Journal of Scheduling

, Volume 10, Issue 4–5, pp 327–336 | Cite as

A tabu search heuristic for the quay crane scheduling problem

  • Marcello Sammarra
  • Jean-François CordeauEmail author
  • Gilbert Laporte
  • M. Flavia Monaco


This paper proposes a tabu search heuristic for the Quay Crane Scheduling Problem (QCSP), the problem of scheduling a fixed number of quay cranes in order to load and unload containers into and from a ship. The optimality criterion considered is the minimum completion time. Precedence and non-simultaneity constraints between tasks are taken into account. The former originate from the different kind of operations that each crane has to perform; the latter are needed in order to avoid interferences between the cranes. The QCSP is decomposed into a routing problem and a scheduling problem. The routing problem is solved by a tabu search heuristic, while a local search technique is used to generate the solution of the scheduling problem. This is done by minimizing the longest path length in a disjunctive graph. The effectiveness of our algorithm is assessed by comparing it to a branch-and-cut algorithm and to a Greedy Randomized Adaptive Search Procedure (GRASP).


Container terminal Crane scheduling Disjunctive graph Tabu search 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marcello Sammarra
    • 1
  • Jean-François Cordeau
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gilbert Laporte
    • 3
  • M. Flavia Monaco
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informatica e SistemisticaUniversità della CalabriaRendeItaly
  2. 2.Canada Research Chair in Logistics and TransportationHEC MontréalMontréalCanada
  3. 3.Canada Research Chair in Distribution ManagementHEC MontréalMontréalCanada

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