Crane sequencing in container terminals determines the order of ship discharging and loading jobs that quay cranes (QCs) perform, so that the duration of a vessel's stay is minimized. The ship's load profile, berthing time, number of available bays, and QCs are considered. More important, clearance and yard congestion constraints need to be included, which, respectively, ensure that a minimum distance between adjacent QCs is observed and yard storage blocks are not overly accessed at any point in time. In sequencing for a single ship, a mixed-integer programming (MIP) model is proposed, and a heuristic approach based on the model is developed that produces good solutions. The model is then reformulated as a generalized set covering problem and solved exactly by branch and price (BandP). For multiship sequencing, the yard congestion constraints are relaxed in the spirit of Lagrangian relaxation, so that the problem decomposes by vessel into smaller subproblems solved by B&P. An efficient primal heuristic is also designed. Computational experiments reveal that large-scale problems can be solved in a reasonable computational time.
- Branch and price
- Port operations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering