Title: A method for effective yard template design in container terminals

Authors: Ming-Kun Li

Addresses: Management School, Shanghai University, 99 Shangda Road, Shanghai, China

Abstract: Effective storage space planning is important and complex, especially for container terminals with congested storage yards. The technique of yard template design, which normally specifies a set of storage locations in a group of yard blocks for export containers of various vessel services, is particularly useful for allocating workloads evenly among yard blocks to smooth the landside operations of such container terminals. This research studies the yard template design problem with periodical vessel calling schedules. In order to control the workload and make efficient use of yard storage space, we specify two planning phases in a hierarchical solution approach and formulate the problems as integer programming models. Numerical experiments indicate that the problems cannot be efficiently solved by means of an exact integer programming approach and therefore a heuristic is designed to specify the exact shape and location for stacking containers in a storage plan template. Further experiments show that our solution method generates good storage templates for most test cases. It contributes to efficient stacking and handling for export containers in yards. [Received 31 March 2011; Revised 6 September 2011; Revised 16 February 2012; Accepted 8 May 2012]

Keywords: heuristics; integer programming; port operations; storage yards; yard template design; container terminals; storage space planning; workload allocation; stacking shape; stacking location; container stacking; storage planning; export containers.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIE.2014.059348

European Journal of Industrial Engineering, 2014 Vol.8 No.1, pp.1 - 21

Available online: 18 Feb 2014 *

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