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Crane allocation with stability considerations

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Maritime Economics & Logistics Aims and scope


Crane planning in a container terminal is a major concern for terminal operators. Crane scheduling has an enormous impact on port efficiency and profitability, and these activities have, therefore, received high priority from terminal managers and researchers. Owing to the complex structure of the problem with numerous constraints and practical issues, terminal managers have been calling for a decision support tool which provides efficient and functional solutions. However, no main solution has yet emerged for the problem. This article proposes a decision support system (DSS) for solving complex crane scheduling problems in a container terminal, offering solutions that consider contextual issues such as crane crossing restrictions and dynamic crane assignment policy, and further addresses an additional consideration during vessel unloading: vessel stability. To show the practical application of the DSS, we conducted a case study using real ship data at the Izmir container terminal in Turkey. The effect of stability on the outcomes has been shown through additional experiments. Our findings reveal that the theoretical makespan can be reduced by 20 per cent during real life operations because of stability limitations.

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The authors sincerely acknowledge the substantial support and valuable evidence provided by the employees of Port of Izmir, in particular Metin Ozyilmaz and Murat Gocen, who provided excellent information and assistance throughout the project.

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Correspondence to Evrim Ursavas.

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Ursavas, E. Crane allocation with stability considerations. Marit Econ Logist 19, 379–401 (2017).

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