Optimization of container liner speed and deployment based on new environment and bunkering regulation

Open Access
Zhou, Kai
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Paul Griffin, Thesis Advisor
  • Bunker fuel
  • Container liner
  • MARPOL Annex VI
  • Optimization
Bunker price for container ships will increase dramatically in the future as ship operators will have to change their bunker fuel grade to higher quality ones that contain lower sulphur contents. This is due to the new regulation of the revision of MARPOL Annex VI. In this thesis we optimize ship speed and deployment problems for a specified container liner (Cosco AWE2) serving the transpacific route which will be typically influenced by the new regulation from the year 2012. Our study builds convex nonlinear optimization models for four different periods after 2012 according to the different steps for the enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI respectively. The optimal results show significant savings from the current deployment strategy of Cosco AWE2 based on the new regulations. The thesis also conducts sensitivity and comparison analysis for different bunker prices and different ship capacities. Three subsequent impacts on the entire supply chain due to our optimal strategy are further discussed. The increased transit time is a negative impact, while, improved capacity utilization and reduced CO2 emission costs are positive ones. We quantify and incorporate these factors into our mathematical model, analyze the results and provide suggestions for container liner operators. Generally, the thesis indicates the future trends for container liner operation based on the new regulations and the mathematical model can easily be applied when data and parameters for other specific container liner is obtained. Our study could be a beneficial reference for shipping companies from the standpoint of operation research.