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Optimal port call adjustment for liner container shipping routes

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  • Wang, Yadong
  • Meng, Qiang
  • Jia, Peng

Abstract

Container shipping companies usually alter their shipping networks in response to the seasonally changing shipping demand and freight rate. Rather than redesigning their shipping networks from scratch, they often choose to make small adjustments to the shipping routes by skipping some ports or adding additional calls to several ports. Inspired by above industrial practice in shipping network alteration, this study solves the port call adjustment problem (PCAP) to determine which port calls should be removed and which should be inserted for each route of a shipping network under the new shipping market patterns. A two-phase solution method is developed for the PCAP. In Phase 1, the candidate port calls for removal and insertion operations in each shipping route are determined. In Phase 2, the port call adjustment strategy is obtained by solving a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) model to select the port calls from these candidates identified in Phase 1 for actual removal and insertion operations. Considering the difficulties in solving the MILP model efficiently, two heuristic methods are also proposed to give near-optimal solutions in an acceptable computational time. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the proposed two-phase method is able to find a port call adjustment strategy that significantly reduces the operating cost.

Suggested Citation

  • Wang, Yadong & Meng, Qiang & Jia, Peng, 2019. "Optimal port call adjustment for liner container shipping routes," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 107-128.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:128:y:2019:i:c:p:107-128
    DOI: 10.1016/j.trb.2019.07.015
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