A voyage planning tool for ships sailing between Europe and Asia via the Arctic
Paper i proceeding, 2019
The Arctic is rapidly transforming into a navigable ocean because of global warming reducing the extent of sea ice. For shipping companies, this transformation is advantageous because a large percentage of the sailing distance between Europe and Asia could be saved by traveling through the Arctic compared to the traditional route via the Suez Canal. However, taking Arctic routes is fraught with risks and additional costs due to ice in Arctic waters. The major purpose of this study is to develop a voyage planning tool to improve the safety and fuel efficiency of commercial ships sailing between Europe and Asia via the Arctic, which is achieved by voyage optimization through frequently updated meteorological, oceanographic and ice forecasting. This tool aims at providing voyage planning support to cargo ships that are designed mainly for open water operations, which is characterized by route planning for the entire voyage, inclusive of the Arctic passage and the open water legs in Asia and Europe. A single-objective optimization for minimizing fuel consumption under various environmental and operational conditions is established. Ice related risks defined in the Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS) are dealt as constraint. Other constraints are avoidance of land, shallow water and iceberg. The total travel time is also considered by adjustment of the ship’s target speeds. An ice resistance model is implemented to deal with fractured sea ice in Arctic waters in the summer. The results from case study voyages indicate that the voyage planning tool generates safe and economic routes.
Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System (POLARIS)
Bathymetry in the Arctic