Container liner shipping companies only partially alter their shipping networks to cope with the changing demand, rather than entirely redesign and change the network. In view of the practice, this paper proposes an optimal container liner shipping network alteration problem based on an interesting idea of segment, which is a sequence of legs from a head port to a tail port that are visited by the same type of ship more than once in the existing shipping network. In segment-based network alteration, the segments are intact and each port is visited by the same type of ship and from the same previous ports. As a result, the designed network needs minimum modification before implementation. A mixed-integer linear programming model with a polynomial number of variables is developed for the proposed segmented-based liner shipping network alternation problem. The developed model is applied to an Asia-Europe-Oceania liner shipping network with a total of 46 ports and 11 ship routes. Results demonstrate that the problem could be solved efficiently and the optimized network reduces the total cost of the initial network considerably.
- Container liner shipping network design
- Liner shipping network alteration
- Maritime transportation