A Cooperative Approach to Dispatching and Scheduling Twin-Yard Cranes in Container Terminals
To increase the productivity of the storage yard of a container terminal, two identical yard cranes are often deployed in a yard block. In theory, the productivity of a yard block may be doubled with twin-cranes. However, crane interference may severely lower the combined productivity of the twin-cranes. In this paper, we propose an online job dispatching method for twin yard cranes when side loading is used. The method adopts the non-zero-sum game approach to induce the cooperative behaviour in the dispatching and scheduling of jobs for the two cranes to minimize the total job completion time. A one-step lookahead algorithm and a two-step lookahead algorithm are proposed. We evaluate our algorithms against Ng’s lower bound of total completion time for twin-cranes and against the greedy heuristic Smallest Completion Time-First. Our experiments showed that our dispatching and scheduling algorithm performs very well.
KeywordsYard crane dispatching and scheduling Optimization Container terminal
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