Optimising container processes at multimodal seaport terminals : an integrated approach and application

Casey, Bradley Vincent (2011) Optimising container processes at multimodal seaport terminals : an integrated approach and application. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


A Multimodal Seaport Container Terminal (MSCT) is a complex system which requires careful planning and control in order to operate efficiently. It consists of a number of subsystems that require optimisation of the operations within them, as well as synchronisation of machines and containers between the various subsystems. Inefficiency in the terminal can delay ships from their scheduled timetables, as well as cause delays in delivering containers to their inland destinations, both of which can be very costly to their operators. The purpose of this PhD thesis is to use Operations Research methodologies to optimise and synchronise these subsystems as an integrated application. An initial model is developed for the overall MSCT; however, due to a large number of assumptions that had to be made, as well as other issues, it is found to be too inaccurate and infeasible for practical use. Instead, a method of developing models for each subsystem is proposed that then be integrated with each other. Mathematical models are developed for the Storage Area System (SAS) and Intra-terminal Transportation System (ITTS). The SAS deals with the movement and assignment of containers to stacks within the storage area, both when they arrive and when they are rehandled to retrieve containers below them. The ITTS deals with scheduling the movement of containers and machines between the storage areas and other sections of the terminal, such as the berth and road/rail terminals. Various constructive heuristics are explored and compared for these models to produce good initial solutions for large-sized problems, which are otherwise impractical to compute by exact methods. These initial solutions are further improved through the use of an innovative hyper-heuristic algorithm that integrates the SAS and ITTS solutions together and optimises them through meta-heuristic techniques. The method by which the two models can interact with each other as an integrated system will be discussed, as well as how this method can be extended to the other subsystems of the MSCT.

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ID Code: 49787
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Kozan, Erhan & Chattopadhyay, Gopinath
Keywords: berth allocation subsystem, block relocation problem, genetic algorithm, intra-terminal transportation subsystem, multi-modal seaport container terminal
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Mathematical Sciences
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 19 Apr 2012 01:57
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2012 01:57

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