Container flow template planning in seaport railway terminal with on-dock rails

Baicheng Yan, Min Xu (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


With the construction of on-dock rails, the terminal has become an interface between the maritime transport network and the railway transport network. Terminal operators are facing some new challenges like more complicated terminal operations and the scarcity of storage spaces. To address this issue, the managers should improve the operation efficiency of terminals by adjusting the yard templates and equipment deployment plan, which has not been well studied. To fill this gap, we study the transfer flow template planning problem in seaport railway terminals, and a multi-objective model that integrates the decisions on flow volume, yard template, and equipment deployment plan is proposed. Then, a group of numerical experiments is conducted using Ningbo Beilun Container Terminal as an example to analyze the effect of different management objectives, the pattern of yard template, and the influence of handling capacities. The results show that the optimized flow template performs well when using maximizing throughput as the primal objective. It also reports that stacking imported containers in the blocks near the seaside could help to reduce the operation cost and time consumption of the terminal. Moreover, the location of on-dock rails shows a significant influence on the yard template.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-561
Number of pages24
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2023


  • Combined container transportation
  • container flow template planning
  • seaport railway terminal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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