Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 58, Issue 9, pp 1203–1213

Alternative algorithms for the optimization of a simulation model of a multimodal container terminal

Theoretical Paper


Multimodal container terminals (MMCTs) are very complex and consequently require synchronization and balancing of container transfers at each node. The problem being investigated is the minimization of ship delays at the port by considering handling and travelling time of containers from the time the ship arrives at port until all the containers from that ship leave the port. When dealing with export containers, the problem would be that of the handling and travelling time of the containers from when they first arrive at the port until the ship carrying the containers departs from the port. Owing to the dynamic nature of the environment, a large number of timely decisions have been reviewed in accordance with the changing conditions of the MMCTs. The model has been run and tested with a small-size problem using CPLEX. A more realistic model is extremely difficult to solve and is in fact proven to be computationally intractable (NP-hard). Metaheuristics have been developed to deal with the intractability so that near-optimal solutions could be obtained in reasonable time.


simulation heuristics container multimodal 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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