Benchmark study of five optimization algorithms for weather routing
Paper in proceedings, 2017

Safety and energy efficiency are two of the key issues in the maritime transport community. A sail plan system, which combines the concepts of weather routing and voyage optimization, are recognized by the shipping industry as an efficient measure to ensure a ship’s safety, gain more economic benefit, and reduce negative effects on our environment. In such a system, the key component is to develop a proper optimization algorithm to generate potential ship routes between a ship’s departure and destination. In the weather routing market, four routing optimization algorithms are commonly used. They are the so-called modified Isochrone and Isopone methods, dynamic programming, three dimensional dynamic programming, and Dijkstra’s algorithm, respectively. Each optimization algorithm has its own advantages and disadvantages to estimate a ship routing with shortest sailing time or/and minimum fuel consumption. This paper will present a benchmark study that compares these algorithms for routing optimization aiming at minimum fuel consumption. A merchant ship sailing in the North Atlantic with full-scale performance measurements are employed as the case study vessels for the comparison. The ship’s speed/power performance is based on the ISO2015 methods combined with the measurement data. It is expected to demonstrate the pros and cons of different algorithms for the ship’s sail planning.


Fuel consumption


Isochrone algorithm

Dynamic programming


Routing optimization

Grid system


Helong Wang

Mechanics and Maritime Sciences

Wengang Mao

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Marine Technology

Leif Eriksson

Chalmers, Earth and Space Sciences, Radar Remote Sensing

Proceedings of the ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE2017) in Trondheim, Norway, June 25-30, 2017

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