Optimising Container Terminal Operations in the Face of Uncertainty

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Tatham, Peter

Wu, Yong

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2017
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Abstract

Container terminals are an essential component of modern trade through their role in the provision of a temporary storage location for containers arriving from, and destined for, multiple international and domestic locations. Given the growth in container shipping, there is continuing pressure to improve the productivity of terminal operations, not least as a means of helping to ensure that ports maintain their competitiveness in the global arena. However, each container port requires the integrated operation of multiple items of expensive equipment and, thus, improving the efficiency of the resultant scheduling processes is a key goal. This challenge has, inevitably, attracted the prior attention of researchers, particularly those with expertise in optimisation techniques. However, notwithstanding the complexity of the environment and the large number of different items of equipment that are in operation at any time, many proposed solutions adopt a deterministic approach. It is argued that this is, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective, an unrealistic simplification of the reality of the management challenge. The aim of this dissertation is, therefore, to incorporate uncertainty into the analysis of the container terminal environment, with a particular focus on the quay crane scheduling problem (QCSP) and the yard crane scheduling problem (YCSP).

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Griffith School of Business

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Container terminals

Optimisation techniques

Quay crane scheduling problem (QCSP)

Yard crane scheduling problem (YCSP).

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