Authors: Ali Cheaitou; Pierre Cariou
Addresses: Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management Department, College of Engineering, University of Sharjah, 27272 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates ' MOSI Department, Kedge Business School, 680 cours de la liberation, 33405 Talence, France
Abstract: Shipping companies usually determine the optimal sailing speed and number of vessels to deploy in their maritime liner services, using a decentralised system, which sometimes extends the transit time between any two ports and thus affects the in-transit inventory and safety stock levels for shippers. On the contrary, if a centralised system is adopted then the shippers' inventory management costs would be considered in the choice of the optimal configuration. This article proposes a model for this trade-off that compares the supply chain optimal solutions and costs of a decentralised versus a centralised system. Assuming that transport demand can either be inelastic or elastic and that end customers' demand to be satisfied by shippers is stochastic, our model provides an optimisation procedure to determine the optimal configuration for any decentralised or centralised liner service, along with a specific application to a containerised Europe-Far East service.
Keywords: inventory management; SCM; supply chain management; maritime shipping; transport demand; elastic demand; inelastic demand; centralisation; decentralisation; liner services; two-stage supply chains; maritime supply chains; supply chain optimisation; safety stock levels; inventory levels; customer demand; container services.
International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2017 Vol.9 No.2, pp.202 - 233
Received: 17 Nov 2014
Accepted: 22 Jul 2015
Published online: 14 Jan 2017 *