Optimizing maritime shipping routes

To remain competitive, shipping companies are now resorting to data analytics, which is one of HEC Montréal’s research strengths. CSL Group has collaborated with the Chair in Logistics and Transportation to develop a powerful optimization tool that helps manage the schedules for a large part of its fleet.

ADAPTATION OF AN OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM

CSL Group, a Canadian company which operates internationally, owns and manages a very diverse fleet. The process of creating schedules for its vessels is complex. The development of a specific mathematical model and adaptation of a schedule optimization algorithm are hugely beneficial to the company, as they will allow it to:

  • streamline its processes;
  • maximize fleet revenue by minimizing transportation costs (fuel, vessel usage, cost of canal services);
  • meet the needs of its clients and many other constraints.

SUBSTANTIAL DATA COLLECTION

In order to develop a model corresponding to maritime transport realities, a substantial collection of data was required on:

  • distance and cost combinations between ports;
  • vessel features (capacity, consumption, etc.);
  • transportation costs.

The base model was enriched by incorporating additional parameters corresponding to constraints such as the weather or navigational delays.

FEASIBLE AND HIGH-QUALITY SOLUTIONS

The model, which was developed at HEC Montréal, was then tested on actual schedules in the company, so as to check the quality of the solutions. Since then, it has been introduced in Canada and in other CSL Group subsidiaries. It is now used to perform analyzes, support the work of planning teams, create budgets and capacity forecasts.

FOR MAKING BETTER DECISIONS

Jean-François Cordeau

“We focus on issues of great practical relevance that can’t be satisfactorily resolved by means of conventional methods. We must therefore gain a better understanding of these issues and design algorithms that are capable of addressing them in reasonable computation time.”
Jean-François Cordeau, chairholder of the Chair in Logistics and Transportation
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION


Share this page:


Research > Digital transformation > Achievements > Optimizing maritime shipping routes