A collaboration between Maersk Maritime Technology (MMT) and several Maersk Line captains has resulted in a new voyage planning tool that uses real-time weather data to improve vessel schedule reliability and fuel efficiency across the fleet.

Called ECO-Voyage, the new tool continuously analyses information on expected ocean currents, depths, wind and waves along a planned route in order to determine the most efficient power and speed needed throughout a voyage. That info is shared with the fleet via a central server, meaning vessels sailing on the same route can “learn” from the data and each other’s performance.

“The program enables the captain to run several alternative routes and see how much difference in fuel consumption there will be. Also our large vessels can plan a dual speed voyage to optimise the use of the waste heat recovery system. It should improve their confidence in choosing an alternative route,” says Kim Henriksen, ECO Voyage Prime Mover in the vessel performance section of MMT.

The new system is fully integrated with the other efficiency programmes already onboard the vessels, ensuring all the observations of the ship are up to date, and that captains receive only the most precise fuel estimates and voyage plans.

According to MMT, potential fuel savings from the ECO-Voyage tool are 0.5 – 1.0% per year.