The integrated berth allocation, quay crane assignment and scheduling problem: mathematical formulations and a case study

Omar Abou Kasm, Ali Diabat, T. C.E. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers the integration of three essential seaport terminal operations: the berth allocation problem, the quay crane assignment problem (QCAP), and the quay crane scheduling problem (QCSP). The paper presents a new mathematical formulation that captures all associated operations and constraints. Different quay crane operational policies are considered, namely permitting versus not permitting bay task preemption in QCSP and static versus dynamic crane allocations in QCAP. Thus, variants of the mathematical formulation are introduced to capture the different combinations of these scenarios. Due to the preemption consideration, the models include disaggregated quay crane (QC) tasks. Specifically, QC tasks are identified by single container movements as opposed to bay or stack task allocations that are commonly used in the literature. A case study based on Abu Dhabi’s container terminal is presented where the use of the proposed mathematical models are compared against the current existing operational approach. Results show that the service times can be significantly decreased by the use of the proposed models. Moreover, the policy choice effect on the total schedule is compared through simulated examples and Abu Dhabi’s container terminal case study. The results show that the policy improvements can depend on the problem’s attributes and thus a better policy cannot be generalized.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019


  • Berth allocation problem
  • Maritime logistics
  • Optimization modeling
  • Quay crane assignment
  • Quay crane scheduling
  • Seaport operations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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