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Title: On the liner shipping network design: the Maritime Silk Route case study

Authors: Iñigo L. Ansorena

Addresses: Polytechnic University of Madrid, ETSI Caminos, Canales y Puertos, C/Profesor Aranguren 3, Madrid 28040, Spain

Abstract: The Maritime Silk Route is a crucial channel for economic exchanges between China and Europe. In the year 2018, the sea route between Asia and Europe moved more than 24 million TEU. In this context, the optimal design of liner services is of crucial importance. We present a general framework for the optimal design of these services. First, we develop a gravity model representing the spatial interaction between ports. Then we obtain a minimum spanning tree by means of Kruskal optimisation and finally we use the Louvain method to determine the communities within the network. Two scenarios are discussed. The first gives more importance to distances, while the second gives more importance to port throughputs. The paper discusses the main differences between the two cases and highlights which ports gain or lose connections depending on the market environment. The resulting graphs are a good reference for designing better services.

Keywords: maritime network; network design; minimum spanning tree; MST; gravity model; importance matrix; maritime services; complex graph.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2023.128558

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2023 Vol.44 No.1, pp.132 - 146

Received: 09 Jan 2020
Accepted: 22 Jan 2021

Published online: 26 Jan 2023 *

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