The demand for maritime transport services is increasing consistently, and there are no signs that the world economy will rely less heavily on maritime transport in the future. There is an increased need for optimization-based decision support systems (DSS) to handle the complex ship routing and scheduling challenges that the shipping industry faces. Transportation routing and scheduling stand out as one of the major success stories of Operational Research. However, relatively little research has been done in ship routing and scheduling internationally. The research group at NTNU within ship routing and scheduling is today one of the most active and internationally renowned groups and need to increase their size and activity to maintain and st rengthen this position.
Strategic significance and relevance to society
Proper planning of fleets and their operations through OPTIMAR research activity has the potential of improving economic performance, reducing shipping costs for the shipping compan ies, improving flexibility and customer service and reducing damage to the environment. OPTIMAR can enhance the research activity within ship routing and scheduling in Norway and by this strengthen the research position internationally.
In OPTIMAR we want to focus on problems most relevant for the shipping industry. The research will be based on real planning challenges. The potential topics we want to focus on are market and contract evaluation and selection, optimal fleet design and line r network design at the strategic level. At the tactical level, ship routing and scheduling will be prioritized, where we want to focus on tramp ship scheduling problems with fixed and flexible cargo quantities and integrated inventory management and ship scheduling problems. We need to develop new theory, models, exact methods and heuristics to solve the focused problems.
We will publish at least 10 papers, participate at international conferences regularly, organize a research workshop a nd an industry seminar, cooperate with other programs in organizing industry seminars and include OPTIMAR results and theory in NTNU courses.