Wärtsilä adds Weathernews forecasting data and routing service to solutions

Wärtsilä adds Weathernews forecasting data and routing service to solutions
Bridge system. Image courtesy of Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä Voyage and Japan based Weathernews (WNI) have signed a strategic partnership agreement to integrate WNI’s weather forecasting data and Optimum Ship Routeing (OSR) service with Wärtsilä’s products and solutions. The integration is expected to increase navigational safety and support the decarbonisation efforts of shipowners and operators.

By automating navigation and route planning functions with weather avoidance technology, owners can reduce risks and allow seafarers to concentrate on other operational requirements. WNI currently supports around 10,000 vessels worldwide using an unequalled number of risk communicators and meteorologists to deliver advanced weather forecasting.

“Sailing through bad weather has numerous downsides. Containers can get lost overboard, fuel consumption increases, and schedules can be compromised. By having the fastest and most accurate advance warning of weather situations integrated into our navigational and voyage systems, these losses can be avoided. This is why this agreement with WNI is so important,” explained Kay Dausendschoen, head of product, fleet operations solutions & optimisation at Wärtsilä Voyage.

Under this agreement, WNI’s forecasting models can be integrated, for example, into Wärtsilä’s Fleet Operations Solution (FOS). FOS is a unique service that automatically optimises a ship’s route by providing the fullest and latest voyage data, at the same time keeping both the onboard and shore-based personnel informed and notified. With the addition of frequent state-of-the-art weather information, FOS can be even more effective in increasing navigational safety, reducing fuel consumption, and optimising the voyage leg.

Another Wärtsilä solution likely to be enhanced via this agreement is Navi-Planner, the company’s voyage planning and optimisation system, which is connected through the ship’s electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS). Advanced weather forecasting will also be incorporated into future sustainable systems and innovative solutions developed through the collaboration between Wärtsilä and WNI.

The partnership will result in additional features, such as route overlays and charts, being developed once the WNI weather service has been fully integrated into the Wärtsilä systems. The aim is to boost safer navigation and reduce fuel consumption, which in turn will lessen emission levels and aid shipping’s decarbonisation ambitions.