Reliable sea ice concentration (SIC) information assists the safe and energy-efficient ship navigation along the Northern Sea Route (NSR). In particular, the accurate SIC forecast is a top priority. This study proposes a statistical interpolation method to reduce the errors induced by the traditional interpolation method. An auto-regressive integrated moving average (AR/MA) model is developed based on reanalysis data. The AR/MA model can be used for short-term SIC forecasts along the NSR. Model validation has been conducted through a specially designed cross-validation. The route availability is estimated according to the SIC forecast. The results indicate that the specified NSR will be open for shipping from 2021 to 2024. The work also indicates the feasibility of the proposed statistical models to assist NSR shipping management.

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