Transit Study

Efficient delivery of cargoes to market is critical to the success of resource projects in remote regions. The presence of sea ice increases the risk associated with shipping logistics, increasing transit duration and adding costs. Our transit studies reduce the impact of ice on our customers’ businesses by developing cost effective shipping solutions and providing reliable estimates of transit duration.


Our transit studies help ensure that shipping does not become a bottleneck in our customers’ projects.  Resource extraction projects such as mines and natural gas projects rely on efficient shipping to transport their products to markets.  Delayed shipments may prevent export targets from being achieved or may backup storage facilities resulting in production loss.  Other sectors, such as the cruise industry, rely on their ability to achieve set schedules.  Whatever the cargo, sea ice impedes vessel transits.  Aker Arctic’s transit studies help customers anticipate these seasonal slowdowns so that effective shipping logistics can be developed. 

The heart of our transit studies is Aker Arctic’s in-house transit simulation tool.  Our simulation tool is designed around a customizable routing algorithm combined with accurate speed predictions.  The routing algorithm ensures an optimal route is chosen through or around the ice based on the ship’s unique capabilities and risks.  The speed along the selected route is calculated based on the client’s specific vessel design and the ice conditions encountered using our large database of model scale and full-scale data.  The resulting analysis provides accurate statistics about the anticipated voyages.  Aker Arctic uses these results to design vessels and fleets that result in reliable delivery of cargo on schedule at minimum cost. 

At Aker Arctic, our transit studies are as unique as our customers’ logistical challenges and business objectives.  High level challenges can be addressed simply, while comprehensive studies are available to address more complex situations.  Simple studies provide indicative results at low cost using publicly available ice and environmental data sources and generic ship designs.  More thorough evaluation of ice conditions and customer specific vessel design concepts can be integrated into the study to improve accuracy, evaluate uncertainty, and explore optimized solutions.  Transit studies can also be combined with other Aker Arctic solutions such Outline Designs and Arctic Port Concepts to develop complete shipping logistics solutions. 

The range of topics that can be addressed with Aker Arctic’s transit studies includes: 

  • The yearly variation and seasonal impact on ice on transit times 
  • Fleet designs to meet cargo export/import targets 
  • Optimized cargo vessel designs, including cargo capacities, ice class, and performance specifications 
  • Impact of icebreaker assistance on fleet composition 
  • Onshore storage capacity requirements to match shipping schedules 
  • Shipping costs including OPEX and CAPEX estimates. 
  • Sensitivity analysis 

Aker Arctic’s transit simulation studies can be used for wide range of other application such as calculation of expected time of rescues for Polar Water Operations Manuals or optimizing the location of ports or offloading terminals.  Contаct us to see how our transit study solutions can be adapted to your industry. 

Related articles in our magazine Arctic Passion News:

Winter navigation on the Baltic Sea (2016)
New regime and regulations on the NSR (2020)
Safe and reliable shipping of crude oil (2020)
Predicting the safest route through ice (2021)

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