Fixed time weather routing


Weather routing dedicated to commercial ships is rather different than minimum time weather routing such as the one used by, for example, racing sailboats. In case of a cargo ship, the objective is not to reach destination as soon as possible but to be on time spending as less as possible. Ship consumption is one of the most significant component of the cost and need to be optimized.

For a ship using auxiliary wind propulsion, consumption will depend even more on weather conditions and it is natural to look for a way to take advantage of encountered weather conditions.

Nevertheless, the problem is much more complex than the one of the racing yacht since a ship should adjust both course and speed to arrive on time at destination.

 Weather routing software

Weather routing

CRAIN has developed a software that solve the problem of fixed time route optimization. This code allows, through a robust and deterministic algorithm, route optimization based on weather condition that minimize, for example but not only, ship consumption.

Features of this tool are :

  • time-limited trip
  • optimization depending on various criterion
  • adjustable course and speed of ship
  • historical weather conditions or weather forecast
  • constraints (maximum wind speed, coast,...)
  • multi-leg trip


This tool can be used for various purpose :

  • At draft stage, this tool allows assessing various ship configurations depending on weather conditions in the area of operations
  • Real time weather routing to optimize consumption and cost of each trip
  • Comparison of various candidate design for cargo ships

This software, although initially designed for hybrid propulsion can be used for conventional ships in order to minimize cost depending on weather conditions. Weather parameters can of course be wind and waves but although sun shine rate, sea or air temperature depending the influence of such parameters on ship consumption.