Optimal stowage on Ro-Ro decks for efficiency and safety

Puisa, Romanas (2018) Optimal stowage on Ro-Ro decks for efficiency and safety. Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology. pp. 1-17. ISSN 2056-8487 (https://doi.org/10.1080/20464177.2018.1516942)

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The roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) ships are true workhorses of coastal and deep-sea shipping. They are valued for their versatility to transport heterogeneous cargo and short turnaround times in ports. However, the optimal utilisation of cargo space has been inherently problematic with the Ro-Ro concept. In view of the existing attempts to contrive optimal stowage plans, the paper proposes three practical improvements with respect to the state of the art. The improvements lead to a finer approach to ship stability, fire safety, and cargo handling efficiency when optimising cargo stowage on Ro-Ro decks. Formally, we express the stowage problem as a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) problem and solve it to optimality. The paper outlines the mathematical formulation, provides a numerical example, and studies practical application aspects.