New tool aims to optimise use of shipping containers

14 March 2017

A web-based platform is being developed to improve the use of containers in the maritime industry.

A partnership between Newcastle University Business School and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has been handed a grant of £144,000 to explore “collaborative decision-making on container supply chains”.

The work, funded by the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, aims to develop a new model that will improve the utilisation of ships, increase their competitiveness and reduce CO2 emissions.

This will involve an online decision platform and real-time container tracking.

“Research will look at ways to improve the efficiency of the container shipping system, and help the industry cut down operational costs, greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption,” said the University of Newcastle Business School.

Chris Hicks, deputy director and professor of operations management at the business school, said: “Container shipping plays a very important role in maintaining and improving quality of life as containers carry the majority of consumer goods – everything from clothing and consumer electronics to furniture and automobile parts.

“While there are already a multitude of research projects into how best to improve maritime container supply chains, they tend to make decisions in an isolated way, and do not consider the conflicting interests of multiple stakeholders involved.”

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