December 16 - Developed by oceanographic data specialist, Tidetech, the first vessel optimisation application offering combined tidal and non-tidal (ocean) current data has been launched for integrated vessel speed and route optimisation.

Tidal currents are fast moving, dynamic and dominant inside the continental shelf and are inherently predictable years ahead, but non-tidal currents are slow moving and dominant in the deep ocean and are driven by entirely different processes that cannot be accurately forecast beyond five to six days.

"For vessels to gain the greatest advantage from current data they need to know what happens at the nexus of tidal and ocean currents which simply hasn't been available before now," said Penny Haire, managing director of Tidetech.

The new application offers resolution of six nautical miles at 60-minute intervals in a six day forecast.

Tidetech currently uses My Ocean MERCATOR as its frontline ocean current model, a six-day ocean forecast at five nautical mile resolution, forced by ECMWF weather data.

Being able to forecast wave currents is of great importance to those shipping large and outsize cargo over long distances, and readers might be interested to know that HLPFI's Jan/Feb issue will include a feature on weather forecasting.