Laboratoire de Génie Informatique et d’Automatique de l’Artois


Global Liner Shipping Service Network Design

Le 12 mars 2013 à 14h00 Salle des séminaires du LGI2A, FSA, Béthune
Shahin GELAREH Maître de conférences LGI2A
Le séminaire est présenté en anglais.

The ever increasing volume of international trade of which up to 90 percent is fully containerized, demanded appropriate solutions for several other issues arising within the logistics operations across the entire supply chain network. The circulation of this huge number of containers takes place on three main routes : 1) Asia-Europe, 2) Trans-Pacific, and 3) Trans-Atlantic. In total more than 500 ports and tens of liner shipping companies are involved in the global maritime logistics. Due to the intensive interaction and global-wide spatial distribution of components of the containerized transport system, inefficiencies in individual elements of the system (both from liner service providers and also from the port authority’s point of views) will propagate their negative impacts, both locally and temporally, across the entire network of systems. From the liner shipping industry point of view, larger vessels are needed to help the service providers benefit from the economies of scale in transporting the growing volumes. Deploying such vessels is very expensive (often more than several million dollars per day) and this is only during the sailing time that vessels generate profit for the owners. The part of voyage time spent at different port calls on a route is referred to as turnaround time of a complete voyage and is actually the unprofitable part of the service. Therefore, economies of scale may not be exploited unless in long-haul transport. This means that the Liner Service Providers (LSPs) usually do not find it profitable to call too many ports along a service rotation (the so called ’string’). Consequently, some major transshipment hubs, which are consolidation and distribution ports came into play, and in turn proxy service for other smaller ports in their region. The selection of such ports depends on several different factors —one of the most important is efficiency and infrastructure (of course assuming that a port has the potential to become a hub port, i.e., it has enough draught for accepting larger vessels, and it fulfills many more eco-political criteria). From the port (equivalently terminal) operators’ point of view, their competitiveness is essentially dependent on their ability to minimize the turnaround time of vessels while maximizing the port throughput. In this way, they can compete with other neighboring ports and survive in such a highly competitive market. Due to the dynamism and scale of the competition, the goal is not reached unless some strategic, tactical and operational aspects of terminals are being constantly reviewed and addressed in better ways. This includes three main aspects : i) the layout and equipment, ii) the routing decisions and iii) the scheduling of machines and resource allocation.