An Operational Model for Empty Container Management
Alessandro Olivo (),
Paola Zuddas (),
Massimo Di Francesco () and
Antonio Manca ()
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Alessandro Olivo: Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.
Paola Zuddas: Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.
Massimo Di Francesco: Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.
Antonio Manca: Department of Land Engineering, University of Cagliari, via Marengo 2, 09123, Cagliari, Italy.
Maritime Economics & Logistics, 2005, vol. 7, issue 3, 199-222
This paper proposes a mathematical programming approach for empty container management. Since directional imbalances in trade activities result in a surplus or shortage of empty containers in ports and depots, their management can be thought of as a min cost flow problem whose arcs represent services routes, inventory links and decisions concerning the time and place to lease containers from external sources. We adopt an hourly time-step in a dynamic network and, although this time-period generates large-size instances, the two implemented algorithms show a good computational efficiency. A possible case study of the Mediterranean basin is proposed and results are presented with a graphical representation, providing a useful support to decision-makers in the field. Maritime Economics & Logistics (2005) 7, 199–222. doi:10.1057/palgrave.mel.9100136
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