Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 349–374 | Cite as

A branch and cut algorithm for the container shipping network design problem

  • Line Blander Reinhardt
  • David Pisinger


The network design problem in liner shipping is of increasing importance in a strongly competitive market where potential cost reductions can influence market share and profits significantly. In this paper the network design and fleet assignment problems are combined into a mixed integer linear programming model minimizing the overall cost. To better reflect the real-life situation we take into account the cost of transhipment, a heterogeneous fleet, route dependent capacities, and butterfly routes. To the best of our knowledge it is the first time an exact solution method to the problem considers transhipment cost. The problem is solved with branch-and-cut using clover and transhipment inequalities. Computational results are reported for instances with up to 15 ports.


Liner shipping Containers Branch and cut Transhipment 



The authors wish to thank Brian kallehauge, Christian Edinger Munk Plum, Berit Løfstedt, Shahin Gelareh, Jose Fernando Alvarez, Charlotte Vilhelmsen and two anonymous referees for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management EngineeringTechnical University of Denmark 2800 Kgs. LyngbyDenmark

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