Safety and energy efficiency are two of the key issues in the maritime transport community. A sail plan system, which combines the concepts of weather routing and voyage optimization, are recognized by the shipping industry as an efficient measure to ensure a ship’s safety, gain more economic benefit, and reduce negative effects on our environment. In such a system, the key component is to develop a proper optimization algorithm to generate potential ship routes between a ship’s departure and destination.
In the weather routing market, four routing optimization algorithms are commonly used. They are the so-called modified Isochrone and Isopone methods, dynamic programming, threedimensional dynamic programming, and Dijkstra’s algorithm, respectively. Each optimization algorithm has its own advantages and disadvantages to estimate a ship routing with shortest sailing time or/and minimum fuel consumption. This paper will present a benchmark study that compare these algorithms for routing optimization aiming at minimum fuel consumption. A merchant ship sailing in the North Atlantic with full-scale performance measurements, are employed as the case study vessels for the comparison. The ship’s speed/power performance is based on the ISO2015 methods combined with the measurement data. It is expected to demonstrate the pros and cons of different algorithms for the ship’s sail planning.