Toward a hybrid model of ship performance in ice suitable for route planning purpose

Jakub Montewka*, Floris Goerlandt, Mikko Lensu, Lauri Kuuliala, Robert Guinness

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Practical knowledge about the performance of a ship while navigating in ice is crucial for the selection of safe and efficient route for a ship. Existing route finding tools estimate ship performance in ice adopting numerous approaches, ranging from model tests and engineering models to experts-based guidelines. Therein ship performance is usually understood as attainable ship speed or the average speed in given ice conditions; rarely the probability of besetting in ice is taken into account. Those models despite being fairly accurate in the theory share the same shortcoming in practice. The latter encompasses three main issues: (1) inaccurate information about prevailing ice conditions, (2) presence of ice conditions that goes beyond the scope of the models, and (3) the effect of operational patterns and traffic organization on the performance of an individual ship. To approach those issues, we propose a hybrid model of ship performance in ice-covered waters. The hybrid model combines two other sub-models: engineering and data-driven. The former determines ship speed and besetting probability in ridged ice field with ice concentration close to 100%. The latter sub-model provides information on ship’s speed in the actual ice conditions, where the speed is affected also by operational restrictions and icebreaker assistance. It is based on an extensive dataset combining ship data from automatic identification system and ice data from ice charts and ice forecast models. The presented hybrid model is valid for a specific ship type, which is ice going bulk carrier (IA Super ice class), operating within the Northern Baltic Sea winter navigation system. The obtained results reveal that the hybrid model in principle is capable of providing reliable information about the performance of a ship in a wide range of conditions accounting for environmental variability and existing operational conditions. The model is suitable for the purpose of safe route planning in ice for a single ship or group of similar ships, accounting for the economy and safety of a voyage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-34
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability
Issue number1
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • hybrid models
  • ice navigation
  • Maritime system safety
  • ship performance modeling
  • ship routing in ice


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