News & Press Release

Customer in the spotlight

Bulker pool operator locks in robust operational benefits

WNI technology endorsed by Saga Welco

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Norway-based Saga Welco AS is a major international pool operator of open-hatch bulk carriers with a homogenous fleet of around 50 sophisticated vessels equipped with gantry cranes. The company serves the break bulk/forestry products market through regional offices on four continents. Saga is a long-term Weathernews Inc. (WNI) partner, and this summer formally agreed to continue that collaboration.

Benefits inspire confidence

“Optimizing fleet performance while enhancing safety, efficiency and environmental responsiveness is key to ensuring successful and profitable operations. WNI’s technology helps us get there and will continue to be a core part of our operational platform,” says Helge Røttingen, Vessel Performance Manager at Saga Welco. He firmly endorses Weathernews Inc. technology noting that through 2020 its applications helped Saga Welco to save 8,413 tons of CO2 emissions – equivalent to 2,679 metric tons of fuel – as well as 1,582 hours of time saved across the entire fleet.

Safety is paramount

Crew safety is the Saga Welco’s top priority especially as climate change increases the risk of extreme weather events. “This is one of the most challenging issues we face and to mitigate the risk, it is vital to use intelligent weather routing and tools to analyze and manage weather risks ahead of any voyage,” says Røttingen.

Avoiding hazards

WNI’s great tools enable us to evaluate key risk parameters such as synchronous and parametric rolling and wave steepness, which is a key component in many damage cases. We can also use historical weather data and vessel damage records to analyze the current weather outlook and highlight patterns that may have contributed to vessel damage in the past,” Røttingen says. He adds that WNI’s DaSH (Dangerous Severe Heavy) index scale is also really valuable for weather insight and what action to take. “Basically, the WNI suite allows us to identify potential risks and adjust voyage plans accordingly, helping to keep both our seafarers and assets safe, as well as our customers’ cargoes.”

A tight grip on OPEX

Saga Welco also uses WNI’s Optimal Ship Routeing (OSR) service to continuously review multiple scenarios to determine optimal voyage plans. “Whether we want to minimize overall voyage costs, reduce total fuel consumption, or optimize arrival within a specific laycan window, OSR facilitates profitable voyage planning based on ship-specific performance data and accurate weather forecasts,” says Røttingen.

Professional support 24/7

Pre-voyage planning and underway route and/or speed adjustments are performed by WNI’s global team of highly skilled voyage planners whose job is to ensure vessel safety while maximizing profitability. “WNI’s risk communicators keep us keep abreast of potential weather or schedule risks, as well as providing detailed cost comparisons of the most viable route and/or speed options to ensure every voyage is performed as efficiently as possible,” Røttingen says.

The road to decarbonization

Saga Welco shares WNI’s vision to create a sustainable maritime future. Although its long-term strategy is to explore alternative fuel technologies, in the nearer term it relies on WNI for optimized routing. “As a major source of greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions, shipping presents an urgent sustainability challenge for supply chains globally. Successfully optimizing trade routes will ensure ships complete voyages with the lowest possible fuel burn and a drastic reduction in emissions. WNI is a key facilitator of that process,” says Røttingen.

Customized solutions

Taking advantage of WNI’s expertise in creating tailormade solutions for customers, in late 2020 Saga Welco also entered a further joint project with WNI to better monitor interference with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) through AIS tracking of its ships. This is important especially during the autumn and winter sailing season as vessels may inadvertently, or be forced to, cross the boundaries of MPAs as a result of or to avoid weather hazards.

‘Purpose-led’ partner

Saga Welco is also exploring other new digital solutions and tools that can further lower its footprint and enhance compliance. “We want to achieve our environmental targets but we must also ensure our investments generate a financial return. WNI’s suite of environmental services are integral to that objective,” says Røttingen. “In my mind they are a winning provider based on functionality, support and price, and that’s why we continue to work together. Saga Welco has over the years been challenging WNI to constantly improve and we will continue to do so to ensure they remain top of the league. Collaborating with a purpose- led partner with shared values also means a lot to us,” he concludes.

We are excited about the trust that Saga Welco has shown in our expertise. WNI share Saga Welco’s values and ambitions, and I think this is a key factor to the great achievements that have been made,” says Niels Chr. Kjærgaard, Director EU Business Development at Weathernews Inc.

Making decisions with data

Do you want to explore how the maritime industry can improve decision making processes by a more collaborative data approach? Have a look at the recorded the Digital Ship hosted webinar from January 2022, featuring Helge Røttingen from Saga Welco and Ari Marjamaa, CEO at Raa Labs. Access the video recording on "Making decisions" with data here

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If your company is interested in using weather data for business purposes, please feel free to contact us from the link below. Click here for inquiries regarding the Weather Forecast API

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