Introduction to Container Handling Research
Research in container terminal planning has received extensive attention in the past decades as a result of the importance of terminals within the global supply chain. Different research streams can be identified based on the operational area of the terminal. As an integral part of the terminal, the yard block serves the purpose of synchronising the flows between waterside and landside operations. For the purpose of a seamless synchronisation, containers in the yard block must be stacked efficiently in order to streamline container handling in general. Based on this central role of yard blocks within the terminal, open research questions about efficient container handling in yard blocks are formulated in this chapter that should be answered throughout the work. The questions are structured in three categories. First, they relate to the problem formulation and modelling of container handling in yard blocks. Second, it is asked about the underlying theoretical mechanisms governing container stacking. Lastly, questions arise about the key aspects relevant for practical container handling and how it is possible to utilise the theoretical insights for real-world yard block planning. Research goals are stated for each of the formulated research questions in order to facilitate answering them. Eventually, the outline of the work is presented in alignment with the structure of the research statement.
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