Shipping route optimization in ice

Pandey, Ashok (2016) Shipping route optimization in ice. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (13MB)


Technological advances and changing climatic conditions provide commercial opportunities and some unique challenges for the Arctic region this century. Emerging trans-Arctic shipping routes in the Northwest Passage are a direct consequence of progressively receding sea ice in the Canadian Arctic archipelagic waters. This study conceptualized and developed a Computer-aided Arctic Route Optimization Model (CAROM) in the framework of a Geographical Information System (GIS) for ship voyage planning and tactical ice navigation. The model optimizes shipping routes in ice based on the charted depth of water, appropriate structural strengthening (Ice Class notation), and predicted and observed sea-ice conditions, with the latest available navigational and ice data in digital format. An incorporated ship transit-model provides speed-in-ice input to the route model essential to estimating the transit time critical for vessel scheduling and fuel cost estimation. The CAROM is operational, tactical in nature, and intended to act as a decision-making tool for the ice navigator. The presence of diminishing sea ice is an existential threat to surface navigation in the ecologically sensitive Arctic region, and ship-sourced oil pollution is a threat to Arctic marine ecology. Access to reliable satellite communication in the Arctic, the adoption of the Polar Code and the proposed e- Navigation framework of the IMO has opened new doors to implement and operationalize tactical navigation tools that may help in decision-making and risk mitigation in ice navigation. A seamless integration of the route optimization tool in the e-Navigation architecture is the desired objective that evolving technology may be able to achieve in future for the Mariners onboard. This research underscores the current limitations on the spatial resolution of ice data, electronic navigation chart coverage, and hydrographic surveys in the Canadian Arctic, to mention but a few. The transit time in ice predicted by the CAROM provides a comparative cost-benefit evaluation between a trans-Arctic route and the Panama Canal route for container ships of two different sizes trading between Rotterdam and Tokyo. The last few years have witnessed the arrival of mega container ships (Neo-Panamax type) primarily driven by economy of scale considerations, global trade dynamics, and expansion of the Panama Canal locks to accommodate such ships. The Cost Benefit Analysis reveals some interesting aspects of the container shipping business via the Northwest Passage and the difference a large container vessel of the Neo- Panamax type may result in assessing the overall cost comparison.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 12499
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-171).
Keywords: Northwest Passage, Optimization, GIS, Shipping
Department(s): Marine Institute > School of Maritime Studies
Date: August 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Optimum ship routing--Computer simulation; Ice navigation--Computer simulation; Container ship routes--Computer simulation.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics