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The imminent tightening of fuel control areas around the US is providing ship operators with a new set of challenges to face in the drive for cost effective operations. AtoBviaC has provided the answer to cost control during affected voyages with its new Port to Port – Online version of the BP Shipping Marine Distance Tables which offer the user the ability to calculate both SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Area) distances and distances in the North America ECA (Emission Control Area).

From 1st August 2012, for vessels operating within the North American ECA, the sulphur content of fuel oil used on board must not exceed 1%. This is, however, only a stage in the ongoing legislative maritime timetable designed to gradually reduce harmful emissions across the globe in the course of the next decade.

“Our research has shown that it is rarely cost effective or practical to avoid these routes entirely,” said Captain Trevor Hall, Director of AtoBviaC. “It is, however, essential to accurately calculate in advance the impact on vessel operating costs and to identify where a slight adjustment of route will avoid unnecessary incursion into an ECA.

“We have implemented SECA distance calculations into our distance table matrix from the time the various control areas came into effect, but with only a few weeks to go until implementation of the North American ECA, ship operators need to be aware they are on a countdown to unexpected costs if they do not make the correct provision for the additional fuel costs they will incur.”

AtoBviaC route tables provide high quality routeing and distance information for the maritime industry, delivering high quality, realistic calculations of journey options. This new product also sees the launch of a brand new user friendly interface which uses Microsoft’s Silverlight ® technology to provide exceptional functionality that is familiar and easy to use. Working on a Windows PC or an Apple Mac, it now incorporates a new, easy to use purchasing structure which enables the user to purchase a block of distances. Ship operators also benefit from route scanning, which provides the user with distances within the various SECAs and ECAs and distances within Load Line Zones via marine information map overlays. All voyage reports and maps can be saved and exported in pdf and spreadsheet formats.