Integrated planning of ship deployment, service schedule and container routing

Lu Zhen, Shuaian Wang, Gilbert Laporte, Yi Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)


This paper provides an integrated planning model for container shipping liners. For a shipping network with multiple routes connected by transshipment hubs, the model can simultaneously decide ship deployment along routes, a service schedule including visit times and speed on legs, and cargo allocation to routes for each origin-destination pair. The model considers realistic factors, such as container handling and holding costs at the transshipment hubs, shipping time for each origin-destination pair, penalties for late delivery, ship capacity and speed-dependent fuel costs. Three efficient solution methods are suggested to solve this complex mixed-integer programming model under different scales of problem instances. Computational results based on real data show that the proposed methods cannot only yield solutions with optimality gaps about 0.3% on instances with four routes, but can also solve cases with ten routes and 59 ports in about one and a half hour. This study provides shipping liners with a comprehensive decision tool to make some long-term decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-318
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Delay delivery
  • Fuel cost
  • Holding cost
  • Liner shipping
  • Transshipment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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