In the above figure, a maritime shipping company is offering a service over two maritime ranges. The parameters of this service are influenced by three major factors:
- A decision about the frequency of service, which in this case would be 2 calls per week for each port. This frequency is linked with the number of ships and which ports are called.
- For this loop, 8 ships are required to ensure the desired frequency (2 calls per week). Ideally, all ships should be of the same size, but in this case, two larger (8,000 TEU) ships are available. They each have been allocated on the opposite of the loop sequence to maximize the potential of picking up additional traffic with the best frequency.
- The selection of which port to call is a complex decision. In this case, if a higher frequency (3 calls per week) is desired, but no additional ship can be allocated, a port call can be dropped out of the network. This runs at the risk of additional delays in the distribution for the hinterland of the port that was dropped and could cause a loss of customers.