In this paper the combined fleet-design, ship-scheduling and cargo-routing problem with limited availability of ships in liner shipping is considered. A composite solution approach is proposed in which the ports are first aggregated into port clusters to reduce the problem size. When the cargo flows are disaggregated, a feeder service network is introduced to ship the cargo within a port cluster. The solution method is tested on a problem instance containing 58 ports on the Asia-Europe trade lane of Maersk. The best obtained profit gives an improvement of more than 10% compared to the reference network based on the Maersk network.

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Keywords Liner shipping, Network design, Scheduling, Transportation
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Journal European Journal of Operational Research
Mulder, J, & Dekker, R. (2014). Methods for strategic liner shipping network design. European Journal of Operational Research, 235(2), 367–377. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2013.09.041