This paper studies a Maritime Inventory Routing Problem with Time Windows (MIRPTW) for deliveries with uncertain disruptions. We consider disruptions that increase travel times between ports and ultimately affect the deliveries in one or more time windows. The objective is to find flexible solutions that can withstand unplanned disruptions. We propose a Lagrangian heuristic algorithm of obtaining flexible solutions by introducing auxiliary soft constraints that are incorporated in the objective function with Lagrange multipliers. To evaluate the flexibility of solutions, we build a simulator that generates disruptions and recovery solutions. Computational results show that by incurring a small increase in initial cost (sometimes zero), our robust planning strategies generate solutions that are often significantly less vulnerable to potential disruptions. We also consider the effect of lead time in being able to respond to the disruptions.
Georgia Institute of Technology, Technical Report, 2013