Spire Global announced a new weather forecast tool specialized for maritime companies, providing information to help ports, ships and shipping companies.
The information from its constellation of dozens of small satellites is supposed to help firms navigating tricky areas such as the Red Sea’s Tokar Gap. It will also help companies conserve fuel and run their routes more efficiently, Spire said.
“We see this launch in our maritime business unit as the first of many new products Spire will launch for the weather,” John Lusk, Spire’s general manager of commercial business units, said in an exclusive statement.
“We will utilize this new industry standard in data gathering, in tandem with one of the largest constellations of satellites built specifically to augment data for weather prediction,” he added.
Inmarsat notes that 90 percent of world trade is borne on the sea, and this segment faces challenges that include overcapacity in the container market and lessening demand for raw materials. Companies are also trying to cut their emissions to meet stricter environmental regulations brought on by climate change, while remaining cost-competitive.
Hurricane Dorian moves towards Florida in September 2019, as shown in a Spire Global weather tool.
Spire’s product is the first mass application of the company’s ability to collect 5,000 radio occultation profiles daily, which Spire announced earlier this week. Radio occultation measurements provide information about how the atmosphere is changing. This data will help feed into Spire’s forecasts for sea surface temperature, wave height, air temperature and sea surface temperature, among other attributes.
Spire, which is based in San Francisco, also tracks vessels from space using data collected in radio wavelengths. The company announced several deals in this vertical in 2019, including a couple based in the Luxembourg area this summer.
The company has said its revenues are in the eight-figure range and growing year-over-year in triple digits. The Spire Maritime segment completed 2018 with 160% year-over-year revenue growth. Spire as a whole has received Series A, B and C funding since its founding in 2013; as a privately held company, Spire only releases partial details on its revenues.
Spire added that it is working to augment weather predictions to better serve its customers. “Spire is part of a community of business and government organizations that realize that uncovering unique data on our climate is a key to understanding the most important issues business may face in our lifetime,” Lusk said.