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A multi-agent framework for container booking and slot allocation in maritime shipping

Mandal, Jasashwi; Goswami, Adrijit; Kumari, Sushma; Mishra, Nishikant


Jasashwi Mandal

Adrijit Goswami

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Dr. Sushma Kumari
Senior Lecturer and Programme Director- MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management and BSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management


Digitalization is constantly altering company paradigms and expanding cross-border supply chain prospects. Maritime transportation plays an increasingly essential part in the global supply network. Since maritime shipping services need to exchange a huge number of papers and paperwork across numerous companies, the usage of a unified platform for inter-organisational communication and information sharing is required. To develop an integrative, adaptive, and intelligent container booking system, a multi-agent architecture is designed in this article. The proposed architecture will aid the maritime industry in establishing real-time information interchange between autonomous agents, shippers, freight forwarders, and shipping lines. The process outlined in this paper reveals how the agents communicate with one another to resolve underlying inconsistencies. With the multi-agent framework, the article also presents a container slot optimisation problem considering market segmentation, different booking periods, heterogeneous containers and port congestion scenarios. Using this model the managers can find the booking limit for each type of containers and accordingly they can accept or reject the incoming booking requests. Furthermore, a simulated case study is also provided to validate the model.


Mandal, J., Goswami, A., Kumari, S., & Mishra, N. (in press). A multi-agent framework for container booking and slot allocation in maritime shipping. International Journal of Production Research,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 21, 2022
Online Publication Date May 18, 2022
Deposit Date Jun 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 19, 2023
Journal International Journal of Production Research
Print ISSN 0020-7543
Electronic ISSN 1366-588X
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Multi-agent architecture; Maritime shipping; Container booking; Slot allocation; Revenue management
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