An integrated optimization of routing and scheduling of liner ships in offshore logistics management
AbstractThe magnitude of maritime transportation in the offshore logistics, has been increasing over time. As such, container’s demand has been growing dramatically. Shipping lines have been using different strategies to efficiently serve the existing customers. One of the common strategies is the deployment of large ships. The current practice in the liner shipping industry is to deploy a combination of ships of different types with different carrying capacities, especially at the routes with a significant demand. However, heterogeneous fleets of ships have been investigated by a very few studies addressing the tactical-level decisions in liner shipping of offshore logistics. Moreover, little research efforts have been carried out to simultaneously capture all the major tactical-level decisions in liner shipping using a single solution methodology. The proposed model is also multi-period and multi-product which make it much complex than existing ones. Based on these challenges and contributions, this research deploys an integrated optimization of routing and scheduling of liner ships for offshore logistics. This paper deals with a combinatorial optimization model which is NP-hard and very difficult to solve. Hence, another main contribution of this work is to develop a hybrid metaheuristic with regards to a set of well-known and recent efficient metaheuristics. The results confirm the applicability and efficiency of the proposed hybrid algorithm in comparison with individual ones in this context and encourage to add more elements for our integrated optimization model more broadly.