No industry on earth is more conscious of the need for maritime weather safety than the shipping sector. Even now, in times of great innovation and technology, shipowners are at the weather’s whim. Without taking as many safety precautions as possible, the shipping industry and the export market is at significant risk.
The Importance Of Maritime Weather Forecasting
Whenever ships leave port, their purpose is to arrive at their destination on time and with saleable cargo. Both the freight and crew depend on the ship’s captain to make that happen. In actuality, however, erratic weather may determine whether the journey concludes safely and in good time.
Shipping accounts for 90% of trade worldwide. While some goods can move via air and land freight, cargo ships are the lifeblood of world markets. Weight for weight, it is more economical and practical to carry goods via shipping than any other means of transportation.
Accidents At Sea
Severe weather accounts for losses of millions, if not billions, each year across transportation companies.
In shipping, the flow-on effects of a loss can include:
- Loss of life for crew members
- Injury to crew members
- Reluctance of crew to work in a dangerous environment
- Higher insurance premiums
- Loss of reputation
- High safety premiums or fines
- Physical loss or damage to cargo
Oceanic shipping has always been a hazardous occupation with risk for the crew, owners, and investors. Restricting sailing times to a few short months of good weather every year is not feasible. But the weather plays too big of a role to make guesses and hope for the best.
Knowledgeable shipowners can minimize the risks by taking advantage of technology that improves safety and performance. Foremost among these technological advances is access to reliable maritime weather forecast systems. Shipowners and captains can use the information from these advanced solutions to optimize their routes and minimize their risks.
How Does An Accurate Marine Forecast Protect You?
There are several ways that weather predictions can impact maritime shipping operations.
Crew and fleet safety is the most critical concern for any shipping company. Extreme weather can lead to catastrophic loss of life and equipment if operators are unprepared.
With the right forecast, however, your captains and fleet managers can plan and adjust as needed. They can avoid storms that put the operation at risk. Software solutions that allow for shared views among an entire fleet are incredibly helpful in keeping everyone safe.
Optimizing The Route
The shortest way of getting from A to B is not always the safest or most practical. Sometimes your direct route will have dangerous weather coming, whereas an indirect route could offer clear weather.
Accurate maritime weather forecasts empower your ship’s captain to make the best decisions possible. Even if there is no dangerous weather in their path, knowing how the winds are blowing can help them determine the optimal route for speed and fuel management.
Any damage to cargo or equipment will impact your bottom line. Loss of property can lead to higher insurance premiums, liability lawsuits, and damage to your reputation.
When you take advantage of expert maritime weather forecasts, you can protect your assets and your clients’ cargo. Arriving safely and on time helps keep your operation in the black.
Utilize forecasts to help you plan necessary ship maintenance. If a storm is coming, your crew can do urgent maintenance work before the bad weather hits. If you know that you can’t sail for a few days, use the time to complete indoor maintenance projects. When there’s going to be a long enough period of fine weather, take care of outside jobs during that time.
Keep your maritime shipping operation eco-friendly when you use accurate forecasts. Avoiding bad weather or minimizing weather impacts will help you save on fuel. Optimizing your route to avoid extreme weather lets you maximize fuel efficiency.
Many weather forecasts are accurate only about 80% of the time. But a reliable maritime weather forecast system sends updates regularly and quickly to provide up-to-date data you can trust. The best options will give updated information three or four times a day.
Who Benefits From The Weather Data?
Shipping operators have to consider much more than the actual ship. When you utilize the best maritime forecasts, even those on the periphery reap the benefits.
This type of solution is right for:
- Ship Owners – You ensure that you deliver the cargo on time, in a marketable, saleable condition. You protect your reputation, and your clients and customers trust you.
- Your Crew – The most important element on freight carriers is the crew, and they need to know they can trust you. They appreciate knowing that you are taking safety measures on their behalf. You will recruit and retain staff more easily when you run a safe ship. This is much preferable to having to pay them “danger money” to work for you.
- Your Insurance Company – By doing what you can to keep both cargo and crew safe, you minimize travel risks. Lower risk means that your insurance company will continue to want you as a client. Your premiums can stay at a reasonable level because you aren’t deemed to be high-risk.
- Your Bank Account – Between lower insurance premiums and fair wages, you can minimize your business expenses. Keeping the crew and cargo safe limits the chance that you will have to pay for fines or damage.
Find the Right Solution for You
Maritime weather can be unforgiving to the shipowner who doesn’t take its danger seriously. Knowing what the weather is doing or about to do is the most practical safety measure you can take.
With the DTN solutions, you will have robust and reliable forecasts that keep your fleet and crews safe. Contact one of our professional team members to determine which maritime weather forecast system is best for your needs.