A Decision Support System for Managing Combinatorial Problems in Container Terminals

Autores UPV


A container terminal is a facility where cargo containers are transshipped between different transport vehicles. We focus our attention on the transshipment between vessels and land vehicles, in which case the terminal is described as a maritime container terminal. In these container terminals, many combinatorial related problems appear and the solution of one of the problems may affect to the solution of other related problems. For instance, the berth allocation problem can affect to the crane assignment problem and both could also affect to the Container Stacking Problem. Thus, terminal operators normally demand all containers to be loaded into an incoming vessel should be ready and easily accessible in the yard before vessel's arrival. Similarly, customers (i.e., vessel owners) expect prompt berthing of their vessels upon arrival. However the efficiency of the loading/unloading tasks of containers in a vessel depends on the number of assigned cranes and the efficiency of the container yard logistic. In this paper, we present a decision support system to guide the operators in the development of these typical tasks. Due to some of these problems are combinatorial, some analytical formulas are presented to estimate the behavior of the container terminal. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.