Joint Routing and Deployment of a Fleet of Container Vessels
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Liner companies face a complex problem in determining the optimal routing and deployment of a fleet of container vessels. This paper presents a model and an algorithm to address the two problems jointly. The model captures the revenues and operating expenses of a global liner company, and allows for the representation of vessel types with different cost and operating properties, transhipment hubs and associated costs, port delays, regional trade imbalances and the possibility of rejecting transportation demand selectively. Benchmark tests demonstrate that the proposed algorithm achieves good solutions quickly. The proposed algorithm is applied in a case study with 120 ports of call distributed throughout the globe. The case study explores the sensitivity of optimal fleet deployment and routing to varying bunker costs.
Keywordsvessel routing fleet deployment liner shipping
This research was partly funded by Agencia de Gestio d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR), of the Government of Catalonia. An early version of this paper was presented at IAME 2008, and we are grateful for the feedback obtained from the audience on that occasion. We thank Professor Kjetil Fagerholt for several suggestions. Any remaining errors or omissions are our responsibility.
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