Collaborative mechanisms for berth allocation

Shuaian Wang, Zhiyuan Liu, Xiaobo Qu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes two collaborative mechanisms between container shipping lines and port operators to facilitate port operators to make proper berth allocation decisions. In the first mechanism, assuming no transshipment, a shipping line needs to provide the port operator with the utilities associated with the start operation days of each liner route. The total utilities for all start operation days must be 0. A higher bunker and inventory cost for the shipping line means a lower utility. The port operator compensates the shipping line if its ship is scheduled on a day with negative utility and charges additional fees if the ship is scheduled on a day with positive utility. The second mechanism accounts for the utilities related to the inventory cost of transshipment containers. These two mechanisms ensure that shipping lines have no incentive to overstate or undervalue the utilities. The utilities estimated by shipping lines are much more accurate than those estimated by port operators. Hence, models for the tactical berth allocation problem incorporating the utilities provided by shipping lines lead to more efficient and equitable berth allocation plans. The utilities provided by shipping lines can also guide the decisions on operational berth allocation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number572
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Berth allocation problem
  • Collaborative mechanism
  • Game theory
  • Maritime transportation
  • Port operations
  • Shipping line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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