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A Scheduling Model for a High Speed Containership Service: A Hub and Spoke Short-Sea Application

  • Computer Science
  • Design


Advances in ship technology must be demonstrably beneficial and profitable before shipowners invest. Since the capital costs are large, investment in new technology will tend to be incremental rather than radical and will be affected by the financial viability of the service in which the ship is employed. While operating costs depend on the technology used for a given freight task, revenue from operations depends on transit time, frequency of service, freight rates, and volume of containers carried. Although high speed vessels (40 knots+) carry small payloads over short distances, this disadvantage can be offset by the greater number of round voyages achievable over a given period. After examining factors influencing the demand for fast cargo services, a high speed cargo ship design is described along with appropriate cargo handling and terminal operations. Using a mixed integer programming approach, an optimisation model is used to determine the profitability of a short-haul hub and spoke feeder operation based on Singapore. The model is used to calculate the optimum number of ships required to meet the given distribution task, the most profitable deployment of the fleet and the profitability over the planning horizon. International Journal of Maritime Economics (2001) 3, 262–277. doi: 10.1057/palgrave.ijme.9100018

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