MeteoGroup introduces a new version of leading shipping weather routing solution SPOS

MeteoGroup, the global weather authority, introduces a new version of its market-leading weather routing solution, Ship Performance Optimisation System.

The new version, SPOS9, enables captains to safely navigate the globe with minimal fuel consumption and emissions, by calculating and recalculating optimum routes and anticipating oncoming weather and sea conditions. With SPOS9 its easier than ever for captains and ship owners to save fuel and time and increase ship safety.

The industry's first variable speed algorithm allows captains to effectively bypass severe weather, reduces downtime, prevents damage to the ship and its cargo and improves crew safety. The SPOS9 advanced voyage trim optimisation further reduces fuel consumption. In addition to this SPOS9 offers an expert routing network, based on decades of experience. Pre-built ship models support captains with more accurate routing and configurable back-to-shore reporting, eliminating duplication and redundant reporting.

SPOS9 optimises shipping routes by taking into consideration various sea conditions, such as wind, waves and swell, currents and other weather elements. Timely weather updates and forecasts ensure crews are continuously aware of their surroundings and the conditions that are ahead.

SPOS9 offers the following input features such as receiving forecasts up to four times a day via e-mail or http download, containing more than 20 elements for voyage optimisation, using the MeteoGroup Nautical MeteoBase.

The operator can use the software to specify and update vessel and voyage data during transit. Use MeteoGroup Ship Profile Library, developed with MARIN, containing advanced algorithms for the resistance impact of wind and waves on specific vessel types. Additionally, the operator will be able to create route options based on time, cost or fuel constraints, either with or without a given ETA. Use MeteoGroup Route network to plan port-to-port routes, including navigational constraints and port approaches. Variable speed routing functionality ensures ships can avoid severe weather and optimise ECA passages.

Operators of SPOS9 will also be able to share travel updates with configurable reporting options. All needed parameters, the sailed and planned route, communications and performance indicators are available for onshore stakeholders via the MeteoGroup FleetGuard web platform. Integration with FleetGuard and RouteGuard ensures a shared view across fleets.

SPOS9 offers a range of additional modules to further increase performance and safety and to secure a shared reality across fleets, including Seakeeping (protecting motion-sensitive ships and cargoes), Trim Advisor (optimising trim using ship characteristics, voyage loading conditions and waves) and SPS2GRIB to export forecasts to other onboard display systems.

SPOS9 builds on decades of experience in weather forecasting and severe weather routing. With SPOS9 users get access to unique capabilities, such as its ability to combine the weather information from the most respected global forecasting models (ECMWF, UK Meteorological Office and NCEP) and produces a single higher quality forecast. Also, it contains advanced algorithms for the resistance impact of wind and waves on specific vessel types. Developed by the Marine Research Institute, it increases route planning accuracy and removes complexity for captain and crew compared to traditionally separated speed down tables.

The software provides routing options build on the thousands of routes MeteoGroup created over the years. It includes all possible passages to and from ports, through canals, through TSSs and ECAs, and more and it calculates the optimum route using variable-speed routing algorithm, considering elements like bad weather, traverse ECA zones, RPM/speed ranges or fixed ETA.

Route-planning and optimisation involve juggling safety, efficiency, navigation, cost, port rotation, ETA’s, speed ranges and additional constraints, such as trim and seakeeping. For ship captains this is a complex challenge that requires the aid of a decision supporting tool, to give them confidence in their decisions and support route planning and execution. MeteoGroup developed SPOS9 (Ship Performance Optimisation System) to address these challenges. Leading shipping companies, such as MAERSK, Zodiac Maritime and TORM put their trust in SPOS.

Existing users of SPOS will get a free upgrade to SPOS9 as it will save them more fuel and time than ever before and enables them to easily integrate SPOS data and functionality into their other systems, including the back of bridge voyage planning systems.