Authors: Alfandari, Laurent
Davidović, Tatjana 
Furini, Fabio
Ljubić, Ivana
Maraš, Vladislav
Martin, Sébastien
Title: Tighter MIP models for Barge Container Ship Routing
Journal: Omega (United Kingdom)
Volume: 82
First page: 38
Last page: 54
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2019
Rank: M21a
ISSN: 0305-0483
DOI: 10.1016/j.omega.2017.12.002
Abstract: 
This paper addresses the problem of optimal planning of a liner service for a barge container shipping company. Given estimated weekly demands between pairs of ports, our goal is to determine the subset of ports to be called and the amount of containers to be shipped between each pair of ports, so as to maximize the profit of the shipping company. In order to save possible leasing or storage costs of empty containers at the respective ports, our approach takes into account the repositioning of empty containers. The line has to follow the outbound–inbound principle, starting from the port at the river mouth. We propose a novel integrated approach in which the shipping company can simultaneously optimize the route (along with repositioning of empty containers), the choice of the final port, length of the turnaround time and the size of its fleet. To solve this problem, a new mixed integer programming model is proposed. On the publicly available set of benchmark instances for barge container routing, we demonstrate that this model provides very tight dual bounds and significantly outperforms the existing approaches from the literature for splittable demands. We also show how to further improve this model by projecting out arc variables for modeling the shipping of empty containers. Our numerical study indicates that the latter model improves the computing times for the challenging case of unsplittable demands. We also study the impact of the turnaround time optimization on the total profit of the company.
Keywords: Barge Container Ship Routing | Empty container repositioning | Inland waterway transport | Integer linear programming | Liner shipping network design
Publisher: Elsevier
Project: Campus France
Graph theory and mathematical programming with applications in chemistry and computer science 
Software development and national database for strategic management and development of transportation means and infrastructure in road, rail, air and inland waterways transport using the European transport network models 
Pavle Savić programme for years 2016/17

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