The Logistic of Empty Containers′ Return in the Liner-Shipping Network

Naima Belayachi 1 , Shahin Gelareh 2 , Khadidja Yachba 1  and Karim Bouamrane 1
  • 1 Department of computer science, University of Oran1 Ahmed Ben Bella, BP 1524El M'nouer, , Oran, Algeria
  • 2 University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO13DE, , Portsmouth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


The Maritime Transport is a favoured tool regarding the universal exchanges because it has gone through several evolutions. Indeed, the containerization is considered as one of the most remarkable improvements in the shipping. The containers are rented by shipping companies. However, these companies meet an empty container availability problem at some ports of Maritime Transport Network (MTN) to satisfy the demands of clients. The objective of this work is to solve the problem of the imbalance of the distribution of containers and look for empty containers at less cost to meet the demands of clients. As a result, the authors propose an application to represent the MTN, and provide a balanced distribution of containers. The work presented in this article is based on a heuristic method by neighbourhood. It allows the process of the clients' demands and transfers of full containers as well as the research of empty containers by optimizing the cost of theirs return.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Alumur, S.A., Saldanha-da-Gama, F., Nickel, S. and Vedat, V. (2012) Multi-period reverse logistics network design. European Journal of Operational Research, 220(1), 67-78. DOI:10.1016/j.ejor.2011.12.045.

  • 2. Belayachi, N., Gelareh, S. and Bouamrane K. (2015) Reverse logistics in the liner shipping industry. In: the 45th International Conference on Computers & Industrial Engineering (CIE45), October 2015, Metz, France, ISBN: 978-1-5108-1745-6.

  • 3. Crainic, T.G. (2000) Service network design in freight transportation. European Journal of Operational Research, 122 (2), 272-288. DOI: 10.1016/S0377-2217(99)00233-7.

  • 4. Francesco, M.D., Lai, M. and Zuddas, P. (2013) Maritime repositioning of empty containers under uncertain port disruptions. Journal of Computers & Industrial Engineering, 64(3), 827-837. DOI:10.1016/j.cie.2012.12.014

  • 5. Gelareh, S., Nickel, S. and Pisinger, D. (2010) Liner shipping hub network design in a competitive environment. Transportation Research Part E, 46 (6), 991-1004. DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2010.05.005.

  • 6. Gelareh, S., Maculan, N., Mahey, P. and Monemi, R.N. (2013) Hub-and-spoke network design and fleet deployment for string planning of liner shipping. Applied Mathematical Modelling, 37(5), 3307-3321. DOI: 10.1016/j.apm.2012.07.017.

  • 7. Gelareh, S. and Qiang, M. (2010) A novel modelling approach for the fleet deployment problem within a short-term planning horizon. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 46 (1), 76-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2009.06.004.

  • 8. Hu, T.L., Sheu, J.B. and Huang K.H. (2002) A reverse logistics cost minimization model for the treatment of hazardous wastes. International Journal of Transportation Research Part E, 38(6), 457-473, DOI: 10.1016/S1366-5545(02)00020-0.

  • 9. Lee, J.E., Gen, M. and Rhee, K.G. (2009) Network model and optimization of reverse logistics by hybrid genetic algorithm. Journal of Computers & Industrial Engineering, 56(3), 951-964. DOI: 10.1016/j.cie.2008.09.021.

  • 10. Meng, Q., Wang, S. and Liu, Z. (2012) Network design for shipping service of large-scale intermodal liners. Transportation Research Record, 2269(1), 42-50. DOI: 10.3141/2269-05.

  • 11. Min, H., Ko, H.J. and Ko, C.S. (2006) A genetic algorithm approach to developing the multi-echelon reverse logistics network for product returns. International Journal of Management Science, 34 (1), 56 - 69. DOI: 10.1016/·

  • 12. Mutha, A. and Pokharel, S. (2009) Strategic network design for reverse logistics and remanufacturing using new and old product modules. Journal of Computers & Industrial Engineering, 56 (1), 334-346. DOI:10.1016/j.cie.2008.06.006.

  • 13. Ramezani, M., Bashiri, M. and Tavakkoli-Moghaddam, R. (2013) A new multi-objective stochastic model for a forward/reverse logistic network design with responsiveness and quality level. Journal of Applied Mathematical Modelling, 37 (2), 328-344. DOI:10.1016/j.apm.2012.02.032

  • 14. Shuaian, W., Meng, Q. and Sun, Z. (2013) Container routing in liner shipping. Transportation Research Part E, 49 (1), 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2012.06.009.

  • 15. Song, D.P. and Dong, J.X. (2013) Long-haul liner service route design with ship deployment and empty container repositioning. Transportation Research Part B, 55(2013), 188-211. DOI:10.1016/j.trb.2013.06.012.

  • 16. Srivastava, S.K. (2008) Network design for reverse logistics. The International Journal of Management Science, 36(4), 535-548. DOI:10.1016/

  • 17. Zhou, Y. and Wang, S. (2008) Generic model of reverse logistics network design. Journal of Transportation Systems Engineering and Information Technology, 8(3), 71-78. DOI: 10.1016/S1570-6672(08)60025-2.

  • 18. Yachba, K., Gelareh, S. and Bouamrane, K. (2016) Storage management of hazardous containers using the genetic algorithm. Transport and Telecommunication, 17(4), 371-383. DOI: 10.1515/ttj-2016-0033.


Journal + Issues