Sailing speed optimization for container ships in a liner shipping network

Shuaian Wang, Qiang Meng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

277 Citations (Scopus)


This paper first calibrates the bunker consumption - sailing speed relation for container ships using historical operating data from a global liner shipping company. It proceeds to investigate the optimal sailing speed of container ships on each leg of each ship route in a liner shipping network while considering transshipment and container routing. This problem is formulated as a mixed-integer nonlinear programming model. In view of the convexity, non-negativity, and univariate properties of the bunker consumption function, an efficient outer-approximation method is proposed to obtain an ε-optimal solution with a predetermined optimality tolerance level ε. The proposed model and algorithm is applied to a real case study for a global liner shipping company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-714
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bunker
  • Container liner shipping
  • Outer-approximation
  • Sailing speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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