This paper studies the feeder vessel routing and synchronization problem faced by a liner shipping company which runs feeder services to connect a given hub port with neighboring ports. The transshipment port adopts a congestion mitigation strategy which is to open fixed time slots during non-peak period for feeder vessels. It aims to minimize the total operational cost of a planning horizon (fixed vessel cost and variable bunker cost) by determining feeder service routes (i.e., ports of call) as well as complete fleet deployment decisions, including vessel type, navigation speed, and fleet size of each service route. Container transshipment synchronization between trunk and feeder services is particularly considered in order to minimize the container duration at the hub port. In this paper, we simultaneously consider feeder service network design and container transshipment problems and develop a mixed integer linear programming model. In view of the model structure, we propose a set partitioning reformulation and devise a column generation based solution method. A case study based on the Southeast Asia container shipping network is conducted indicating that the solution method is applicable for solving real-world size feeder network design problems. Results demonstrate that container transshipment at the hub port can be significantly enhanced at the cost of introducing marginal changes to the feeder network configuration.
Dr. Jin Jiangang is currently an associate professor at the School of Naval Architecture, Ocean& Civil Engineering of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He received degree of Bachelor of Arts in Tsinghua University, and PhD in National University of Singapore. His main research interests focus on the research on the application of large-scale combination optimization, integer programming and network optimization in transportation and logistics systems, including rail transit, modeling and optimization. He possesses two national natural science fund projects, Shanghai Philosophy and Social Science Planning project, and other provincial and ministerial projects. His research papers have been published on Transportation Science, Transportation Research Part B/C/E and other international periodicals. He was invited to serve the SCI Journal Computers & Industrial Engineering as Area Editor of Transport. He was also invited as the Member of Port and Waterways Commission of USA Transportation Research Board and the evaluation experts of Canadian Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research.