Determining optimal fuel delivery strategies under uncertainty

Dominiqueca R. Edwards, Faith O. Idoko, Chrysafis Vogiatzis, Lauren B. Davis, Pitu Mirchandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the preparation before a hurricane makes landfall, affected individuals may be asked to evacuate. Large and small-scale evacuations can cause rapid increases in the demand for gasoline fuel. However, during a hurricane vessels carrying gas may be delayed and/or rerouted, adding to the difficulty of providing the necessary gas in affected areas. In this work, we determine alternate delivery locations and times for vessels carrying fuel that are scheduled to arrive and deliver fuel at ports impacted by an approaching hurricane. Motivated by Hurricane Irma in Florida, we develop a multi-period stochastic scheduling model that incorporates hurricane (weather) advisories, fuel delivery schedules, port storage capacities, and port docking capacities. Our model determines the best schedule based on two objectives: (1) minimize the total unmet demand at each port, and (2) minimize inequities in unmet demands among the ports. We also present a case study and a numerical experiment based on fuel delivery data from ports in Florida. Among our key findings is that port availability is the driving factor in determining feasible schedules for vessel gas deliveries. We also present a scheduling heuristic that dynamically adapts to weather advisories so as to minimize the impact of unmet demand in the affected areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101612
JournalSocio-Economic Planning Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Disaster operations management
  • Fuel supply chain
  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Port and vessel scheduling
  • Stochastic optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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