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The Container Shipping Network Design Under Changing Demand and Freight Rates

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Executive Summary

This paper studies the optimization of container shipping network structures and its operations under changing cargo demand and freight rates. Most existing studies that use a given matrix of average demand have not been able to deal with practical issues such as empty container repositioning, ship-slot allocating, ship sizing, and container configuration. In this paper, these issues are simultaneously considered based on a series of matrices of demand in a year. The problem is formulated as a Mixed Integer Non-Linear Programming problem (MINP) with an objective of maximizing the average unit ship-slot profit in three stages by using analytical methodology. A genetic algorithm based on heuristic is utilized to arrive at solutions.

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