Improving container ports’ operational efficiency to reduce the delays at ports concerns global port operators significantly. Optimizing the tactical level allocation of quay side and yard side resources to vessel calls is a typical lever to mitigate the delays in operations. Another lever is by strategical level planning that re-adjust the preferred visiting time windows of vessel calls. It aims to absorb the delays at the scheduling stage rather than in the operations stage. This paper integrates the planning and operations at container ports to jointly optimize strategical level planning and tactical level berth and yard space allocation under uncertain vessel arrival times and uncertain numbers of loading/unloading containers. The problem is formulated as a two-stage stochastic integer programming model. To solve it, we develop an original decomposition algorithm that passes columns of second-stage problems to the first-stage problem to approximate the second-stage decision making. Numerical experiments are conducted to validate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed algorithm. Some managerial implications for port operators are also obtained.
- Berth allocation
- Column generation
- Two-stage stochastic integer program
- Yard space allocation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering