All shipping liner companies divide their service regions into several rotations (strings) in order to operate their container vessels. A string is the ordered set of ports at which a container vessel will call. Each port is usually called at no more than twice along one string, although a single port may be called at several times on different strings. The size of string dictates the number of vessels required to offer a given frequency of service. In order to better use their shipping capacity, groups of Liner Service Providers sometimes make a short term agreement to merge some of their service routes (in a certain region) into one main ocean going rotation and p feeder rotations. In order to minimize the weighted sum of transit time, and fixed deployment costs, this paper proposes a mixed integer linear programming model of the network design, and an allocation of proper capacity size and frequency setting for every rotation. Given that none of the existing general-purpose MIP solvers is able to solve even very small problem instances in a reasonable time, we propose a Lagrangian decomposition approach which uses a heuristic procedure and is capable of obtaining practical and high quality solutions in reasonable times. The model will be applied on a real example, and we shall present some of the results obtained by our model which show how it facilitates a better use of assets and a significant reduction in the use of fuel, therefore allowing a more environmentally friendly service.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Mathematical Modelling|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2013|
- Environment and emission
- Integer programming
- Lagrangian relaxation
- Liner shipping