OR Spectrum

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 427–452 | Cite as

Mathematical models and solution methods for optimal container terminal yard layouts

  • Jörg WieseEmail author
  • Leena Suhl
  • Natalia Kliewer
Regular Article


In this paper, we introduce an integer linear program for planning the layout of container yards. We concentrate on a special layout class of container yards which we call yard layout with transfer lanes. For those layouts typically rubber tired gantry cranes are used for stacking operations and trucks for horizontal transports. We show that the optimization model can be formulated as a special type of a resource constrained shortest path problem for which the LP relaxation always has at least one integer optimal solution. This model is restricted to a rectangular storage yard which allows a linear formulation. For an arbitrary shaped container yard we adopt the model and develop a variable neighborhood descent (VND) heuristic for solving non-rectangular instances. Concerning the rectangular case, we show that the VND heuristic achieves optimal solutions for 38% of the realistic test instances.


Container terminal Layout Yard layout Resource constrained shortest path problem Variable neighborhood descent 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Decision Support and Operations Research LabUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany
  2. 2.Freie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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