Shipping is the most dominant means of transport that facilitate global trade. Over 90% of world trade is done by ships. Fuel onboard ships, commonly referred to as “bunkers”, has become the largest cost item of a ship’s Operational Expenses (OPEX), accounting today almost 50% of a voyage cost, even greater than crew wages. This has given rise to interest in understanding the fuel consumption under various condition.
Ship performance analysis means the ability to predict the power and fuel consumption of a ship in any given condition of draft (or displacement), speed and weather condition. When the ship is new, sea trial curves, though with limited speed range and draft range give good estimation. However, for an older vessel, this needs to be estimated from the recent observed data report by the ship either through noon report or real time report. Since the accuracy of the model is dependent on the reported data, error in this would reduce the accuracy of the model.
The following sections focus on the human errors in reports and the means of reducing the same to get a good prediction model. The process of building the model is not covered in the article.