A Branch and Cut algorithm for the container shipping network design problem

Line Blander Reinhardt, David Pisinger

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The network design problem in liner shipping is of increasing importance in a strongly competitive market where potential cost reductions can influence market share and profits significantly. In this paper the network design and fleet assignment problems are combined into a mixed integer linear programming model minimizing the overall cost. To better reflect the real-life situation we take into account the cost of transhipment, a heterogeneous fleet, route dependant capacities, and butterfly routes. To the best of our knowledge it is the first time an exact solution method to the problem considers transhipment cost. The problem is solved with branch-and-cut using clover and transhipment inequalities. Computational results are reported for instances with up to 15 ports.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFlexible Services and Manufacturing Journal
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)349-374
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • containers
    • transhipment
    • liner shipping
    • branch and cut

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