Title: A novel methodology for modelling yard cranes at seaport terminals to support planning and real-time decision making

Authors: Nathan Huynh; Jose M. Vidal

Addresses: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Carolina, 300 Main St., Columbia, SC 29208, USA. ' Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Swearingen Engineering Center, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

Abstract: This paper addresses the need by terminal operators to optimise the yard crane operations at seaport terminals. It introduces a novel agent-based approach to model yard cranes, where each crane acts as an autonomous agent that seeks to maximise its utility. A key component of the proposed agent-based simulation model is a set of utility functions that properly capture the essential decision making attributes of crane operators in choosing the next truck to serve. Simulation results reveal important insights about distance-based service strategy and time-based service strategy and how they can be used together to accomplish the terminal's operational objectives. The developed simulation tool can be used by terminal management to make strategic planning and/or real-time operational decisions to improve and optimise yard crane operations.

Keywords: seaport container terminals; simulation; yard cranes; optimisation; truck services; service improvement; agent-based systems; multi-agent systems; autonomous agents; modelling; operational decision making; crane operators; terminal management; strategic planning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSCA.2012.045265

International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage, 2012 Vol.7 No.1, pp.62 - 91

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 02 Feb 2012 *

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