Improving Fuel Usage Estimates With Better Weather Data

Oldendorff was able to improve their fuel consumption simulation model and calculate paths that consumed the least amount of fuel with Spire Weather

Learn how Oldendorff improved their fuel consumption simulation model with Spire weather data to chart ship courses with lower fuel usage.

Oldendorff, one of the world’s largest dry bulk shipping companies, is driven by data-based innovation. With over 300 million tons of bulk cargo shipped every year, Oldendorff frequently reviews their operations for optimization opportunities. By adding Spire weather data to their simulation models, Oldendorff was able to improve their fuel consumption simulations and calculate ship paths that consumed the least amount of fuel.

“People in the maritime industry still underestimate the value that good weather data can bring to their business.”

Mike Pearmain
Chief Data Scientist – Oldendorff Carriers

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The Challenge

Oldendorff was looking for ways to reduce their fuel costs while minimizing their organization’s overall carbon footprint. The executive team had two core needs in front of them:

  • Find opportunities to optimize navigation paths to decrease transit time and fuel consumption
  • Get ahead of IMO 2020 requirements requiring low sulphur fuel, a regulation that could increase the firm’s operating expenses due to the need for low sulphur fuel

The Solution

Oldendorff took a three-pronged approach to addressing this wide-ranging operational challenge:


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Definition of all the possible paths:

Oldendorff created a model that factored origin, destination, voyage constraints, and navigation conditions to generate a list of possible shipping routes.

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Adding Spire weather forecast to each path:

The team then used Spire’s weather data to forecast future weather conditions, adding a new layer of information to evaluate potential efficiencies (e.g. currents, waves) and risks within each path.

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Developed vessel simulation models:

Because vessels respond differently to weather and ocean conditions, Oldendorff created shipping simulations to determine fuel consumption and corresponding carbon emissions for each vessel and each route.

“If we only save 1% of fuel on every trip every day, we could significantly reduce our CO2 emissions”

Mike Pearmain
Chief Data Scientist, Oldendorff Carriers

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The Results

DGRM Oldendorff

By adding Spire’s radio occultation weather data, Oldendorff achieved 2.5% greater accuracy in their fuel consumption models. By getting this greater accuracy, they were able to account for…

  • 5.6 tons in fuel consumption in their estimates
  • 17.5 tons in CO2 emissions in their estimates

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