or OT changes required
- Minimal product training to deploy
- Access via a standard web browser
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Note that, according to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), route optimization can result in a 1% to 10% reduction in emissions.
Moreover, the Singapore-based Berge Bulk became one of the first pilot customers of the Wayfinder platform.
The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Greece-based Star Bulk and Seaven have also signed up to Wayfinder.
“Wayfinder allows us to increase vessel utilisation and efficiency, ensuring that we balance profitability with emissions reduction objectives. By using Wayfinder’s data and voyage optimisation, we’ve seen efficiency gains in the range of 4.5% on dedicated voyages, which translates into as many as 14 additional sailing days per year per vessel.”Berge Bulk CEO James Marshall
“With the addition of Sofar Ocean’s capabilities to ABS My Digital Fleet, we are bringing voyage insights that enable the flexibility to optimise for what is most important for each voyage, delivering the optimal route that supports charterers and ship managers in their daily operational decision making towards meeting decarbonisation goals.”ABS digital solutions vice-president Smarty Mathew John said:
At last, the available actionable insights include vessel performance, bunkers, the optimal sea route, the optimal speed and heading, and the estimated arrival time for each ship.
Despite the predefined and obvious benefits of route optimization, shipowners should consider the crew well-being aspect. To clarify, since the vessel will sail at calmer routes, the crew will not bear down on rough seas. Thus, the company will have more satisfied and ready to work personnel.