International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics (29 papers in press)
Analyzing Business Models of Liner Shipping Companies
by Jasmine Siu Lee Lam, Hui Neng Wong
Abstract: In a highly volatile and ever-changing business environment, how to run the business efficiently with low costs while achieving high service standards is a key to success for shipping companies. This paper focuses on the liner shipping sector and aims to find out and analyze the business models used by liner shipping companies. The major types of business models are formed by literature review and information collection based on the public sources of liner companies. Interviews with expert industry practitioners are conducted for result analysis and verification. The paper broadly categorizes three business models: Cost Leadership, Service Differentiation & Innovation, and Hybrid. In contrast with the literature, findings suggest that the Hybrid model is the most desirable business model that most companies would like to achieve. Based on the analysis, the study further conceptualizes the business culture and organizational capability of liner companies in relation to the business models. Propositions and implications are then derived.
Keywords: business model; liner shipping; shipping strategy; economic value; cost leadership; service differentiation; innovation; business culture; organizational capability; market volatility.
Operational and Disaggregate Input Efficiencies of International Container Ports: An Application of Stochastic Frontier Analysis
by Huey-Kuo Chen
Abstract: Analysis of the performance of container ports is of great importance for the competitiveness of port business. This paper, therefore, applies stochastic frontier/metafrontier analysis to study output and disaggregate input efficiencies of international container ports during 2004-2011 with the aim that the findings obtained can be a reference for relevant industry operators to identify avenues for strengthening port operations. One output variable (i.e., container throughput), four input variables (e.g., container storage capacity, ship-to-shore container cranes, etc.) and six environmental variables reflecting different conditions or surroundings confronted by ports (e.g., geographic region, water depth, national economic growth rate, etc.) were used to evaluate technical efficiency, disaggregate input efficiency and meta technical efficiency for 35 international container ports using stochastic frontier/metafrontier analysis, a known parametric approach. Moreover, input efficiency is discussed separately for each selected input variable. The results show that the Asia-Pacific group is significantly superior to the Europe/America group in output efficiency for throughput and in input efficiency for ship-to-shore cranes and trucks; the Europe/America group is significantly superior in input efficiency of container storage. To improve performance, port operators should pay more attention to inefficient variables in each individual group and should allocate more resources to improving those. Two types of analysis show that individual surroundings variables have a significant effect on the input efficiency of trucks and vehicles. A few remarks at the end concern applications of suitable frontier/metafrontier models.
Keywords: stochastic frontier analysis; metafrontier; technical efficiency; disaggregate input efficiency; container ports.
Malmquist Productivity Indexes in Chinese Ports: A Fuzzy GMSS DEA Approach
by Peter Wanke, Zhongfei Chen, Jorge Junio Moreira Antunes, Carlos Barros
Abstract: This research focuses on the productivity assessment of 17 major Chinese ports from 2006-2015, shedding some light on how changes in cargo demand and cost structure may impact port performance in the future. Differently from previous works, a network productive structure formed by two stages was considered. In the first stage, fixed and other assets, altogether with human resources, are used to generate operating costs used as intermediate inputs, while the depreciation/amortization of such assets is considered as an exogenous output. In the second stage, each port uses these costs generated in the first stage to produce operating profit, while cargo demand is considered as an exogenous input that enters the system. Then, bootstrapped regression trees are used to predict the relationship of a set of contextual variables related to the technology, financial health and location. Results indicate that the former two determine the productivity change of Chinese ports. When the expansion of scale has not jeopardized the financial health, the productivity will increase. Implications are also derived.
Keywords: Chinese ports; DEA; GMSS; Malmquist; regression trees; bootstrapping.
Benchmarking container port security risks by applying a FIS methodology
by Dimitrios Stavrou, Nikolaos Ventikos, Zaili Yang
Abstract: This paper presents a fuzzy inference approach to estimate the security level of a port in a manner that it provides essential information to the stakeholders when evaluating security risks under uncertainty. A Fuzzy Inference System (FIS) methodology is developed on account to four predefined security factors. A team of experts is used to rank and survey potential port security risks whereas the experts ordinal preferences were combined using the Cook and Seiford method to come up with a consensus risks ranking. To validate the model, results are compared with those from an established Fuzzy Evidential Reasoning approach given the same security risk inputs. The verified FIS can provide useful insights for security analysts to conduct security risk quantification under high uncertainty in data in the maritime sector as well as a wider range of other industries (e.g. aerospace and process) facing high terrorism threats with appropriate tailor and adaptation.
Keywords: Maritime; Port Safety; Port Security; FIS; ISPS; Risk assessment.
The role of Agility and Organizational Learning Culture in forming Long Lasting relations in Shipping
by Angelos Pantouvakis, Maria Karakasnaki
Abstract: The current study aims to introduce and examine the role of agility and organizational learning culture towards enhancing customer relationship quality at the corporate environment level. Using a sample of 17 ports internationally, the study results revealed that the ability of a firm to ensure a long lasting quality relationship with its customers is directly and positively influenced by its agility and its learning culture. Following the organic view of the firm, this study advocates that in order to establish strong and committed quality relationships, focusing solely on organization learning is not enough; organizations should constantly and effectively adapt to changes in their external environment and reorganize their internal structures and systems or in other words be agile.
Keywords: agility; organizational learning culture; relationship quality; shipping.
The effect of CSR practices on organisational performance in the container shipping in Taiwan
by Chung-Shan Yang
Abstract: This study empirically examined the relationships between corporate social responsibility (CSR), customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and organisational performance in the container shipping context in Taiwan. We collected data from a survey of 124 maritime shipping firms and agencies and used a structural equation model to test the research hypotheses. We confirmed that CSR implementation increases customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, which in turn enhance organisational performance. The link between CSR and organisational performance was found to be direct and indirect (i.e. mediated by customer satisfaction and customer loyalty). This study contributes to container shipping CSR literature by providing a better understanding of the dimensions of container shipping CSR and mediate variables of organisational performance, and therefore, provides theoretical and managerial implications to improve CSR implementation and enhance organisational performance.
Keywords: Container shipping; Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Customer satisfaction; Customer loyalty; Organisational performance.
ANALYSIS ON THE DETERMINANTS OF SHIPMENT SIZE AND TYPE-OF-TRUCK CHOICES USING A DISCRETECONTINUOUS HYBRID MODEL
by Victor Cantillo, Javier Visbal, Julian Arellana
Abstract: When modeling freight demand, a common assumption is that decision makers decide on the commercial vehicle that best suits their transportation needs. Even though the discrete choice of vehicle type depends on the shipment size, which is a continuous variable, vehicle type choice models usually do not include any shipment size factor. The origin and destination of the cargo, the type of product, attributes related to the level of service (e.g. travel time and cost), trucking operational patterns and shippers characteristics are also factors that determinate both choices. This paper proposes a joint estimation procedure for the discrete-continuous model based on the Integrated Choice and Latent Variable Model. Our approach explicitly includes the shipment size as a continuous latent variable within the discrete type-of-truck choice. The application of the model in the Colombian context highlights the importance of considering the interrelationship between freight mode and shipment size decisions. Modeling results also suggest the presence of unobserved common factors influencing both decisions. The model was used to evaluate policies oriented to promote cargo consolidation. The evaluation suggests that increasing the tolls for small vehicles is feasible because of their higher cost sensitivity.
Keywords: Shipment Size; Type of Truck Choice; Discrete Continuous Model.
The impact of changing market requirements on dock labour employment systems in northwest European seaports
by Theo Notteboom
Abstract: This paper presents a conceptual framework on dock labour arrangements and employment systems from a market-driven perspective. We conceptualize how changing market requirements affect the characteristics and the design of dock labour employment systems in seaports. The demand for a high dock labour performance is decomposed into three underlying dimensions: labour productivity, cost efficiency and more qualitative factors such as labour flexibility and service delivery. The internal organization of dock labour takes place within a wider setting of legal and social conditions and the state of technology. Using the conceptual framework, we analyze how terminal operators try to meet changing market requirements through the deployment of new technology and advances in dock labour organization. We provide empirical evidence by zooming in on the evolution of dock labour arrangements and employment systems in a number of northwest European ports.
Keywords: Dock labour; labour performance; productivity; Europe; market dynamics.
Evaluation of a Centralized Transportation Assistance System for Passengers with Special Needs at a Canadian Airport
by Mehmet Begen, Richard Fung, Daniel Granot, Frieda Granot, Chris Hall, Bailey Kluczny
Abstract: Transportation assistance for travelers with special needs (e.g., disabled, sick, elderly, unaccompanied minors) is provided at most airports around the world, and the demand for this service is increasing every year. At most airports, air carriers are independently responsible for this service, and they set their own service levels and practices. We expect that a centralized system would increase resource efficiency and passenger satisfaction. We conduct an evaluation of such a centralized system at a Canadian airport using two distinct and independent models: simulation and queuing. We find that consolidating the service produces higher levels of service quality for passengers while, at the same time, uses fewer resources. In addition to quantifying the benefits and finding the required resource levels for a given service level, we discuss the pros and cons of a centralized system from the perspectives of the airport authority, the airlines, and the passengers. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study for consolidating transportation service for special-need passengers. Our methodology may be applied to other airports worldwide to evaluate a centralized transportation assistance system for passengers with special needs.
Keywords: Airport passenger transportation; passengers with special needs; simulation modelling; queuing analysis.
DECISION MAKING TECHNIQUE FOR ANALYSING PERFORMANCE OF MALAYSIAN SECONDARY PORTS
by Noorul Shaiful Fitri Abdul Rahman, Alisha Ismail, Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohd Roslin, Venus Y.H. Lun
Abstract: This paper aims to study the performance of the secondary ports in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) of Malaysia by analysing the selected criteria and sub-criteria involved. A total of 12 respondents were selected as the sample for the study and the data were analysed using a decision-making method that incorporated an analytical hierarchy process, fuzzy-link based approach, and evidential reasoning. To analyse the performance of the secondary ports, five criteria were considered, which include: 1) operational, 2) physical, 3) shipping demand, 4) financial, and 5) manpower performances. To realise this performance benchmarking, two secondary ports that were positioned on the ECER, namely, the Kemaman Port (Kemaman Supply Base) and Kertih Port were used as the case studies. The findings of this study showed that the operational and physical performances played a significant role in contributing to benchmark the performance of the secondary ports.
Keywords: Port Performance; Secondary Ports; Port Business; Decision Making Techniques; Maritime Studies.
GHG emissions from Chinas international sea freight transport: A review and the future trend
by W.M. To, Peter K.C. Lee
Abstract: This paper reviews the development of Chinas international sea freight throughput during the period 1980-2015 and uses logistic model to estimate the future growth of international sea freight and the associated increase in the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). The review showed that Chinas international sea freight throughput increased from 353.2 billion ton-km in 1980 to 5423.6 billion ton-km in 2015. Meanwhile Chinas international container throughput increased from 64.3 thousand twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 189 million TEU (over 27 percent of the worlds container traffic flow) in 2015. The associated greenhouse gases (GHG) emission increased from 2.60 million tons CO2-eq in 1980 to 39.95 million tons CO2-eq in 2015. Although the logistic growth model indicated that Chinas international sea freight and container throughputs reached maximum growth rates in 2008, GHG emissions due to Chinas international sea freight would continuously increase to over 53 million tons in 2020.
Keywords: sea freight; China; greenhouse gases emission; One Belt-One Road.
Catastrophe Risk Assessment Framework of Ports and Industrial Clusters: A Case Study of the Guangdong Province
by Xinhu Cao, Jasmine Siu Lee Lam
Abstract: Seaports, as critical infrastructures, are vulnerable to natural catastrophes such as hurricane/typhoon, earthquake, and tsunami. The inoperability of a port caused by these hazards tends to activate domino effects to the adjacent industrial clusters in the hinterland. Limited works addressed high-impact and low-probability (HILP) catastrophe risks and fewer studied industrial cluster risks resulting from catastrophe-induced port disruptions. This paper aims to assess ports and industrial clusters catastrophe risks, based on a three-layer port-cargo-industrial cluster (PCI) model. By using the Guangdong province in China and the typhoon hazard as a case study, we find that the petrochemical industrial cluster is the most vulnerable in the Guangdong province against typhoon-induced port disruptions in the import mode, while the textile and apparel industrial cluster is the least vulnerable. These two industrial clusters exchange rankings under the export mode. Proactive preparations can thus be made to avoid any possible prolonged production downtimes.
Keywords: port; industrial cluster; catastrophe; natural hazard; port disruption; risk assessment; risk analysis; typhoon; port-cargo-industrial cluster model.
ESTIMATING VESSEL PAYLOADS IN BULK SHIPPING USING AIS DATA
by Haiying Jia, Vishnu Prakash, Tristan Smith
Abstract: The cargo size or payload of a merchant vessel is a crucial variable in calculating revenue for a particular voyage and estimating global trade flows for key commodities. However, due to the opaque nature of the industry, payload information is usually not publicly available. This research utilizes, for the first time, vessel draught information reported by the Automatic Identification System (AIS) to estimate vessel payloads. The applicability and reliability of draught measurements from AIS captured via satellites and terrestrial receivers are addressed in the process of identifying the most efficacious way to estimate vessel payloads. In particular, conditions are put in place to reduce the uncertainty surrounding the applicability of each draught measurement and its validity to be associated with a particular known payload. The performance of estimating vessel payloads using AIS draught data is compared to two models that rely on principles from physics and naval architecture, and the results show similarity and consistency. We therefore show that the AIS reported draught measurements are reliable, to a certain extent. Being able to reliably estimate a vessels payload in operating conditions is essential in assessing vessel utilisation, fleet productivity, and subsequently the supply and demand conditions in the shipping markets.
Keywords: AIS; payload; draught; utilisation; big data.
Special Issue on: Logistics and Maritime Studies on One Belt One Road
Cargo Type Selection Procedure Using Fuzzy AHP and Fuzzy TOPSIS Techniques: The Case of Dry Bulk Cargo Ships
by Ünal ÖZDEMİR, Abdulaziz GÜNEROĞLU
Abstract: Cargo type selection is a challenging procedure in shipping and logistic industry as the net freight charge profit depends on many factors involving in maritime transportation. Maximization of the net profit is subject to determination of the factors affecting the freight account. In this study, the problem of cargo type selection was investigated for the dry bulk ship companies by using fuzzy multi criteria decision making approaches. Furthermore, the mostly preferred dry cargo types were defined by evaluating criteria that should be analyzed during the cargo selection procedure. This study aims at providing a practical guide that can be perceived and implemented by the shipping companies. Results of the study revealed that the most important criteria for the dry bulk cargo selection are net freight charge profit (9.85%), cargo handling conditions (6,35%), total fuel consumption per voyage (5.96%), risk of piracy and stowaways (5.08%), position for the next voyage (4.87%), cargo handling cost (4.74%). On the other hand the least important criteria were determined as ship and crew certificates (0.53 %) and freight contract (0.56 %). Finally, the most preferred cargo type was found as portland cement whereas the least preferred one was the fertilizers.
Keywords: Dry bulk cargo; freight charge; decision making; Fuzzy AHP; Fuzzy TOPSIS.
Strait/canal security assessment of the Maritime Silk Road
by Xiaoxing Gong
Abstract: This study investigates the security of the strait/canal on the Maritime Silk Road, using quantitative indicators, including width, depth, piracy and terrorism attacks, among other factors. The paper applies the Experts Grading Method, which considers the risks estimated by experts for determining the weights of indicators. Due to different knowledge backgrounds, practical experiences and perspectives, the weight parameters given by different experts are always inconsistent, and the risk determined by each expert is different. This study measures the risk estimated by each expert by quantifying the deviation of the experts estimated risk from the weight matrix of the group decision. The results suggest that the indicators have an important impact on strait/canal security, including ship accidents, piracy attacks, reefs, terrorism, military conflict, typhoons, width and depth. Comparatively, in this study, the security of the Suez Canal is found to the best; the Malacca Strait has the second best security, and the Bab al-Mandab Strait has poor security.
Keywords: the Maritime Silk Road; Strait/canal; security assessment; experts’ risks.
Yard Storage Planning for river terminals on One Belt One Road
by Ming-Kun LI
Abstract: In the blueprint of the One Belt One Road initiative, river ports are critical nodes for connecting seaports with inland plants. But operators encounter a yard storage planning problem for export containers with service restrictions on vessels due to different water depths along river terminals. The berthing limitation entails a partitioning of yard blocks that dedicates to each quay section of different water depth conditions so that export containers for a particular vessel can be stored and handled within a limited zone of the terminal to facilitate container handling process. As a result, those zones which are eligible for serving different kind of ships would be preferred by various services. Hence, this yard allocation research aims at minimizing the workload imbalance among yard blocks of different zones. A sub-block clustering method is advocated to increase the flexibility of allocating yard storage space to these containers and thus to improve the use of the space in each zone area. The yard storage planning problem is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming model. On the basis of an important property embedded in the structure of this problem, a solution approach is proposed which is efficient to get satisfactory solutions to most test instances in experiments.
Keywords: Container terminal; Mixed integer linear programming; Sub-block clustering; Yard storage planning.
Manufacturing Relocation and Port/Shipping development along the Maritime Silk Road
by Dongxu Chen, Meifeng Luo, Zhongzhen Yang
Abstract: This study identifies the trends of manufacturing concentration along the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) using GDP and industry value added (% of GDP), as well as survey data on the origins of individuals daily wares in three developed countries. Based on the location quotient and industry life cycle theories, this study selects 20 MSR countries and identifies the potential countries for future development in manufacturing centres. These countries are further evaluated in terms of production costs and their willingness to undertake the manufacturing development. In this manner, thirteen countries are found to have the potential to develop manufacturing centres, which provides a direction to relocate manufacturing to theｍ. Finally, future trends of port and ocean shipping are projected based on the experiences of Chinese ports, shipping, logistics and manufacturing development, and strategies to strengthen shipping logistics and manufacturing are proposed in the context of the 21st Century MSR to create a win-win situation for both China and the MSR countries.
Keywords: Manufacturing transfer; Maritime Silk Road; location quotient; life cycle; port and shipping logistics.
Diversification as an energy importing strategy for China under the B&R initiative
by Kevin X. Li, Mengjie Jin, Wenming Shi
Abstract: One of the key aims of the the Belt and Road Initiative (B&R initiative) is national energy security for China. This paper investigates how the B&R initiative can improve Chinas energy security through diversification of the energy mix, energy suppliers, transport routes, and settlement currency. With those indicators, we quantify the enhancement of energy security after China adopted a diversification strategy under the B&R initiative. To support the study, we also use financial portfolio theory as a management tool to increase the national energy security. The results of the study show that after China adopted the diversification strategy, the national energy security level increased. The major findings of this study are, first, China will be able to import more natural gas and oil from different countries along the B&R. Second, the number of energy suppliers will be increased by adding several countries along the B&R in Central Asia and Africa, thereby reducing the heavy reliance on the Middle East. Last, new pipeline transportation will diversify transport modes and reduce Chinas heavy dependence on the Malacca Strait, which was and is still by far the major oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport route.
Keywords: diversification; energy security; energy shipping and trade; B&R initiative; China.
Special Issue on: Liner Shipping and Terminal Operations
A Non-structural Approach to Assess Competitive Conditions in Container Liner Shipping Market: 2009-2014
by Enna Hirata
Abstract: This paper aims to assess the demand elasticities and competitive conditions in Container Liner Shipping (henceforth: CLS) market. Using a dynamic model, the regression results reveal that the degree of competition measured by Panzar-Rosse (P-R) H statistic varies from 0.37 to 0.97 for the period of 2009 to 2014. It implies that CLS market can be described as displaying monopolistic competitive behaviour. The conclusion is consistent with previous studies conducted for earlier periods; moreover, the increasing trend of P-R H statistic value implies increasing degree of competition in the industry. The findings contribute to the understanding of theoretical explanation of competitive condition in latest CLS market. Unlike other studies, this paper establishes a dynamic model that makes it possible to measure both short-run and long-run effects.
Keywords: container liner shipping; demand elasticity; competitive condition; non-structural; panzar-rosse h statistic; dynamic model.
The role of the degree of use of the facilities in the port choice process: the Spanish dockside cranes case
by Ana Martínez-Pardo, Lorena Garcia-Alonso, Alfonso Orro
Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyse how the degree of use of port facilities may influence port choice in the scope of export container traffic. As an indicator of the degree of use, the relationship between containers moved and the number of cranes available is selected. We estimate discrete choice models, drawing on Spanish official records of exports for the four main Spanish peninsular container ports. This article describes a multinomial logit model that includes variables of the port, the location of each one of the points that configure the hinterland and the foreland under study. As port variables, we bring into play the number of cranes and the port facilities categorised according to their degree of use. In conclusion, it can be stated that all analysed factors are relevant in port choice. Regarding how the degree of use affects port choice, it is obtained that the more traffic a port has, the more attractive it becomes due to the economies of agglomeration, scale and network effects, but there is a saturation threshold beyond which the attractiveness of the port decreases. The methodological approach to test the hypothesis allows to obtain the functional form of the relation between the degree of use and the port attractiveness without establishing it a priori.
Keywords: port facilities; non-linearity; container port choice; port competition;
agglomeration economies; economies of escale; network effects; port congestion;
saturation threshold; Ship-to-Shore gantry cranes; decision making; Discrete
Choice Theory; DCM; multinomial logit model; Spanish port system.
Cargo flow, freight rate and speed optimization of container liner services
by Ahlam AlMarar, Ali Cheaitou
Abstract: After the global economic crisis of 2008 the shipping companies have become more worried about keeping and increasing their profit. In this paper, a container liner service cargo flow, freight rates and sailing speed optimization mixed integer non-linear programming model is introduced, in which the total daily profit is maximized. The model focuses on the transportation of dry and reefer containers between a set of pre-established ports while the market sensitivity to the freight rates is considered. The model is implemented on a line of the Asia-Europe trade using the optimization software LINGO 15.0. The results show the correlation that exists between the vessel carrying capacity and the level of freight rate to be charged to the shippers. They also confirm that all the model parameters affect the optimal profit, but only some of them have an effect on the optimal quantities to transport between the ports of the service.
Keywords: liner services; container shipping; speed; freight rate; pricing; cargo flow; profit maximization; dry and reefer containers; non-linear mixed integer programming; Asia-Europe trade; bunker fuel; demand elasticity.
Simultaneous optimization of seaside operations in container terminals: A case study of the Iranian Rajaee port
by Seyed Farzad Hoseini, Mohammad Mohammadpour Omran, Adolfo Crespo Marquez, Ahmad Makui
Abstract: In marine transport, there is a growing need for optimization surveys, which are aimed at increasing the efficiency of the whole process. In this study, the berth allocation problem, the quay crane assignment problem and the quay crane scheduling problem are simultaneously formulated into an integrated mathematical model. Afterwards, the proposed mixed integer mathematical model is coded via GAMS IDE/CPLEX software. The exact solver appears to need a huge amount of time to find the optimum solution, even for small and medium-sized problems. Hence, artificial intelligence, which is embedded in both imperialist competitive and genetic algorithms, is employed through a highly modified meta-heuristic method. This method is called a hybrid imperialist competitive and genetic algorithm (HICGA), and is designed to deal with the complexity of such problems. To check the validity of the proposed model and the performance of the designed HICGA method, historical data for 24 weeks from the Iranian Rajaee port were provided.
Keywords: Container terminal; Berth allocation problem; Quay crane assignment problem; Quay crane scheduling problem; Imperialist competitive algorithm; Genetic algorithm.
What drives European port traffic? The role of competition
by Xavier Fageda, Marta Gonzalez-Aregall
Abstract: This article examines the determinants of traffic in European ports in 2010 by estimating a generalised linear model with a gamma distribution. We examine the influence of various economic and geographic attributes of the urban areas in which the ports are located, along with the influence of variables that identify the intensity of competition that the respective port authorities face. We include a range of explanatory factors of port traffic including the GDP of the urban area, location, the share of transshipment traffic, the share of dedicated terminals, the volume of traffic from neighbouring ports, the level of connectivity with other transportation modes and the ports model of governance. Our results suggest that variables outside of port manager control, like the economic size of the urban area or the amount of traffic of neighbouring ports, are key determinants of the traffic that a port is able to reach.
Keywords: ports; traffic; competition; econometric analysis.
AN EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS OF THE CRITICAL SELECTION CRITERIA OF LINER OPERATORS: THE PERSPECTIVE OF FREIGHT FORWARDERS
by Peter Dzakah Fanam, Hong-Oanh Nguyen, Stephen Cahoon
Abstract: This empirical paper identifies the critical factors influencing ocean container carriers selection and examines the impact of the influential factors on the competitiveness of ocean carriers from the freight forwarders perspectives. Data for the study was collected from 105 freight forwarding organisations. The significant factors influencing the competitiveness of ocean carriers were identified using structural equation modelling. Results indicated that the factors affecting the competitiveness of ocean carriers are schedule reliability, document accuracy, service quality, freight rate, door-to-door service and environment. This paper also proposes a model that shows the direct effects of the influential factors on the competitiveness of the ocean carriers. The model validates the competitiveness of ocean carriers from the freight forwarders perspective. To the best of authors knowledge, this study is the first of its kind that measures the competitiveness of ocean carriers from the freight forwarders perspective. This model can become a basis for other empirical studies to be built on to examine competitiveness of carriers. The understanding of the factors that the freight forwarders employed when making ocean carriers choice is paramount to the liner shipping companies because it shall enable the liner shipping companies to formulate relevant strategies to attract freight forwarders in patronising their shipping services.
Keywords: Competitiveness; ocean container carriers; freight forwarders; influential factors; liner shipping.
Special Issue on: Maritime Transportation Innovative Models and Algorithms
Integrating route optimization with vehicle and unloading dock scheduling in LCL cargo collection
by Xuefei Liu, Meifeng Luo, Yifei Zhao
Abstract: Less Container Load (LCL) has become an increasingly important element in containerized cargo export, due to the involvement of numerous small & medium size enterprises. Traditional cargo collection and consolidation processes are extremely complex and inefficient, which provides an excellent opportunity for improvement through integration. In this paper, we design a two-stage model comprising vehicle route optimization for cargo collection and vehicle and unloading dock scheduling. In the first stage, namely, the route optimization model, the Clarke-Wright saving algorithm is used, with the objective of minimizing the total transport cost for a given shipment size, weight, and capacity constraint of cargo collection vehicles. In the second stage, the scheduling of both collection vehicles and unloading dock are modeled, using two sub-models for given constraints on the time window of the unloading docks and cargo collection routes. An application of this integrated model is illustrated based on the cargo collection problems in the hinterland of Shanghai port.
Keywords: Cargo Collection; LCL; Route Optimization; Vehicle Dispatching; Unloading Dock Scheduling; Integrated Scheduling.
A multi-objective approach to analyze the effect of fuel consumption on Ship Routing and Scheduling Problem
by Saurabh Pratap, Mengdi Zhang, Christopher L.D. Shen, George Q. Huang
Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of fuel consumption on ship routing and
scheduling problem. In current trends, the anthropogenic emission due to excess fuel consumption is a topic of intense debate in the global world ship trading society. We have modeled a problem as a mixed integer non-linear programming (MINLP), which encounters the issues related to routing, fuel consumption, and customer demand. A meta-heuristic approach Controlled Elitist Non-Sorting Genetic Algorithm (CENSGA) has been proposed to solve the bi-objective problem. Finally, the utility of the model is demonstrated by a case study.
Keywords: Ship routing; carbon emission; mixed integer nonlinear programming; meta-heuristic.
A Method for Estimating Liner Shipping Time under Uncertainty
by Min Lin, Miao Li, Hao Hao, Lu Zhen
Abstract: With the rapid development of container transportation and the fierce competition among ports, container terminal operators pay more attention to meet the individual needs of customers. This study develops a system to estimate container liner shipping arrival time and the probability distribution for each time set by considering transit process and the periodicity of liner shipping. This system can give the most possible arrival time of cargoes to customers in advance, and then improve the level of port services. Also, a recursive algorithm based solution method and a parallel computing based solution method are proposed for solving the problem. Computational test is conducted on different scales and the results show the effectiveness of the proposed solution approach.
Keywords: Liner shipping time; Probability statistics; Estimating; Recursive algorithm; Parallel computing.
Collaborative stowage planning problem for a liner ship
by Wen Yi, Yi Hu, Miao Li, Lu Zhen
Abstract: This paper investigates a stowage planning problem, in which a liner ship will visit a sequence of ports, the number of available quay cranes in ports and the numbers of loading/unloading containers in ports are uncertain. This stowage planning problem is about how to assign the loaded containers to the bays of the ship with considering uncertain information in the future, so as to minimize the sum of the expected quay crane handling time at the ports. Based on stochastic programming, a two-stage decision model is proposed for this problem. A particle swarm optimization based solution method is developed to solve the model for large-scale problem instances. Numerical experiments are conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed model and the efficiency of the proposed solution method.
Keywords: Port operations; Stowage planning; Container liner ship; Maritime logistics.
Special Issue on: Decision Analytics in Port and Shipping Logistics
A statistical forecasting model applied at container throughput in a multi-port gateway system: the Barcelona-Tarragona-Valencia case.
by Manel Grifoll
Abstract: This contribution investigates the container throughput flow in a multi-port gateway system: Barcelona-Tarragona-Valencia (BTV). First, the paper examine the recent dynamics of the total and transshipment flow showing a relevant shifting of traffic share from Barcelona to Valencia. A statistical model based on a two-state Markov model in conjunction with a Monte Carlo experiments is implemented to estimate the predictions of container throughput in BTV system. Verification tests shows how the predictions are reasonable good with an error metrics similar to other methods based on time series analysis. The method is considered suitable for short-term forecasting with a strong potential to be used as a complement of qualitative methods due to the statistical nature of the results. The implementation of the method considers separately the import/export and transhipment container throughput revealing a differentiate dynamics in both container flows. The transhipment flow is more volatile and induce more data dispersion in the container throughput predictions.
Keywords: Markov chain; traffic predictions; Monte Carlo method; TEU; transshipment.