The science behind BunkerPlanner performance

4 min readFeb 24, 2020


Bunker costs is often half or more of the operating costs of a ship, hence control of these costs is decisive for any shipping companies bottom line. This is where BunkerPlanner helps, keeping a constant eye on bunker procurement using advanced algorithms together with the best data on prices, distances, port calls cost and everything else related to bunkering. This allows BunkerPlanner to help shipping companies save 2–4 % of their total bunker costs. SeaRoutes helps BunkerPlanner with a high quality data foundation for their bunker procurement strategy, therefore helping the shipping industry going a bit more digital. Here is the story.

About BunkerPlanner

BunkerPlanner is a state-of- the-art bunker procurement optimization tool. The tool generates a tailored recommendation for how much bunker of each grade to buy and where to buy it. This software allows companies’ operators or bunker purchasing desks to focus on crafting superior bunkering plans and identify the most advantageous choice that improve TCE earnings of hundreds of $ per day for their fleet.

By using the software, ship owners and fuel buyers can optimize their fuel procurement strategy on a vessel-by-vessel basis, reducing fuel bills by between 2% to 4% (World maritime News).

Why Searoutes?

The solution considers a range of factors that impact bunkering decisions, including fuel price forecasts, trade patterns and routes, vessel speed, fuel consumption, time spent in Emission Control Areas (ECAs), as well as costs related to deviations, port calls and barges among others.

Accurate routes and distances are therefore a key criteria for bunker optimization. Indeed reliable information on routes and distances help to choose the best bunkering ports depending on the ROB (Remaining on Board), time and costs of the deviation, distance increasing and extra fuel consumption on the deviation.

A routing web based solution

Searoutes offers the calculation of ship routes and distances, based on AIS signals (AIS = automatic identification system). Our routes are computed from historical AIS, and contain the relevant information for bunker planning: ECA / SECA zones, passages, waypoints, distances and transit times. One can integrate this data via our API, which seamlessly render routes and route information in your application.

{#API Definition}

For those of you who are non-techies and non-developers, and if you do not understand what APIs are about, Taija Björklund wrote a helpful article on the topic using analogies. The best is the restaurant one: The waiter is the API. You are someone who is asking for service. In other words, you are an API customer or consumer. The menu is the documentation which explains what you can ask for from the API. The kitchen is for example a server, a database that holds only certain types of data — whatever the buyer has bought for the restaurant as ingredients and what the chef has decided they will offer and what the cooks know how to prepare.”

BunkerPlanner leverages data from, through their API , which makes high quality routes and distances available to BunkerPlanner’s customers.

Christian Plum- BunkerMetric Co-Founder

“Our service is built around an API distance tool. It was essential for us to collaborate with an accurate and reliable API solution to provide our customers with the best bunker port alternatives.”

The routes are combined with schedule, vessel, bunker price and several other data sources to provide high quality forecasts of bunker consumption for hundreds of possible bunker ports. Users can either input schedule and vessel data directly, or this can be pulled automatically from a voyage management system for easy use. The routes are customized according to vessel size (draft, width) and use of canals and ECA zones.

The interface shows the best unbiased alternatives for bunker buyers. Based on their expertise, they are able to make the best choices in order to reduce bunker costs and meet their sustainability issues.

Do you need an accurate and reliable route API?

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