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Effectiveness of an empty container repositioning policy with flexible destination ports


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  • Song, Dong-Ping
  • Dong, Jing-Xin
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    This paper considers an empty container repositioning policy with flexible destination ports. The policy only specifies the direction of the empty flows, whereas ports of destinations are not determined in advance and empty containers are unloaded from vessels as needed. Interviews with industries show its application in practice, but little research has been reported on its effectiveness. The purpose of the paper is to formulate this policy mathematically and evaluate its effectiveness via simulation. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the new policy outperforms the conventional policy significantly in situations where trade demands are imbalanced and container fleet sizes are within a reasonable range.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transport Policy.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 92-101

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:92-101

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    Keywords: Container shipping Empty container repositioning Threshold control policy Stochastic Simulation;


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    1. Alessandro Olivo & Paola Zuddas & Massimo Di Francesco & Antonio Manca, 2005. "An Operational Model for Empty Container Management," Maritime Economics and Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(3), pages 199-222, September.
    2. Choong, Sook Tying & Cole, Michael H. & Kutanoglu, Erhan, 2002. "Empty container management for intermodal transportation networks," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 423-438, November.
    3. Dongping Song * & Jie Zhang & Jonathan Carter & Tony Field & James Marshall & John Polak & Kimberly Schumacher & Proshun Sinha-Ray & John Woods, 2005. "On cost-efficiency of the global container shipping network," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(1), pages 15-30, January.
    4. Erera, Alan L. & Morales, Juan C. & Savelsbergh, Martin, 2005. "Global intermodal tank container management for the chemical industry," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 551-566, November.
    5. Kochel, Peter & Kunze, Sophie & Nielander, Ulf, 2003. "Optimal control of a distributed service system with moving resources: Application to the fleet sizing and allocation problem," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 443-459, January.
    6. Li, Jing-An & Leung, Stephen C.H. & Wu, Yue & Liu, Ke, 2007. "Allocation of empty containers between multi-ports," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 182(1), pages 400-412, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Meng, Qiang & Wang, Shuaian, 2012. "Liner ship fleet deployment with week-dependent container shipment demand," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 222(2), pages 241-252.
    2. Wang, Shuaian & Meng, Qiang, 2012. "Robust schedule design for liner shipping services," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1093-1106.
    3. Wang, Shuaian, 2013. "Essential elements in tactical planning models for container liner shipping," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 84-99.


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