Case - April 26, 2017

Optimizing ship routing for Topsheen Shipping Ltd.

Topsheen Top Confidence

For Topsheen Shipping Ltd., one of the foremost dry bulk shipping operators in China, expert weather forecasting and sailing the optimal route are vital to a successful voyage.

The Challenge

Firmly established as one of the leading dry bulk shipping operators in China, Topsheen Shipping Ltd. has been rapidly expanding their services worldwide, covering Africa, the Far East, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast Asia. Operating more than 70 voyages a year, Topsheen had a crucial need for advanced weather forecasting services to ensure optimal routing. The company needed to advise shipmasters on weather conditions ahead of time in order to ensure the highest probability of a safe and efficient voyage.

Topsheen was also in need of an objective third party to give accurate and detailed voyage analysis, in case discrepancies should arise between the shipmaster and management about perceived weather conditions. For this, Topsheen needed support and high-quality voyage performance reports.


Topsheen sought to reduce weather risks and optimize ship routing through accurate weather forecasting. This would require high-resolution weather forecasts and advanced analytics that could be used to both promote safety and evaluate how weather conditions affected voyage performance. They were also looking for a way to respond quickly to adverse weather conditions, and to provide shipmasters with timely recommendations in case of emergencies.

In addition, they needed fair and objective voyage performance reports to aid in potential disputes between shipmasters and management. This meant they needed a voyage analysis that could determine the exact relationship between the actual weather encountered and the effect on the ship’s speed and consumption levels.

Why Choose StormGeo?

Partnering with Topsheen for over seven years, StormGeo has reduced weather risks and consistently provided post-voyage support for the Topsheen fleet. StormGeo’s advanced ship routing system integrates vessel specifications, such as vessel type, cargo, and speed, as well as environmental factors, so that our experienced ship routing experts can identify the optimal route.

In addition, StormGeo provides ship operators and shipmasters with 24-hour support all year round, interacting with shipping company offices, offering continuous monitoring of the vessel’s progress, and issuing voyage performance reports.

With StormGeo, we get effective communication and a quick response from both the local CST and the U.S. Operations Center. The local CST knows what I need even when I do not explain in much detail, and they handle issues immediately,” said Ms. Tina Yi, Shipping Department Assistant Manager at Topsheen.

Why choose StormGeo? “Smooth collaboration. We have worked with StormGeo for many years, and have developed habits on how to work with the vendor, using neutral independent data to support weather factors. I have become used to this pattern of collaboration, and I feel very comfortable,” said Ms. Tina Yi.


Working with StormGeo has included a number of benefits for Topsheen, such as transparent access to quality data, increased voyage safety and efficiency, and a substantial reduction of costs. “We have a significant number of voyages per year,” said Tina Yi, “and ship routing helps us to save a great deal on costs.”

In the case of discrepancies between shipmasters and Topsheen management, StormGeo’s ship routing services can provide immediate recommendations to shipmasters on the most efficient route diversions. StormGeo’s sophisticated ship routing system uses artificial intelligence with an alarm system that continuously monitors vessels, and provides prioritized alerts that show where severe motions are most likely to occur along a route. In this way, the Route Analyst can quickly address vessels that are in need of support, and indicate headings and speeds that reduce the potential of heavy weather damage or risk to cargo, and minimize consumption.

StormGeo has extensive experience and data to support the speed and consumption levels for evaluation of routed and un-routed voyages. Industry-renowned scientists head the voyage analysis group at StormGeo, studying meteorological data alongside actual ship response, and issuing voyage performance reports. This has been a crucial benefit for Topsheen: “In case of disputes, we receive support and evidence to help us find a resolution, so we receive fair compensation where it is due. Besides, previous case studies will be provided for reference,” said Yi. StormGeo utilizes its historic “Big Data” from routing 73,000 voyages a year to provide insight into a vessel’s performance as compared to sister ships, so Topsheen can keep track of its fleet’s performance and make informed, actionable decisions.

Learn more about the Fleet Performance Center