Reversing port rotation directions in a container liner shipping network

Shuaian Wang, Qiang Meng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Reversing port rotation directions of ship routes is a practical alteration of container liner shipping networks. The port rotation directions of ship routes not only affect the transit time of containers, as has been recognized by the literature, but also the shipping capacity and transshipment cost. This paper aims to obtain the optimal port rotation directions that minimize the generalized network-wide cost including transshipment cost, slot-purchasing cost and inventory cost. A mixed-integer linear programming model is proposed for the optimal port rotation direction optimization problem and it nests a minimum cost multi-commodity network flow model. The proposed model is applied to a liner shipping network operated by a global liner shipping company. Results demonstrate that real-case instances could be efficiently solved and significant cost reductions are gained by optimization of port rotation directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Liner shipping network design
  • Mixed-integer linear programming
  • Multi-commodity network flow
  • Port rotation directions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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