Integrated Container Handling
A complete algebraic model for yard block operations is formulated in this chapter. In this sense, it covers all defined container handling problems of the previous chapters subject to yard crane scheduling and sequencing constraints that are bounded by the capacity of a single yard crane. The aim is to assess the viability of optimising yard block operations holistically in order to examine interaction effects of block allocation, container stacking, re-handling and yard crane movement. As a result of the multitude of integrated problems, the (practical) size of a yard block and the binary decision nature of container assignment and movement, this modelling approach can be categorised within the field of large-scale integer programming. In these circumstances, this chapter serves two purposes. Firstly, it provides a formal framework for integrated container handling in the yard area where decision-dependencies can be depicted. Secondly, it helps to extract and circumscribe the core parts in terms of solvability and importance for understanding the properties of container handling. For this purpose, a core model is proposed for formalising the problem of container handling and movement aspects only which is named Container Allocation and Re-handling Problem. Afterwards, yard crane scheduling, sequencing and capacity are added to the core model as extension completing the model for yard block operations to the Container Allocation, Re-handling and Scheduling Problem. Hence, the research questions about the problem modelling are addressed within this chapter.
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