University Of Tasmania
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Data fusion and machine learning for ship fuel efficiency modeling: Part I - voyage report data and meteorological data

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:02 authored by Li, XH, Yuquan Du, Yanyu ChenYanyu Chen, Son NguyenSon Nguyen, Wei ZhangWei Zhang, Schonborn, A, Sun, Z
The International Maritime Organization has been promoting energy-efficient operational measures to reduce ships' bunker fuel consumption and the accompanying emissions, including speed optimization, trim optimization, weather routing, and the virtual arrival policy. The theoretical foundation of these measures is a model that can accurately forecast a ship's bunker fuel consumption rate according to its sailing speed, displacement/draft, trim, weather conditions, and sea conditions. Voyage report is an important data source for ship fuel efficiency modeling but its information quality on weather and sea conditions is limited by a snapshotting practice with eye inspection. To overcome this issue, this study develops a solution to fuse voyage report data and publicly accessible meteorological data and constructs nine datasets based on this data fusion solution. Eleven widely-adopted machine learning models were tested over these datasets for eight 8100-TEU to 14,000-TEU containerships from a global shipping company. The best datasets found reveal the benefits of fusing voyage report data and meteorological data, as well as the practically acceptable quality of voyage report data. Extremely randomized trees (ET), AdaBoost (AB), Gradient Tree Boosting (GB) and XGBoost (XG) present the best fit and generalization performances. Their R2 values over the best datasets are all above 0.96 and even reach 0.99 to 1.00 for the training set, and 0.74 to 0.90 for the test set. Their fit errors on daily bunker fuel consumption are usually between 0.5 and 4.0 ton/day. These models have good interpretability in explaining the relative importance of different determinants to a ship's fuel consumption rate.


International Association of Maritime Universities


Publication title

Communications in Transportation Research

Article number









Australian Maritime College


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Tsinghua University Press. This is an open access article under the CC BY license Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) (

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Management of greenhouse gas emissions from transport activities; International sea freight transport (excl. live animals, food products and liquefied gas)