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Quantifying the impact of inland transport times on container fleet sizing in liner shipping service with uncertainties

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jingxin DongORCiD


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Container fleet sizing is a key issue in liner shipping industry. Although container shipping is an intermodal transport system, inland container movements are often beyond the control of shipping lines. It is vital to understand how the inland transport times and their variability affect the container fleet sizing. This paper first formulates the container fleet sizing problem in liner services with uncertain customer demands and stochastic inland transport times. Simulation-based optimisation approaches are then employed to solve the problem. Two typical shipping services, one cyclic route in trans-Pacific lane and the other more complicated route in Europe-Asia lane, are used as case studies. A quantitative relationship between the optimal container fleet size and the inland transport time is established. The impact of uncertainties in inland times on the fleet sizing is also investigated. The results provide shipping companies useful insights into making strategic decisions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dong JX, Song DP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: OR Spectrum

Year: 2012

Volume: 34

Issue: 1

Pages: 155-180

Print publication date: 01/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0171-6468

ISSN (electronic): 1436-6304

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00291-009-0185-4


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