An enriched model for the integrated berth allocation and quay crane assignment problem

Birger Raa*, Wout Dullaert, Rowan Van Schaeren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Given the increasing pressure to improve the efficiency of container terminals, a lot of research efforts have been devoted to optimizing container terminal operations. Most papers deal with either the berth allocation problem (BAP) or the (quay) crane assignment problem (CAP). In the literature on the BAP, handling times are often simplified to be berth dependent or proportional to vessel size, so the CAP can be ignored when scheduling vessels. This is unsatisfactory for real-life applications because the handling time primarily depends on the number of containers to be handled and the number of cranes deployed. Only a limited number of papers deals with the combination of berth allocation and crane assignment. In these papers however, authors often have resorted to algorithmic simplifications that limit the practical use of the models. This paper presents a MILP model for the integrated BAP-CAP taking into account vessel priorities, preferred berthing locations and handling time considerations. The model is used in a hybrid heuristic solution procedure that is validated on real-life data illustrating the potential to support operational and tactical decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14136-14147
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Berth allocation
  • Container terminal
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Quay cranes


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