Bulk ship scheduling in industrial shipping with stochastic backhaul canvassing demand

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies a ship scheduling problem for an industrial corporation that manages a fleet of bulk ships under stochastic environments. The considered problem is an integration of three interconnected sub-problems from different planning levels: the strategic fleet sizing and mix problem, the tactical voyage planning problem, and the operational stochastic backhaul cargo canvassing problem. To obtain the optimal solution of the problem, this paper provides a two-step algorithmic scheme. In the first step, the stochastic backhaul cargo canvassing problem is solved by a dynamic programming (DP) algorithm, leading to optimal canvassing strategies for all feasible voyages of all ships. In the second step, a mixed-integer programming (MIP) model that jointly solves the fleet sizing and mix problem and the voyage planning problem is formulated using the results from the first step. To efficiently solve the proposed MIP model, this paper develops a tailored Benders decomposition method. Finally, extensive numerical experiments are conducted to demonstrate the applicability and efficiency of the proposed models and solution methods for practical instances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-136
Number of pages20
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Benders decomposition
  • Bulk ship scheduling
  • Dynamic programming
  • Industrial shipping
  • Stochastic optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation

Cite this