Fleet Deployment Optimization in Liner Shipping
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This thesis presents a study of a real fleet deployment problem in liner shipping. In the context of data from Saga Forest Carriers and actual contracts between charterers and shipping companies, an optimization model is developed and implemented. The formulated model exploits the advantages of a heterogeneous fleet, incorporates the requirements concerning fairly evenly spread shipments and facilitates overlapping voyages. By additionally including inventory management and freedom of choice regarding speed, the formulation contributes to the existing literature by presenting a rich model featuring new ways to model several issues. The thesis also presents a heuristic solution approach and evaluates the developed model in comparison with the heuristic and well-known alternative solution methods. The computational studies indicate that a rich and realistic mathematical formulation, emphasizing to maintain the existing flexibility, has a positive effect on the results when solving real fleet deployment problems.