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Fuel bunker management strategies within sustainable container shipping operation considering disruption and recovery policies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Arijit DeORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by IEEE, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The paper endeavours to explore the sustainable container shipping problem considering fuel bunker management and provide adequate recovery policies for countering disruption within maritime transportation. The research work addresses the environmental concerns related to fuel consumption and carbon emission within shipping operations and simultaneously presents strategies for countering disruption within maritime transportation domain. Several researches addressed bunker fuel management strategies but overlooked the need for integrating it with shipping operations. The paper aims to bridge this research gap by proposing a novel mathematical model and presenting a heuristic procedure combined with variable neighborhood search algorithm for maximizing the shipping company’s profitability while addressing the vessel routing and scheduling decisions, container loading and unloading operations, selection of bunkering ports and determining bunkered amount for heavy fuel oil and marine diesel oil. Recovery strategies such as port swapping and rescheduling of vessel route are considered to deal with disruptions related to weather adversities. An illustrative example is presented depicting the realistic scenario and providing results associated with ship routes, vessel speed, bunkering ports, bunkered amounts, fuel consumed by the vessel on each sailing leg, arrival and departure time of the ships, etc. Insights obtained from the analysis, performed based on the fuel price, ship’s bunkering capacity, adverse weather conditions on various routes, port closure, carbon tax and fuel consumption provide useful information for shipping company managers. Managerial implications are presented with regard to the impact of fuel prices and carbon tax on shipping operation from the perspective of overall operational cost. Moreover, the results provide important policy insights for shipping company managers in terms of possessing alternate vessel route options for normal scenario and disrupted scenarios including weather adversities on sailing leg or port closure.

Publication metadata

Author(s): De A, Wang J, Tiwari M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

Year: 2021

Volume: 68

Issue: 4

Pages: 1089-1111

Print publication date: 01/08/2021

Online publication date: 09/07/2019

Acceptance date: 10/06/2019

Date deposited: 13/06/2019

ISSN (print): 0018-9391

ISSN (electronic): 1558-0040

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/TEM.2019.2923342


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