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Shipping network design–infrastructure investment joint optimization model: a case study of West Africa

Xu Xin, Xiaoli Wang, Lijun Ma, Kang Chen and Maoyao Ye

Maritime Policy & Management, 2022, vol. 49, issue 5, 620-646

Abstract: Since the proposal of the Belt and Road initiative in March 2015, the Chinese government has continued to increase its investment in transportation infrastructure construction in West African countries. To realize the scientific decision-making process for large-scale investment, this paper establishes a shipping network design–infrastructure investment joint optimization model. The abovementioned model aims to find the minimum generalized transportation cost in the study area and jointly optimizes the construction scheme of the regional inland transportation network (i.e., railway network), the expansion scheme of the port (i.e., container port) throughput capacity, and the operation scheme of the shipping network (i.e., container shipping network) given a limited budget. Based on the framework of the active set algorithm, an algorithm that can explore the local optimal solution of the abovementioned model is designed. Taking China–West Africa transportation as the research object, numerical experiments are carried out to verify the effectiveness of the model and algorithm. Two types of sensitivity analyses for different investment scales and origin-destination demand are designed. The results show that the proposed model and algorithm can effectively solve the abovementioned problem and can provide decision-making support for the Chinese government in formulating reasonable investment schemes for West Africa.This paper is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled, ‘Shipping network design–infrastructure investment joint optimization model’ presented at the 3rd International Conference of the Yangtze River Research and Innovation Belt, Ningbo, China; 5–7 November 2020.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2021.1930225

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