Optimizing Empty Container Relocation Plans for Marine Transportation

Kenji Tanaka, Yuki Kimura, Jing ZHANG


Due to the structure of global supply chains, there is an imbalance in trade between East Asia and the rest of the world. As a result, many empty containers are generated in the North American, European, and Asian ocean transportation routes. Focusing on this problem, in this paper we formulate a reallocation plan for empty containers in a maritime container logistics network connecting multiple bases, and minimize the relocation cost. We also use actual data from shipping companies to quantify and verify the cost reduction effect in a maritime shipping alliance from the viewpoint of the cost of relocating empty containers, and show the effectiveness and practicality of our proposed method.


Marine logistics, Empty Container, Imbalance, Simulation, Method


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