Friday, January 14, 2011

Major Shipping Line Trial Energy Saving Tool On Container Routes

Roll Out to all Vessels Anticipated
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – A ½ to 1 % saving on fuel may not seem the most dramatic thing even to a medium sized company. However when your business is running a fleet of two hundred and twenty ocean going freight and container vessels the bottom line improvement can make you sit up and take notice.

All the major shipping lines have spent much of the past year or two researching ways to make their vessels more efficient. Day to day slow steaming has produced some dramatic improvements and many have invested in looking at new technology. For the past three months Maersk Maritime Technology (MMT) and the captains of several Maersk Line box vessels have collaborated on the development of a new vessel performance optimisation tool called suitably ECO-Voyage by testing the system in fifteen container vessels of varying sizes, including several of the fleet’s largest (PS-class)ships.

This latest innovation 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. Kim Henriksen, ECO Voyage Prime Mover in the vessel performance section of MMT comments:

“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. We will continue to collect comments from the captains; that is really important, but we’re excited about the potential for this tool to further improve the efficiency of Maersk vessels.”

Coupled with other efficiency programmes already employed onboard Maersk vessels, the fully integrated ECO-Voyage system ensures all the observations of the ship are up to date, and that captains receive only the most precise fuel estimates and voyage plans. Results of the trial will be evaluated this month with rollout to the 220 vessels in Maersk Line's owned container fleet planned for this year.