Cargo-mix optimization in Liner Shipping

Jonas Mark Christensen, Dario Pacino, Joao Filipe Paiva Fonseca, Harilaos N. Psaraftis

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    International transportation constitutes one of the biggest challenges in limiting CO2 emission in theworld: it is technically hard to find viable alternatives to fossil fuels, and due to the internationalnature, it is very difficult to regulate CO2 emission of intercontinental trade. Moreover, it is hard tomotivate companies to pay for cleaner transport since transportation is not visible to end customers,and therefore cannot justify a higher cost. Hence, optimization may be one of the few options forlimiting CO2 emission of international trade. A possible direction is to focus on vessels’ utilization.The more containers a vessel carries the smaller is the resulting CO2 emissions per transported tonof cargo. This is what can be seen as a win-win situation. Better vessel utilization will result bothin cleaner transport and in better revenue margins for the shippers.
    Focus on vessel intake maximization is old news for liner shippers. Container vessels are deliveredwith a nominal capacity that ship owners know is only theoretical. Unless the cargo weightdistribution is perfect, the nominal intake cannot be reached. Stowage coordinators fight this battleeveryday. They are the planners of the cargo and have to find a load configuration (stowage plan)that both suits the current cargo to be loaded but also guarantees that the vessel can be utilizedto its maximum in future ports. The size of nowadays vessels is, however, making this work harderand harder (Pacino et al. (2011)). Moreover, the cargo composition available in the different portsmight not be suitable for the full utilization of the vessel. The focus of our work is the analysis ofvessels’ cargo-mix, in particular finding what cargo composition is needed for a vessel to maximizeits utilization on a given service. Such a model can have various applications ranging from drivingrate prices, improving fleet composition and network design ((Christiansen et al., 2007; Reinhardtand Pisinger, 2012; Brouer et al., 2014)).
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event4th symposium arranged by European Association for Research in Transportation - Technical University of Denmark , Lyngby, Denmark
    Duration: 9 Sep 201511 Sep 2015
    Conference number: 4


    Conference4th symposium arranged by European Association for Research in Transportation
    LocationTechnical University of Denmark

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