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Flow balancing-based empty container repositioning in typical shipping service routes

Author

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  • Dong-ping Song

    (International Shipping & Logistics Group, Business School, University of Plymouth, Cookworthy Building, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK)

  • Jing-xin Dong

    (International Shipping & Logistics Group, Business School, University of Plymouth, Cookworthy Building, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK)

Abstract

This article formulates the empty container repositioning problem for general shipping service routes based on container flow balancing. Two types of flow balancing mechanisms are analysed. The first is based on point-to-point balancing, which leads to a point-to-point repositioning policy. The second is based on coordinated balancing in the whole service, which leads to a coordinated repositioning policy. A simple heuristic algorithm is presented to solve the coordinated balancing problem which aims to minimize total empty container repositioning costs. The above two repositioning policies are then applied to a range of shipping services, representing typical route structures in existing shipping networks. The relative performances of these two policies and their sensitivity to route structure and trade demand are examined in both deterministic and stochastic situations. Managerial insights are subsequently derived.

Suggested Citation

  • Dong-ping Song & Jing-xin Dong, 2011. "Flow balancing-based empty container repositioning in typical shipping service routes," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 13(1), pages 61-77, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:marecl:v:13:y:2011:i:1:p:61-77
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Shuaian, 2013. "Essential elements in tactical planning models for container liner shipping," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 84-99.
    2. Moon, Ilkyeong & Do Ngoc, Anh-Dung & Konings, Rob, 2013. "Foldable and standard containers in empty container repositioning," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 107-124.
    3. Wang, Shuaian & Meng, Qiang & Bell, Michael G.H., 2013. "Liner ship route capacity utilization estimation with a bounded polyhedral container shipment demand pattern," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 57-76.
    4. Song, Dong-Ping & Dong, Jing-Xin, 2012. "Cargo routing and empty container repositioning in multiple shipping service routes," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1556-1575.
    5. Wang, Shuaian & Meng, Qiang, 2012. "Robust schedule design for liner shipping services," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1093-1106.
    6. Zheng, Jianfeng & Sun, Zhuo & Zhang, Fangjun, 2016. "Measuring the perceived container leasing prices in liner shipping network design with empty container repositioning," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 123-140.
    7. Liu, Cong & Jiang, Zhibin & Liu, Liming & Geng, Na, 2013. "Solutions for flexible container leasing contracts with options under capacity and order constraints," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 403-413.
    8. Wang, Shuaian & Liu, Zhiyuan & Meng, Qiang, 2015. "Segment-based alteration for container liner shipping network design," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 128-145.
    9. Lättilä, Lauri & Henttu, Ville & Hilmola, Olli-Pekka, 2013. "Hinterland operations of sea ports do matter: Dry port usage effects on transportation costs and CO2 emissions," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 23-42.

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