Modeling and Solving the Tactical Berth Allocation Problem

In this paper we integrate at the tactical level two decision problems arising in container terminals: the berth allocation problem, which consists of assigning and scheduling incoming ships to berthing positions, and the quay crane assignment problem, which assigns to incoming ships a certain QC profile (i.e. number of quay cranes per working shift). We present two formulations: a mixed integer quadratic program and a linearization which reduces to a mixed integer linear program. The objective function aims, on the one hand, to maximize the total value of chosen QC profiles and, on the other hand, to minimize the housekeeping costs generated by transshipment flows between ships. To solve the problem we developed a heuristic algorithm which combines tabu search methods and mathematical programming techniques. Computational results on instances based on real data are presented and compared to those obtained through a commercial solver.

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