Journal of Scheduling

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 345–360 | Cite as

A fast heuristic for quay crane scheduling with interference constraints

  • Christian BierwirthEmail author
  • Frank Meisel


This paper considers the problem of scheduling quay cranes which are used at sea port container terminals to load and unload containers. This problem is studied intensively in a recent stream of research but still lacks a correct treatment of crane interference constraints. We present a revised optimization model for the scheduling of quay cranes and propose a heuristic solution procedure. At its core a Branch-and-Bound algorithm is applied for searching a subset of above average quality schedules. The heuristic takes advantage from efficient criteria for branching and bounding the search with respect to the impact of crane interference. Although the used techniques are quite standard, the new heuristic produces much better solutions in considerably shorter run times than all algorithms known from the literature.


Container terminal operations Quay crane interference Unidirectional schedule Disjunctive graph model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Economics and BusinessMartin-Luther-University Halle-WittenbergHalleGermany

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