Collaborative Carry-Out Process for Empty Containers Between Truck Companies and a Port Terminal
A container port is a crucial interface between the maritime and the hinterland transportation. In order to improve this interface, joint efforts between truck companies and a port terminal operator are necessary. However, a port terminal operator should transfer containers onto inland trucks responding to unexpected arrivals of them. It causes that handling equipment often have to relocate containers in order to pick up a desired one under them. These container-rehandling operations result in the waste of energy and the long waiting of inland trucks with greenhouse gas emissions. This paper addresses the inbound carry-out process for empty containers where a port terminal operator carries out them onto inland trucks at a port. The objective of this paper is to reduce the number of container-rehandles during this process, which leads to decrease in waiting time for inland trucks and increase in productivity of handling equipment. This paper applies the policy of the category stacking to the inbound containers. According to the predefined categories of containers, a port terminal operator is able to stack containers on the top of those in the same category. Truck companies can issue pickup orders of empty containers by specifying only the category instead of specifying container numbers. Based on this strategy, this paper proposes a collaborative process between a port terminal operator and truck companies. Simulation experiments are done to validate the strategy in this paper.
KeywordsPort terminal Category stacking Container rehandling Inbound empty container
The authors would like to thank the support from the International Graduate School for Dynamics in Logistics (IGS) at the University of Bremen.