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The impacts of time segment modeling in berth allocation and quay crane assignment on terminal efficiency

Hoi-Lam Ma (Department of Supply Chain and Information Management, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong , Shatin, Hong Kong)
Zhengxu Wang (School of Business Administration, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics , Dalian, China)
S.H. Chung (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University , Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Felix T.S. Chan (Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University , Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 10 April 2019

Issue publication date: 13 June 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the impacts of time segment modeling approach for berth allocation and quay crane (QC) assignment on container terminal operations efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors model the small time segment modeling approach, based on minutes, which can be a minute, 15 min, etc. Moreover, the authors divided the problem into three sub-problems and proposed a novel three-level genetic algorithm (3LGA) with QC shifting heuristics to deal with the problem. The objective function here is to minimize the total service time by using different time segments for comparison and analysis.

Findings

First, the study shows that by reducing the time segment, the complexity of the problem increases dramatically. Traditional meta-heuristic, such as genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, etc., becomes not very promising. Second, the proposed 3LGA with QC shifting heuristics outperforms the traditional ones. In addition, by using a smaller time segment, the idling time of berth and QC can be reduced significantly. This greatly benefits the container terminal operations efficiency, and customer service level.

Practical implications

Nowadays, transshipment becomes the main business to many container terminals, especially in Southeast Asia (e.g. Hong Kong and Singapore). In these terminals, vessel arrivals are usually very frequent with small handling volume and very short staying time, e.g. 1.5 h. Therefore, a traditional hourly based modeling approach may cause significant berth and QC idling, and consequently cannot meet their practical needs. In this connection, a small time segment modeling approach is requested by industrial practitioners.

Originality/value

In the existing literature, berth allocation and QC assignment are usually in an hourly based approach. However, such modeling induces much idling time and consequently causes low utilization and poor service quality level. Therefore, a novel small time segment modeling approach is proposed with a novel optimization algorithm.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thanks the editor and the reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. Beside, this research is supported by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (Grant No. 2018M631792), The Department of Education of Liaoning Province (Grant No. LN2017QN006).

Citation

Ma, H.-L., Wang, Z., Chung, S.H. and Chan, F.T.S. (2019), "The impacts of time segment modeling in berth allocation and quay crane assignment on terminal efficiency", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 119 No. 5, pp. 968-992. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-08-2018-0335

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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