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Keyword: mixed-integer programming

paper

A Decomposition Method for Finding Optimal Container Stowage Plans

Roberti, Roberto and Mingozzi, Aristide

In transportation of goods in large container ships, shipping industries need to minimize the time spent at ports to load/unload containers. An optimal stowage of containers on board minimizes unnecessary unloading/reloading movements, while satisfying many operational constraints. We address the basic container stowage planning problem (CSPP). Different heuristics and formulations have been proposed for the CSPP, but finding an optimal stowage plan remains an open problem even for small-sized instances. We introduce a novel formulation that decomposes CSPPs into two sets of decision variables: the first defining how single container stacks evolve over time and the second modeling port-dependent constraints. Its linear relaxation is solved through stabilized column generation and with different heuristic and exact pricing algorithms. The lower bound achieved is then used to find an optimal stowage plan by solving a mixed-integer programming model. The proposed solution method outperforms the methods from the literature and can solve to optimality instances with up to 10 ports and 5,000 containers in a few minutes of computing time.

Transportation Science Vol. 52, No. 6: 1297-1588 / 2018
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paper

A Decomposition Method for Finding Optimal Container Stowage Plans

Roberti, R; Pacino, Dario

In transportation of goods in large container ships, shipping industries need to minimize the time spent at ports to load/unload containers. An optimal stowage of containers on board minimizes unnecessary unloading/reloading movements, while satisfying many operational constraints. We address the basic container stowage planning problem (CSPP). Different heuristics and formulations have been proposed for the CSPP, but finding an optimal stowage plan remains an open problem even for small-sized instances. We introduce a novel formulation that decomposes CSPPs into two sets of decision variables: the first defining how single container stacks evolve over time and the second modeling port-dependent constraints. Its linear relaxation is solved through stabilized column generation and with different heuristic and exact pricing algorithms. The lower bound achieved is then used to find an optimal stowage plan by solving a mixed-integer programming model. The proposed solution method outperforms the methods from the literature and can solve to optimality instances with up to 10 ports and 5,000 containers in a few minutes of computing time.

Transportation Science 52 (6) 1444-1462 / 2018
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paper

A branch-and-price algorithm to solve the integrated berth allocation and yard assignment problem in bulk ports

Robenek, Tomáš; Umang, Nitish; Bierlaire, Michel; Ropke, Stefan

In this research, two crucial optimization problems of berth allocation and yard assignment in the context of bulk ports are studied. We discuss how these problems are interrelated and can be combined and solved as a single large scale optimization problem. More importantly we highlight the differences in operations between bulk ports and container terminals which highlights the need to devise specific solutions for bulk ports. The objective is to minimize the total service time of vessels berthing at the port. We propose an exact solution algorithm based on a branch and price framework to solve the integrated problem. In the proposed model, the master problem is formulated as a set-partitioning problem, and subproblems to identify columns with negative reduced costs are solved using mixed integer programming. To obtain sub-optimal solutions quickly, a metaheuristic approach based on critical-shaking neighborhood search is presented. The proposed algorithms are tested and validated through numerical experiments based on instances inspired from real bulk port data. The results indicate that the algorithms can be successfully used to solve instances containing up to 40 vessels within reasonable computational time.

European Journal of Operational Research, Volume 235 / 2014
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