Optimal Routing and Scheduling of Flag State Control Officers in Maritime Transportation

Xizi Qiao, Ying Yang, Yu Guo, Yong Jin, Shuaian Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Maritime transportation plays a pivotal role in the global merchandise trade. To improve maritime safety and protect the environment, every state must effectively control ships flying its flag, which is called flag state control (FSC). However, the existing FSC system is so inefficient that it cannot perform its intended function. In this study, we adopt an optimization method to tackle this problem by constructing an integer programming (IP) model to solve the FSC officer routing and scheduling problem, which aims to maximize the total weight of inspected ships with limited budget and human resources. Then we prove that the IP model can be reformulated into a partially relaxed IP model with the guarantee of the result optimality. Finally, we perform a case study using the Hong Kong port as an example. The results show that our model can be solved to optimality within one second at different scales of the problem, with the ship number ranging from 20 to 1000. Furthermore, our study can be extended by considering the arrangement of working timetables with finer granularity and the fatigue level of personnel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1647
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • flag state control
  • maritime transportation
  • mathematical modeling
  • routing and scheduling problem
  • ship inspection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • General Mathematics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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