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An Operational Model for Empty Container Management

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  • Alessandro Olivo

    () (Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.)

  • Paola Zuddas

    () (Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.)

  • Massimo Di Francesco

    () (Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.)

  • Antonio Manca

    () (Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.)

Abstract

This paper proposes a mathematical programming approach for empty container management. Since directional imbalances in trade activities result in a surplus or shortage of empty containers in ports and depots, their management can be thought of as a min cost flow problem whose arcs represent services routes, inventory links and decisions concerning the time and place to lease containers from external sources. We adopt an hourly time-step in a dynamic network and, although this time-period generates large-size instances, the two implemented algorithms show a good computational efficiency. A possible case study of the Mediterranean basin is proposed and results are presented with a graphical representation, providing a useful support to decision-makers in the field. Maritime Economics & Logistics (2005) 7, 199–222. doi:10.1057/palgrave.mel.9100136

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Olivo & Paola Zuddas & Massimo Di Francesco & Antonio Manca, 2005. "An Operational Model for Empty Container Management," Maritime Economics & Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan;International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME), vol. 7(3), pages 199-222, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:marecl:v:7:y:2005:i:3:p:199-222
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Long, Yin & Lee, Loo Hay & Chew, Ek Peng, 2012. "The sample average approximation method for empty container repositioning with uncertainties," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 222(1), pages 65-75.
    3. Xie, Yangyang & Liang, Xiaoying & Ma, Lijun & Yan, Houmin, 2017. "Empty container management and coordination in intermodal transport," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 257(1), pages 223-232.
    4. Li, Ling & Wang, Bin & Cook, David P., 2015. "Reprint of “Enhancing green supply chain initiatives via empty container reuse”," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 109-123.
    5. Bell, Michael G.H. & Liu, Xin & Rioult, Jeremy & Angeloudis, Panagiotis, 2013. "A cost-based maritime container assignment model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 58-70.
    6. Song, Dong-Ping & Dong, Jing-Xin, 2011. "Effectiveness of an empty container repositioning policy with flexible destination ports," Transport Policy, Elsevier, pages 92-101.
    7. Wong, Eugene Y.C. & Tai, Allen H. & Raman, Mardjuki, 2015. "A maritime container repositioning yield-based optimization model with uncertain upsurge demand," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 147-161.
    8. Li, Ling & Wang, Bin & Cook, David P., 2014. "Enhancing green supply chain initiatives via empty container reuse," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 190-204.

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