Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal

, Volume 27, Issue 2–3, pp 139–179 | Cite as

Literature survey of network optimization in container liner shipping

  • Nguyen Khoi TranEmail author
  • Hans-Dietrich Haasis


Container liner shipping is one of the most important transportation modes in international trade. The industry is network-based, so network decision contributes much to the success of any operators. There are many decisions in respect of network optimization such as route and schedule design, port selection, fleet size and mix, fleet assignment and scheduling, container movement. Our paper conducts a literature survey to realize optimization problems, methodologies as well as research tendencies to deal with network optimization in container liner shipping. We focus on three major categories: container routing, fleet management and network design. Container routing is related to optimal flow movement of laden and empty containers. Fleet management is involved with decisions of ship assignment and scheduling. Network design is the problem of choosing ports and combining them to create the infrastructure of shipping operation.


Container liner shipping Network optimization Container routing Fleet management Network design 



The paper has been prepared during the Euro Summer Institute on Maritime Logistics (2012). The authors are very thankful to the organizers of the event, especially Prof. Dr. Christian Bierwirth and Dr. Frank Meisel (Martin Luther University). We are also very thankful for the editors of the special issue as well as reviewers for the comments which are extremely helpful for our paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Shipping Economics and LogisticsBremenGermany

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