The presence of ice poses a challenge or even a hazard to all ships. Depending on the trade area, season, ice class, seasonal variations and meteorological influences, sea areas can be safely navigated or pose significant risks. In either case, ice is a challenge for ship, crew and management.
Ice management is an essential part of ice navigation. It improves the ship's progress in ice, shortens voyage time and enables operations in polar regions. With our careful ice management, the season can start earlier and be extended towards the end. However, ice management does not guarantee the successful completion of the operation, ice management gets the possible out of the natural conditions while maintaining the safety for crew, environment and ship.
Tactical Ice Management
Competent assessment of ice conditions and trends in the field is the basis of safe operations in ice. Shipboard advisors can augment or replace expertise. Our ice pilots have decades of experience in Arctic and Antarctic ice and provide their knowledge aboard their vessels.
The use of appropriate assets up to and including icebreakers can alter ice conditions on the ground to suit the desired conditions.
With the use of icebreakers, icebergs can be diverted from their course, smaller fragments can be washed away with water cannons, for example, or redirected by the ship's propeller current.
There are various options available here, we are happy to advise on the optimum means for the intended operation. The basis for decision should be a risk assessment, which we offer as part of our Polar Code Services. This risk management presents the risks and feasibility of the operation in a transparent way to the decision makers.
Strategic Ice Management
In the run-up to the operation and for medium-term planning in the ongoing operation, a strategy based on satellite imagery, reconnaissance flights, ice maps and historical data is useful.
With the help of a permanent assessment of local conditions and forecasts, risks due to ice and weather for the progress of the operation, for the ship and the crew can be minimized.
We offer the procurement of the information and the interpretation of the data. This should be done in the context of a holistic ice management plan in order to clearly build causes, effects and consequences on each other and make them available as a basis for decision making.