Managing the truck transport in a port area is important for Chinese container ports as heavy traffic congestion not only limits the terminal capacity but also generates serious air pollution. This paper explores an effective way to manage the truck traffic of export containers based on a time window management programme that is widely used in Chinese terminals to facilitate the terminal operations and the truck delivery operations. Firstly, the arrangement of time windows is assumed to follow the principle of minimizing the transport costs. A cost function is defined that includes the cost of driver and truck waiting time, the cost of container cargo storage time, the truck idle cost and terminal yard fee. Secondly, to minimize the costs, a heuristic is developed based on a genetic algorithm to optimize the time window arrangement. The optimal solution involves the position and the length of each time window. Finally, the heuristic is applied to a Chinese container terminal, and the result indicates that the optimization of time windows can successfully flatten the peak of truck traffic of export containers, which is the primary reason of road traffic congestion in port areas.
Port area, export container arrival, truck congestion and time windows optimization
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IAME (International Association of Maritime Economists) 2009 conference
International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME)