Fleet deployment is a subject many shipping companies, especially liner, have examined over the years. Various tools have integrated models of fleet deployment in order to support operational decisions and enhance fleet performance. LNG shipping companies will face over the next years a more competitive market, where the now dominant long term trade will coexist with a developing spot market. The suggested model supports strategic and tactical decisions of the company's senior management regarding the deployment of its fleet. More specifically, it could indicate the most favorable trade routes, cost-wise, between predetermined sets of liquefaction and regasification terminals. The company can then pursue contracts and arrange its business development taking into consideration the model's solutions, offering specific vessels of its fleet for long-term charters and others for spot charters. Finally, the shipping company can gain an insight of its fleet operating cost, as well as the voyage costs handled by the charterer in order to offer competitive fares, compared to its competitors, while having minor impact on its net revenues. A more intricate model, with more realistic assumptions and an effective solution algorithm for non-linear stochastic problems is probably needed in order to produce an improved model suitable for commercial application.

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