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An integrated model for the transshipment yard scheduling problem

  • A hub-and-spoke railway system is an efficient way of handling freight transport by land. A modern rail–rail train yard consists of huge gantry cranes that move the containers between the trains. In this context, we consider a rail–rail transshipment yard scheduling problem (TYSP) where the containers arrive to the hub and need to be placed on a train that will deliver them to their destination. In the literature, the problem is decomposed hierarchically into five subproblems, which are solved separately. First, the trains have to be grouped into bundles in which they visit the yard. Next, the trains have to be assigned to tracks within these bundles, namely parking positions. Then the final positions for the containers on trains have to be determined. Next, the container moves that need to be performed are assigned to the cranes. Finally, these moves have to be sequenced for each crane for processing. In this paper, an integrated MILP model is proposed, which aims to solve the TYSP as a single optimization problem. The proposed formulation also enables us to define more robust and complex objective functions that include key characteristics from each of the above-mentioned subproblems. The strength of our proposed formulation is demonstrated via computational experiments using the data from the literature. Indeed, the results show that the TYSP can be solved without the use of decomposition techniques and more insight can be obtained from the same input data used to solve particular single decomposed subproblems.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Erwin PeschORCiD
Center:Center for Advanced Studies in Management (CASiM)
Year of Completion:2017
In: Journal of Scheduling, 20 (2017) 1, 57–65, DOI 10.1007/s10951-016-0470-4