Optimal reefer slot conversion for container freight transportation

Kai Wang, Weiwei Liu, Shuaian Wang, Zhiyuan Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Given a fleet of container ships of varying capacity, a cost-efficient approach for improving fleet utilization and reducing the number of delayed containers is to optimize the sequence of container ships in a given string, a problem which belongs to the large ship-deployment class. A string sequence with ‘uniformly’ distributed ship capacity is more likely to accommodate a random container shipment demand. The number of one’s total ship slots acts as a gauge of the capacity of the container ships. Meanwhile, there are two types of ship slots: dry slots and reefer slots. A dry slot only accommodates a dry container, while a reefer slot can accommodate either a dry or a reefer container. The numbers of dry and reefer slots for ships in a string are different. Therefore, in this study, we propose a model that considers both dry and reefer slots and use it to elucidate the optimal ship-deployment sequence. The objective is to minimize the delay of dry and reefer containers when the demand is uncertain. Furthermore, based on the optimal sequence deduced, the study also investigates the need to convert some dry slots to reefer slots for the container ships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-743
Number of pages17
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2017


  • fleet deployment planning
  • sequence of ships
  • Ship slots
  • strings
  • uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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