Optimal berth allocation and time-invariant quay crane assignment in container terminals
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Due to the dramatic increase in the world's container traffic, the efficient management of operations in seaport container terminals has become a crucial issue. In this work, we focus on the integrated planning of the following problems faced at container terminals: berth allocation, quay crane assignment (number), and quay crane assignment (specific). First, we formulate a new binary integer linear program for the integrated solution of the berth allocation and quay crane assignment (number) problems called BACAP. Then we extend it by incorporating the quay crane assignment (specific) problem as well, which is named BACASP. Computational experiments performed on problem instances of various sizes indicate that the model for BACAP is very efficient and even large instances up to 60 vessels can be solved to optimality. Unfortunately, this is not the case for BACASP. Therefore, to be able to solve large instances, we present a necessary and sufficient condition for generating an optimal solution of BACASP from an optimal solution of BACAP using a post-processing algorithm. In case this condition is not satisfied, we make use of a cutting plane algorithm which solves BACAP repeatedly by adding cuts generated from the optimal solutions until the aforementioned condition holds. This method proves to be viable and enables us to solve large BACASP instances as well. To the best of our knowledge, these are the largest instances that can be solved to optimality for this difficult problem, which makes our work applicable to realistic problems. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.