Choosing optimal bunkering ports for liner shipping companies: A hybrid Fuzzy-Delphi–TOPSIS approach

With sustained high bunker prices, new methods for choosing optimal bunkering ports to save on total operating costs have appeared in research involving liner shipping companies. Generally speaking, the bunkering port selection problem is solved by utilizing ship planning software. However, this can only work optimally when ship arrivals can be forecasted rather accurately, and its primary limitation is that it ignores unforeseen circumstances in actual operations. There are as yet no fixed rules for bunkering port selection. To address this, the paper develops a benchmarking framework that evaluates bunkering ports’ performances with in regular liner routes in order to choose optimal ones. Bunkering port selection is typically a multi-criteria group decision problem, and in many practical situations, decision makers cannot form proper judgments using incomplete and uncertain information in an environment with exact and crisp values; thus, fuzzy numbers are proposed in this paper. A hybrid Fuzzy-Delphi–TOPSIS based methodology that divides the benchmarking into three stages is employed to support the entire framework. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis is performed. The proposed framework can enable decision makers to better understand the complex relationships of the relevant key performance factors and assist managers in comprehending the present strengths and weaknesses of their strategies.


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  • Accession Number: 01539521
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2014 9:54AM