OR Spectrum

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 3-49

First online:

Container terminal operation and operations research - a classification and literature review

  • Dirk SteenkenAffiliated withIS - Information Systems/Equipment Control, Hamburger Hafen- und Lagerhaus AG Email author 
  • , Stefan VoßAffiliated withInstitute of Information Systems (Wirtschaftsinformatik), University of Hamburg
  • , Robert StahlbockAffiliated withInstitute of Information Systems (Wirtschaftsinformatik), University of Hamburg

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In the last four decades the container as an essential part of a unit-load-concept has achieved undoubted importance in international sea freight transportation. With ever increasing containerization the number of seaport container terminals and competition among them have become quite remarkable. Operations are nowadays unthinkable without effective and efficient use of information technology as well as appropriate optimization (operations research) methods. In this paper we describe and classify the main logistics processes and operations in container terminals and present a survey of methods for their optimization.


Container terminal Logistics Planning Optimization Heuristics Simulation