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Simulation-based optimization of ship design for dry bulk vessels


  • Shun Chen

    () (Department of Maritime Technology and Transportation, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.
    Department of International Shipping, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, China)

  • Koos Frouws

    (Department of Maritime Technology and Transportation, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.)

  • Eddy Van De Voorde

    () (Department of Transport and Regional Economics, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.)


One of the most important decisions for ship owners is to build an optimal ship for a specific business. That often corresponds to finding the optimal ship dimension speed and capacity. This article therefore attempts to construct an interactive logistic scheme including three basic systems, namely the design model, the shipping system and the shore logistic system, to design optimal ships by taking into account the logistical reality at the basic design stage for ship owners. The optimization process is completed through Monte-Carlo simulation within the Crystal Ball software by embedding Microsoft Solver. The methodology is applied specifically to design the dry bulk fleet used to serve the transportation of iron ore on the voyage from Tubarao, Brazil to Beilun, China, with the optimal ship design specifications and logistic plan, which can achieve the economic objective for both ship owners and steel mills. The proposed methodology not only provides a tool to analyze problems in ship design, ship operation and the shore logistic system, but also shows the required flexibility in the decision-making for different parties.

Suggested Citation

  • Shun Chen & Koos Frouws & Eddy Van De Voorde, 2011. "Simulation-based optimization of ship design for dry bulk vessels," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 13(2), pages 190-212, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:marecl:v:13:y:2011:i:2:p:190-212

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