A Decision Support Model for Routing and Scheduling a Fleet of Fuel Supply Vessels
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We consider a real fuel supply vessel routing and scheduling problem faced by a Hellenic oil company with a given fleet of fuel supply vessels used to supply customer ships outside Piraeus Port. The supply vessels are loading fuel at refineries in the port area before delivering it to a given set of customer ships within specified time windows. A customer ship may place orders of more than one fuel type, and all orders placed by a customer ship do not have to be serviced by the same vessel, meaning customer splitting is possible. Fuel transported to the customer ships is allocated to compartments on board the supply vessels, and fuels of different types cannot be mixed in the same compartment. The objective is to design routes and schedules for the supply vessels while maximizing the company’s profit. We propose a mixed-integer programming (MIP) model for the problem and provide a computational study based on real instances.