Digital tool plots most efficient maritime routes

14 June 2019

A tool for shippers has been developed that plots the most fuel-efficient maritime routes based on weather, waves and ocean currents.

The Vessel Fuel Optimisation (VFO) service uses AI and data analytics to collect information on ships' performance and weather forecasts to plan the most optimal route.

VFO, developed by Fujitsu and Kongsberg Digital, aims to lower fuel costs and meet low-sulphur fuel regulations by improving energy efficiency, safety and profitability of transport routes. It will make use of open-source data from the automatic identification system, which tracks vessels via ship transponders to avoid collisions.

Yves de Beauregard, head of digital business solutions at Fujitsu EMEIA, said: “The shipping industry is about to undergo a global shift to a new fuel, with implications so enormous they have been compared to the change from coal to steam.

“The Fujitsu Vessel Fuel Optimisation service is a quick and straightforward solution that will lead to reduced fuel costs and the ability to maintain profitability, while at the same time contributing to cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

Rules from the International Maritime Organization that limit the amount of sulphur in bunker fuel to 0.5%, which are estimated to add $60bn to shipping costs, come into effect in 2020. The EU has agreed to implement the limit within 200 miles of coasts.

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