Multi-stage approach for the transshipment of import containers at maritime container terminals

Christopher Exposito-Izquierdo, Jesica de Armas, Eduardo Lalla-Ruiz (Corresponding Author), Belen Melian-Batista, Jose Marcos Moreno-Vega

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The management of container flows is one of the most challenging tasks for terminal managers. In this regard, the freights inside the containers have to be transported towards their requesting companies. This delivery is subject to many factors such as the vessel berthing time, yard assignment, time windows of the companies, availability of internal vehicles etc. Therefore, the time a given company waits for its requested containers is highly dependent on the management of the technical resources at the container terminal. To appropriately address the coordination of involved operations, a multi-stage approach is proposed. It is aimed at providing a complete schedule of all the involved processes and supporting the operational decisions related to the technical terminal resources in an integrated way, from the berth to the delivery of the freights inside containers to the requiring companies. The computational results indicate that this solution approach provides a suitable solution in all cases and is appropriate for supporting terminal managers when addressing strategic decisions involving the technical equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-728
JournalIET Intelligent Transport Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • integer programming
  • decision making
  • scheduling
  • transportation
  • sea ports
  • strategic planning
  • goods distribution
  • containerisation
  • containers
  • freight containers
  • terminal managers
  • multistage approach
  • import containers
  • maritime container terminals
  • container flows
  • challenging tasks
  • freights
  • requesting companies
  • vessel berthing time
  • yard assignment
  • time windows
  • internal vehicles
  • requested containers
  • technical resources
  • container terminal
  • involved operations
  • involved processes
  • operational decisions
  • technical terminal resources
  • requiring companies
  • solution approach
  • decision support
  • metaheuristic
  • mathematical programming
  • operations research
  • Mathematical Modeling

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