Traditionally, vessel fleet scheduling has been considered as somewhat of an art. You are either gifted with an extraordinary talent or you are more of an amateur. It has most often been done manually using paper and pen based on the planners' knowledge and experience. There has been little or no use of advanced optimisation software in planning of fleet schedules in maritime transportation. However, planners have human constraints - a chartering manager can in practice consider only a few vessels and cargoes simultaneously; thus, only a few schedule alternatives are evaluated. Optimisation software implemented on a computer can calculate millions of alternatives in only a few seconds but tend to have restricted ability to handle all practical constraints that occur in real life.
MARINTEK has developed TurboRouter, a tool for optimizing vessel fleet scheduling. The design philosophy behind TurboRouter has been to combine the knowledge and experience of the planners with the calculating capabilities of the computer. Therefore, much emphasis has been put in the development of the graphical user interface, and it is always possible for the planner to overrule or edit schedule suggestions from TurboRouter.