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08 March 2018

Emerging trade routes and updated layout introduced to Ocean Passages for the World

​​​​​​​​The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) has published a new edition of ADMIRALTY Ocean Passages for the World (NP136). First published in 1895, this essential publication is designed to support mariners in the planning of deep sea voyages along major trade routes, with details of weather, currents, ice hazards and other environmental features that may be met in transit.

Updated layouts to support planning tasks


The UKHO has completely changed the way that routes are represented in response to user feedback, introducing route diagrams alongside tabulated waypoint and route data to help mariners find key information quickly.


Example of Ocean Passages for the World pages with route diagram alongside tabulated route and waypoint data (click to enlarge)

New routes based on AIS data analysis


Following in-depth analysis of AIS tracking data, the UKHO has also identified the world's busiest trade routes for inclusion in the new edition, as well as those that are emerging because of shifting global macroeconomic trends. New route additions include voyages for ships calling at important commodity hubs in the Black Sea and Persian Gulf. The publication also includes new route information for ships travelling to developing or newly established ports in Asia, Africa and South America.

In addition to supporting planning on the bridge, shore side staff can use this information to plan routes and calculate arrival times.

Neil Salter, Miscellaneous Publication Manager at the UKHO, said: "Improvements in technology have enabled us to radically change the way in which we compile all of our publications, but 'Ocean Passages for the World' has particularly benefitted from the insights that can be gained through analysing large amounts of data.

"For this new edition, the UKHO has assembled a team with diverse skills to collate and assess over 8 billion pieces of data to produce an informed view of world trading patterns and routes that form the network of global trade.

"This information will help to give mariners and shore based staff a greater understanding of the world's busiest trade routes and support efficient passage planning for bridge crews across the globe." ​

Available as an AENP and paper publication​​​​​​​​​​​


The new edition of Ocean Passages for the World is available as an ADMIRALTY e-Nautical Publication (AENP) and as a paper publication in two geographically spilt volumes. Users of the AENP version also benefit from improved search functionality, to further support fast, efficient voyage planning. ​