In global liner shipping networks, a large share of transported cargo is transshipped at least once between container vessels, and the total transportation time of these containers depends on how well the corresponding services are synchronized. We propose a problem formulation that integrates service scheduling into the liner shipping network design problem. Furthermore, the model incorporates many industry-relevant modeling aspects: it allows for leg-based sailing speed optimization, it is not limited to simple or butterfly-type services, and it accounts for service-level requirements such as cargo transit time limits. The classic liner shipping network design problem is already a hard problem, and to solve the extended version, we propose a column-generation matheuristic that uses advanced linear programming techniques. The proposed method solves LINER-LIB instances of up to 114 ports and, if applied to the classic liner shipping network design problem, finds new best solutions to all instances, outperforming existing methods reported in the literature. Additionally, we analyze the relevance of scheduling for liner shipping network design. The results indicate that neglecting scheduling and approximating transshipments instead may result in the design of liner shipping networks that underestimate cargo transit times and their implications.
Green Liner Shipping Network Design refers to the problems in green logistics related to the design of maritime services in liner shipping with a focus on reducing the environmental impact. This chapter discusses how to more efficiently plan the vessel services with the use of mathematical optimization models. A brief introduction to the main characteristics of Liner Shipping Network Design is given, as well as the different variants and assumptions that can be considered when defining this problem. The chapter also includes an overview of the algorithms and approaches that have been presented in the literature to design such networks.
We present a solution method for the liner shipping network design problem which is a core strategic planning problem faced by container carriers. We propose the first practical algorithm which explicitly handles transshipment time limits for all demands. Individual sailing speeds at each service leg are used to balance sailings speed against operational costs, hence ensuring that the found network is competitive on both transit time and cost. We present a matheuristic for the problem where a MIP is used to select which ports should be inserted or removed on a route. Computational results are presented showing very promising results for realistic global liner shipping networks. Due to a number of algorithmic enhancements, the obtained solutions can be found within the same time frame as used by previous algorithms not handling time constraints. Furthermore we present a sensitivity analysis on fluctuations in bunker price which confirms the applicability of the algorithm.