An integrated model for berth and yard planning in container terminals with multi-continuous berth layout

H. L. Ma, S. H. Chung, H. K. Chan, Li Cui

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Discontinuities and sharp curves commonly exist in the berth layout of container terminals. To cope with these layout characteristics, traditional studies proposed discrete or hybrid modeling approaches. However, the drawback of these approaches is the low berth space utilization. In reality, berth space is a very scarce resource and the development of which usually involves huge investments. Accordingly, a high space utilization approach is usually indispensable to a container terminal. In the literature, continuous berth layout modeling approach is sophisticated to be good in space utilization. However, its application is limited to continuous layouts, but not for discontinuities. In other words, it is not applicable to many container terminals in reality. To fill this gap, this paper studies an integrated berth allocation and yard planning problem with discontinuities berth layout. A novel multi-continuous berth layout approach and a mixed integer linear programming are proposed to deal with this new problem. In addition, a Guided Neighborhood Search (GNS) is proposed to enhance the optimization efficiency. Experimental results show that the GNS significantly reduce computational time enabling the proposed algorithm to be applied in reality. In addition, the proposed approach increases the berth space utilization, and consequently reducing the waiting time of incoming vessels. Furthermore, by simultaneously integrating the berth position and yard storage position, the total travelling distance of containers is being minimized. As a result, the overall performance of the terminal is improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-431
Number of pages23
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • Berth allocation problem
  • Guided neighborhood search
  • Multi-continuous berth layout
  • Yard storage allocation problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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