Assessment of safety and economy of navigation in ice on the Northen Sea route

  • Tadeusz Pastusiak Gdynia Maritime University
Keywords: Northern Sea Route, transit, ice navigation, sea transportation


This article discusses safety and economic issues of sea transport during transit voyages of a vessel across the North Sea Route (NSR) in the Arctic Ocean. The main obstacles to shipping and threat to vessels are the regions of ice occurrence and, in particular, clusters of ice with high and very high concentration, thickness and hummocking occurring each year in the same places, which are called ice massifs. Speed of vessels has the greatest impact on the economy of transit voyage. The safe speed of vessels, as a means of transport that ensures trouble-free navigation of the vessels depends on ice conditions. Until now, the concept of safe speed has not been precisely defined. Also, the impact of speed of the vessel in certain ice conditions on overcoming the ice and the risk of damage to vessel has not been precisely defined. Issues of direct and potential costs of vessel’s safety, damages and consequences of damages in ice were also not fully considered. The author analyzed the above relationships on the example of the first commercial vessel transit voyage through the NSR and obtained generalized results that can be applied to the initial, general and tactical route planning till 10 days - 6 months ahead and transit schedule of a vessel between Europe and the Far East ports via the Northern Sea Route. The presented method should increase safety and economy of sea transportation in areas covered with ice.


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