Photo of Oil TankerThis website is dedicated to a particular maritime transportation planning problem known as the Maritime Inventory Routing Problem (MIRP), which plays an integral role in global bulk shipping.  Modeled after other libraries in the operations research community, this site presents a library of publicly available test problem instances for a class of deterministic single product maritime inventory routing problems (MIRPs), known as MIRPs with inventory tracking at every port. Despite a growing interest in combined routing and inventory management problems in a maritime setting, no data sets are publicly available, which represents a significant "barrier to entry" for those interested in related research. This site aims to remedy this situation.

Our main goal with this library is to help maritime inventory routing gain maturity as an important and interesting class of planning problems.  To this end, we:

  1. present benchmark instances for a particular class of MIRPs;
  2. provide the mixed-integer linear programming community with a set of optimization problem instances from the maritime transportation domain in LP and MPS format;
  3. provide a template for other researchers when specifying characteristics of MIRPs arising in other settings.

View the complete set of instances

Reference: D. J. Papageorgiou, G. L. Nemhauser, J. Sokol, M.-S. Cheon, A. B. Keha. “MIRPLib – A library of maritime inventory routing problem instances: Survey, core model, and benchmark results.” European Journal of Operational Research, 235(2):350-366, 2014. [Link, Preprint]

Please check out a related effort in the container shipping community www.linerlib.org.

Why is maritime inventory routing important?

In 2011, the international shipping industry handled over 80% of the volume of world trade, of which bulk goods were a primary component. Indeed, of the nearly 9 billion tons of goods in international seaborne commerce traded in 2011, bulk goods such as coal, crude oil, iron ore, and liquefied natural gas accounted for well over 50% of this quantity and easily represented several hundreds of billions of US dollars in value (UNCTAD).