A Branch-and-Price Approach for a Ship Routing Problem with Multiple Products and Inventory Constraints
In the oil industry, different oil products are blended in a refinery. Afterwards, these products are transported to different harbors by ship. Due to the limited storage capacity at the harbors and the undesirability of a stock-out, inventory levels at the harbors have to be taken into account during the construction of the ship’s routes. In this paper, we give a detailed description of this problem, which we call the ship routing problem with multiple products and inventory constraints. Furthermore, we formulate this problem as a generalized set-covering problem. We propose a branch-and-price algorithm to solve it and we discuss this briefly.