Berth Allocation Planning Optimization in Container Terminals
We study the problem of allocating berth space for vessels in container terminals, which is referred to as the berth allocation planning problem. We solve the static berth allocation planning problem as a rectangle packing problem with release time constraints, using a local search algorithm that employs the concept of sequence pair to define the neighborhood structure. We embed this approach in a real time scheduling system to address the berth allocation planning problem in a dynamic environment. We address the issues of vessel allocation to the terminal (thus affecting the overall berth utilization), choice of planning time window (how long to plan ahead in the dynamic environment), and the choice of objective used in the berthing algorithm (e.g., should we focus on minimizing vessels’ waiting time or maximizing berth utilization?). In a moderate load setting, extensive simulation results show that the proposed berthing system is able to allocate space to most of the calling vessels upon arrival, with the majority of them allocated the preferred berthing location. In a heavy load setting, we need to balance the concerns of throughput with acceptable waiting time experienced by vessels. We show that, surprisingly, these can be handled by deliberately delaying berthing of vessels in order to achieve higher throughput in the berthing system.
KeywordsSequence Pair Container Terminal Quay Crane Berth Allocation Problem Schedule Window
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