Global e-navigation provider Navtor and Weathernews Inc (WNI) have signed a collaboration agreement.

The contract will see Navtor upgrade its weather information offering within its route planning software NavStation, while working with WNI to develop an artificially intelligent (AI) routing service.

As part of the agreement, WNI will provide enhanced weather data for Navtor with the addition of new types of weather information, including tropical cyclones and weather fronts.

This will be followed by the integration of WNI's Shipping Weather Service Fleet Management platform into NavStation. According to Navtor, this service offers optimum ship routing to save fuel and reduce costs, as well as enhance route safety and speed; and fleet monitoring, with daily analysis of ship efficiency.

"This is another significant step on our journey to offer a fully integrated navigation solution that delivers everything navigators, ship officers and shore-based staff need on a single, intuitive and powerful platform," said Navtor ceo Tor Svanes.

"Weather can make all the difference between profit and loss for shipowners and operators. With WNI's expertise we can ensure we deliver the best, most comprehensive data available, allowing navigators to minimise risks and plan the safest, most cost effective and optimal routes for their individual vessels."

Details of the AI routing service are still confidential, but Navtor claims it will be a world first. The software tool will transform data into detailed, reliable and optimised decision-making tools with real-time capabilities.

Navtor will unveil the prototype of the WNI integrated NavStation at Sea Japan in April, with the official release scheduled for June this year. Details of the ongoing AI development will be released at a later stage.