Robust Berth Allocation Using a Hybrid Approach Combining Branch-and-Cut and the Genetic Algorithm

  • Ghazwan AlsoufiEmail author
  • Xinan Yang
  • Abdellah Salhi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9668)


Seaside operations at container ports often suffer from uncertainty due to events such as the variation in arrival and/or processing time of vessels, weather conditions and others. Finding a robust plan which can accommodate this uncertainty is therefore desirable to port operators. This paper suggests ways to generate robust berth allocation plans in container terminals. The problem is first formulated as a mixed-integer programming model whose main objective is to minimize the total tardiness of vessel departure time. It is then solved exactly and approximately. Experimental results show that only small instances of the proposed model can be solved exactly. To handle large instances in reasonable times, the Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used. However, it does not guarantee optimality and often the approximate solutions returned are of low quality. A hybrid meta-heuristic which combines Branch-and-Cut (B&C) as implemented in CPLEX, with the GA as we implement it here, is therefore suggested. This hybrid method retains the accuracy of Branch-and-Cut and the efficiency of GA. Numerical results obtained with the three approaches on a representative set of instances of the problem are reported.


Container terminals Berth allocation problem Robustness Genetic algorithm Hybrid metaheuristic 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mathematical SciencesUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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