Using service-time profiles for distributed planning of container barge rotations along terminals

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

20 Downloads (Pure)


We consider the barge rotation planning and quay scheduling problem in the Port of Rotterdam. This problem concerns the alignment of barge rotations and terminal quay schedules. We use a Multi-Agent based approach for the problem, since such a Multi-Agent based system can mirror to a large extent the way the business network is currently organized. Moreover, it can provide a solution that is acceptable for each of the actors involved. We develop a model to deal with restricted opening times of terminals, unbalanced networks, sea vessels, and closing times of containers. To deal with these realistic issues, we introduce the concept of service-time profiles, which enables us to deal with time-dependent service times. This allows barges to plan a rotation along terminals, taking into account the availability of terminals and the effect on the service time. We perform several simulations to analyze the effect of different factors on the performance of barges and terminals, like restricted opening times and unbalanced networks. We compare the results with an off-line scheduling algorithm. The results indicate that a Multi-Agent based control using service-time profiles is able to perform close to the off-line benchmark. The model in this paper forms a basis for implementation in practice.
Original languageUndefined
Place of Publicationonbekend
PublisherUniversity of Twente, Research School for Operations Management and Logistics (BETA)
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)978-90-386-1358-1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameBeta Working Papers
PublisherBeta Research School for Operations Management and Logistics, University of Twente


  • METIS-248889
  • IR-70198
  • Dynamic assignment
  • Multi-agent based control
  • Barge planning
  • Quay scheduling
  • Simulation

Cite this