Hierarchical modeling and analysis of container terminal operations
Özdemir, Hacı Murat (2003) Hierarchical modeling and analysis of container terminal operations. [Thesis]
After the breakdown of trade barriers among countries, the volume of international trade has grown significantly in the last decade. This explosive growth in international trade has increased the importance of marine transportation which constitutes the major part of the global logistics network. The utilization of containers and container ships in marine transportation has also increased after the eighties due to various advantages such as packaging, flexibility, and reliability. Parallel to the container throughput, the capacities of ships and sizes of fleets as well as the number of terminals have been increased considerably. Substantial pressure of competition on ship operators and terminal managers has forced them to consider the issues regarding operational efficiency more deeply. Thus, the operational efficiency at port container terminals has become the major concern of terminal managers to satisfy the rapid transshipment of goods. In this thesis, we focus on a set of decision problems regarding container terminal operations. Since these problems are interrelated hierarchically, we attempt to model and analyze them consecutively. First, we consider the storage space allocation problem over a rolling horizon as an aggregate planning model. Since the model has the minimum cost flow network structure there exist polynomial time solution procedures via linear programming models. Although ship turnaround time is the principal performance criteria for whole container terminal operations, the total distances traveled by containers in the terminal throughout the planning horizon is determined as the surrogate objective function for the allocation model. The output of the storage space allocation problem is used as the input for the next step of our methodology, namely the location matching model. With the location matching model, the routes of vehicles for each time period have been identified while minimizing the total distance traveled by the vehicles, which reveals the ship turnaround times. The routes that are found subject to the output of storage space allocation models are better than those of random allocation in terms of total distances traveled. Next, the vehicle scheduling problem is discussed for different levels of complexity. The solution procedures proposed for similar problems in the machine scheduling literature are provided. Finally, we discuss the problem of simultaneous vehicle dispatching with precedence constraints. We have modeled the problem as a nonlinear mixed integer programming model and proposed an iterative solution procedure to obtain reasonable solutions in considerable times. Moreover, we have presented the worst-case performance analysis for this heuristic.
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