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Article

Amir Shabani, Seyed Mohammad Reza Torabipour and Reza Farzipoor Saen

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an innovative data envelopment analysis (DEA) model entitled “Non‐binary Arithmetic Operator Dual‐role” (NAOD) under free…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an innovative data envelopment analysis (DEA) model entitled “Non‐binary Arithmetic Operator Dual‐role” (NAOD) under free disposability assumption for selecting the refrigerated containers in cold chain management (CCM).

Design/methodology/approach

In classical DEA models, it is assumed that all of input and output variables play a certain role. However, in some cases, some variables play both input and output roles, simultaneously. These variables in DEA are called “dual‐role” factors. This study introduces a new approach to deal with these factors in the process of evaluating a set of homogeneous refrigerated containers, which is based on Free Disposal Hull (FDH) (one of the DEA models). However, in previous dual‐role models, this variable is considered as a binary variable. In this paper, a partial role for dual‐role factors is considered.

Findings

The main findings of this paper are: for the first time, the NAOD model is developed for the container selection problem in the context of CCM and the dual‐role factors are considered for the container selection problem. The NAOD model determines partial role of dual‐role factors and can consider multiple dual‐role factors. For the first time, the container selection problem is solved by an FDH model. The result of NAOD model is validated by genetic algorithm.

Originality/value

The paper makes a sufficient contribution to the practice of operations research. It is the first study which applies advanced DEA models for selecting the containers in the context of the CCM. To the best of the authors' knowledge, there is no other reference that deals with container selection in the context of CCM in the presence of dual‐role factors.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 41 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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Article

Xiang Ji, Bingru Guan and Guowei Liu

Selection of standardized modular containers (SSMC) is counted as one of the most important driving factors that ensure the Physical Internet (PI) to realize the varieties…

Abstract

Purpose

Selection of standardized modular containers (SSMC) is counted as one of the most important driving factors that ensure the Physical Internet (PI) to realize the varieties of goals of sustainability simultaneously, thus overcoming the great challenge of modern logistics in nowadays global supply chain. However, previous research studies on SSMC seldom paid attention to freight behavior and shippers’ segment, which are described in several fundamental conceptual works as the most essential factors that should be taken into account when doing SSMC.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper defines two preference matrices to characterize the freight behavior and shippers’ segment, and then integrates these two matrices into a centralized multi-criteria method to determine the optimal SSMC.

Findings

The SSMC derived by the proposed methodology is found to be Pareto-optimal. A managerial implication for shippers to further improve efficiency is summarized as well.

Originality/value

First, the authors characterized the freight behavior and shippers’ segment by two preference matrices and then integrated them into a centralized multi-criteria method. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first SSMC-related paper that takes shippers' behaviors and preferences into consideration when making the selection. The authors’ attempt is expected to fill in the research gap that has existed until now. Second, the SSMC derived by the proposed methodology is found to be Pareto-optimal, ensuring the required sustainability. Finally, the authors summarized a managerial implication for shippers to further improve the efficiency from the aspects of production and design.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 121 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Santhanam Harit, G. Don Taylor and C. Ray Asfahl

Describes a user‐friendly decision support tool to select near optimal containers for specific manufacturing scenarios relative to all the constraints associated with the…

Abstract

Describes a user‐friendly decision support tool to select near optimal containers for specific manufacturing scenarios relative to all the constraints associated with the use of the container. Guides the user through a dialogue to input constraints and scenario‐specific information. Shows how the decision support tool iterates between an expert system and a simulation model, to produce a near optimal container with respect to internal and external dimensional requirements. Explains the methods by which the system is tested and validated in a realistic environment. Discusses future research directions.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

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Article

Ayşenur Şahin, Mustafa Alp Ertem and Emel Emür

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of freight containers to store relief items instead of operating a permanent warehouse building.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the use of freight containers to store relief items instead of operating a permanent warehouse building.

Design/methodology/approach

A mathematical model is developed to determine the location and quantity of containers as well as the type and amount of relief supplies to store in order to investigate the practicality of using freight containers for storage. The model is tested using earthquake risk data, estimates of population under risk, and the distances between cities. An experimental study is performed using Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (abbreviated as AFAD in Turkish) data for total number of relief supplies.

Findings

Considering the earthquake risk of possible locations, the results of the study indicate the target locations for containers. The idea of using containers as storage facilities helped beneficiaries to be reached within a short distance and in an efficient way.

Research limitations/implications

The presented model is not implemented in real life disaster relief operations even if it is tested with real earthquake risk, demand and distance data.

Practical implications

To apply this model in practice, the container locations within cities should be determined and managerial operations such as maintenance, environmental, and security planning have to be considered.

Originality/value

This study presents the first analysis of three sub-topics’ intersection: warehousing, pre-positioning in disaster relief, and containerization. To the best of authors’ knowledge, containers have not been considered for storage of relief items in humanitarian logistics before.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

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Article

V. Kannan, S.K. Bose and N.G. Kannan

The purpose of this paper is to assist ocean container carriers in devising effective marketing strategies to attract and retain Indian shippers by letting them understand…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assist ocean container carriers in devising effective marketing strategies to attract and retain Indian shippers by letting them understand the list of criteria Indian shippers use in the carrier selection decisions and also the amount of importance they assign to each criterion during such decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore the criteria, review of transportation literature, customer satisfaction survey questionnaires of container carriers and SERVQUAL battery was undertaken. Telephonic interviews and focus group interview were also conducted for this purpose. In order to evaluate the criteria, analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was used. In the AHP, the pairwise comparisons were carried out by another focus group with the help of a questionnaire. For AHP calculations, the Expert Choice 11.5 software was used.

Findings

Indian shippers use 45 criteria in the container carrier selection process and out of these, low freight is ranked as the most important criterion and pricing flexibility is the second most important one. In the list, these are the only two criteria found to be with more than 10 per cent importance. The least importance is given to five criteria: gifts and compliments, online booking, physical facilities, professional appearance and trade announcements which are weighed with 0.10 per cent importance. The paper has explored and added several new carrier selection criteria to the existing transportation literature.

Practical implications

The paper enables container carriers to understand various criteria Indian shippers use in the container carrier selection decisions along with their relative importance in such decisions. It also helps container carriers to decide which criterion is to be given priority and which not while devising their marketing strategies for Indian market. This decision is vital to maximize shippers' satisfaction.

Originality/value

The paper is the first ever carrier selection study undertaken in India and is expected to open up enormous scope for future research.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article

Vanumamalai Kannan, S.K. Bose and N.G. Kannan

The purpose of this paper is to assist ocean container carriers in their service quality improvement strategies to ensure breakthrough performance in India.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assist ocean container carriers in their service quality improvement strategies to ensure breakthrough performance in India.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of seven container carriers have been involved in this study. To explore the list of service criteria, reviews of transportation literature, customer satisfaction survey questionnaires of container carriers, SERVQUAL battery, telephonic interviews and focus groups were conducted. For data collection, a shipper satisfaction questionnaire was administered. After data collection, a mean score analysis using SPSS 15 was taken up to assess the present service performance levels of the select container carriers. Then a performance gap analysis was carried out using the gap analysis formula found in the benchmarking literature.

Findings

Out of the 48 service criteria which decide the service quality of ocean container carriers, Maersk is the top performer in respect of 23 criteria, both Hanjin and MSC are top in eight criteria each, Evergreen is top in five criteria, APL is top in four criteria and CMA CGM is top in two criteria. Hapag has not scored top in any of the criteria. The gap analysis shows that APL needs to improve 44 areas in which it has shown negative gaps, CMA CGM needs to improve 47 criteria, Evergreen 45 criteria, Hanjin 47 criteria, Hapag 48 criteria, Maersk 40 criteria and MSC 43 criteria to become excellent.

Practical implications

This paper has enabled container carriers to understand the list of criteria that decide their service quality in the Indian container carrier industry. It has also informed them of their present service performance levels, and their areas of strengths and weakness. This will help them in efficient resource allocation. Understanding the areas and sizes of negative gaps, they can take appropriate steps to close them and become excellent.

Originality/value

This is the first service quality improvement study undertaken in the Indian container carrier industry and it has opened up enormous scope for future research.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Content available
Article

Shih-Liang Chao and Ya-Lan Lin

This study has two purposes. The first is to identify the determinants influencing the selection of a container number recognition system via a quantitative method to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study has two purposes. The first is to identify the determinants influencing the selection of a container number recognition system via a quantitative method to thereby establish an evaluation structure. The second purpose is to conduct an empirical study to determine the weights of the criteria and alternatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (AHP) were applied to determine the evaluation structure and weights of the criteria and alternatives, respectively.

Findings

An empirical study based on a dedicated terminal at Keelung Port is conducted. The result demonstrates that the radio-frequency identification (RFID) system is a suitable system for the terminal under consideration in this study.

Originality/value

The value of this study is twofold. First, EFA was applied to extract common factors from a wide questionnaire survey, thereby establishing a hierarchical analysis structure. This method and comprehensive evaluation structure are useful references for both practitioners and researchers to deal with problems of gate automation. Second, fuzzy AHP was used to decide the weights of the hierarchical structure. The weights obtained by this method are more objective and rational as the imprecision expressions in returned samples have been considered and dealt with.

Details

Maritime Business Review, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-3757

Keywords

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Article

Gökcay Balci and Ismail Bilge Cetin

Container shipping is a standardized business-to-business service market where carriers need to stay customer focused to survive. Market segmentation is an ideal solution…

Abstract

Purpose

Container shipping is a standardized business-to-business service market where carriers need to stay customer focused to survive. Market segmentation is an ideal solution to develop customized marketing programs for each segment, but container lines need personalized marketing programs for each customer. Hence, the purpose of this study is to develop a segmentation framework that can help container lines to profile each customer more efficiently considering their needs, strategic importance and demographics.

Design/methodology/approach

This study has adopted an exploratory approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers of container lines.

Findings

Segmentation bases are the type of customer, container volume, loyalty, seasonality, decision maker, the industry of shipper, cargo characteristics, container type, destination region and export/import. Market segmentation in container shipping can be helpful in developing effective customized marketing offering, including effective price discrimination and customized marketing communications.

Practical implications

A port-specific segmentation approach was adopted and a flexible segmentation framework was proposed for container lines to adapt in different hinterlands.

Originality/value

Unlike the literature, this study suggests market segmentation can be very helpful in customized marketing in business-to-business services like container shipping industry. This study also suggests port-specific market segmentation for container lines instead of route-specific.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 40 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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Article

Sonali Shankar, P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan, Sushil Punia and Surya Prakash Singh

Better forecasting always leads to better management and planning of the operations. The container throughput data are complex and often have multiple seasonality. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Better forecasting always leads to better management and planning of the operations. The container throughput data are complex and often have multiple seasonality. This makes it difficult to forecast accurately. The purpose of this paper is to forecast container throughput using deep learning methods and benchmark its performance over other traditional time-series methods.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, long short-term memory (LSTM) networks are implemented to forecast container throughput. The container throughput data of the Port of Singapore are used for empirical analysis. The forecasting performance of the LSTM model is compared with seven different time-series forecasting methods, namely, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA), simple exponential smoothing, Holt–Winter’s, error-trend-seasonality, trigonometric regressors (TBATS), neural network (NN) and ARIMA + NN. The relative error matrix is used to analyze the performance of the different models with respect to bias, accuracy and uncertainty.

Findings

The results showed that LSTM outperformed all other benchmark methods. From a statistical perspective, the Diebold–Mariano test is also conducted to further substantiate better forecasting performance of LSTM over other counterpart methods.

Originality/value

The proposed study is a contribution to the literature on the container throughput forecasting and adds value to the supply chain theory of forecasting. Second, this study explained the architecture of the deep-learning-based LSTM method and discussed in detail the steps to implement it.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article

Jing‐Xin Dong, Jingjing Xu and Dong‐Ping Song

Empty container repositioning is an important issue in the liner shipping industry. Generally stated, two groups of mathematical models have been proposed to tackle this…

Abstract

Purpose

Empty container repositioning is an important issue in the liner shipping industry. Generally stated, two groups of mathematical models have been proposed to tackle this issue. The first group aims to derive time‐dependent origin‐destination matrices that specify the number of empty containers to be repositioned at a decision epoch; the second group aims to develop effective state‐feedback control policies consisting of dynamic decision‐making rules. There is, however, a lack of research into the comparison of these two groups, especially with regard to realistic cases subject to uncertainties. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and compare the performances of some typical repositioning policies from these two groups and to shed light on their relative merits and suitability in various realistic scenarios.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review, the paper classifies the current empty container repositioning policies into two categories: origin‐destination (OD) based solutions and state‐based dynamic rules. Typical policies are selected from these two categories and then evaluated using a simulation tool. A range of scenarios are designed based on realistic cases considering the stochastic and dynamic nature of liner services. A comprehensive set of simulation experiments are conducted and analysed; and the relative merits and suitability of the repositioning policies are identified.

Findings

Through a carefully designed comparative study, several research findings are obtained with regard to how the performances of different types of empty container repositioning policies are affected by various factors such as structure of service route, uncertainty of daily demands, and parametric optimisation methods.

Originality/value

The study makes a good attempt to analyse the suitability of different empty container repositioning policies in different scenarios. This is an area that has lacked investigation. The research findings can help shipping companies and other relevant stakeholders better understand the relative merits of different empty container repositioning policies and better tackle the challenges in operating the container shipping system.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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