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1.
Managing the complexity of empty container movements through repositioning strategies and routing practices under certain demand and supply : doctoral dissertation
Alaa Abdelshafie, 2023, doctoral dissertation

Abstract: Over the past decades, container transportation management has become an important part of the global maritime industry. Due to an ever-increasing movement of containers across the globe in line with the economic boom, the trade imbalance and issues related to empty containers have become inevitable. The accumulation of empty containers in specific ports not only causes a waste of money but also increases the environmental footprint. Accordingly, the urgent need for empty container management has been gaining more attention than ever before, as the shipping companies recognized that more revenues are always derived from a good repositioning strategy. In this respect, this thesis described state-of-the-art of empty container management, focusing on the practices concerning the movement of empty containers that are varied between organizational policies, technical solutions, and optimization applications. With the development of computer-aided systems, the combination of optimization and simulation models has been proposed to tackle the maritime empty container problem. The thesis shows how the strengths of optimization-based simulation can be integrated to provide high-quality solutions with low computational costs. Agent-based modelling was developed to model the global movements of empty containers, providing realistic details of interactions among entities and characteristics of components within the system. The model was applied between ports in the Middle East and Asia for one of the biggest shipping lines worldwide. By using simulated annealing (SA), the best sequence for moving containers can be determined. The results comparison demonstrate that the proposed optimised repositioning strategy can significantly reduce the shipping line’s costs and make full use of empty containers in the planning horizon.
Keywords: shipping industry, container transportation management, empty container repositioning, simulation, optimization, agent-based modelling
Published in DKUM: 08.12.2023; Views: 405; Downloads: 18
.pdf Full text (3,38 MB)

2.
Repositioning and optimal re-allocation of empty containers : a review of methods, models, and applications
Alaa Abdelshafie, May Salah, Tomaž Kramberger, Dejan Dragan, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Managing empty-container movements is one of the most challenging logistics problems in the shipping field. With the growth of global trade imbalance, the repositioning process has become necessary, immediately after emptying a container. The main contribution of this research paper is to enrich the most frequently used methods, models, and applications in the literature, for relaxing the empty-container-repositioning problem. The article presents practices that vary between organizational policies, technical solutions, and modelling applications. A review of optimization models has been used for comparisons, based on specified criteria, such as the time frame, inputs, outputs, scale of the project, and value. Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) was applied through the online database Web of Science (WOS). It gives a comprehensive description of all the relevant published documents. On the basis of conducting a brief systematic review, future research opportunities have been determined, considering the emerging phenomena in container transport chains.
Keywords: shipping industry, container-transportation management, empty-container repositioning, optimization methods
Published in DKUM: 08.08.2023; Views: 341; Downloads: 26
.pdf Full text (886,56 KB)
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