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Discrete time model and algorithms for container yard crane scheduling. (English) Zbl 1163.90496
Summary: Container terminal (CT) operations are often bottlenecked by slow YC (yard crane) movements. PM (prime mover) queues in front of the YCs are common. Hence, efficient YC scheduling to reduce the PM waiting time is critical in increasing a CT’s throughput. We develop an efficient model for YC scheduling by taking into account realistic operational constraints such as inter-crane interference, fixed YC separation distances and simultaneous container storage/retrievals. Among them, only inter-crane interference has ever been considered in the literature. The model requires far fewer integer variables than the literature by using bi-index decision variables. We show how the model can be solved quickly using heuristics and rolling-horizon algorithm, yielding close to optimal solutions in seconds. The solution quality and solution time are both better than the literature even with additional constraints considered. The proposed formulations and algorithms can be extended to other problems with time windows and space constraints.

MSC:
90B35 Deterministic scheduling theory in operations research
90B36 Stochastic scheduling theory in operations research
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