An integrated berth allocation and yard assignment problem for bulk ports: Formulation and case study

Jasem Al-Hammadi, Ali Diabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact of globalization on maritime transportation has led to its enormous growth over the last decade. Due to the rapid increase in sea-borne demand, large emphasis is placed on making ports more efficient, by promoting the effective utilization of available resources. Therefore, the role of optimization becomes crucial, as port operators aim for the cost-effective option of maximizing port efficiency, rather than the costly alternative of expanding existing capacity. One of the most important seaside planning problems that has received a great deal of attention in research streams is the assignment of quay space to incoming vessels; it is known as the Berth Allocation Problem (BAP). Even though it has been studied extensively, there remain certain unaddressed gaps. Relatively little attention has been focused on the operation of bulk ports, in which terminal operators are concerned with integrating and managing the sea-side area (wharf) and the buffer area for storage. The cargo type must be explicitly known to the bulk port operator, who in turn assigns to it the best storage area and the use of appropriate specialized equipment for loading and discharging. It is evident that the integration of the BAP with yard assignment is necessary, in order to maximize efficiency and obtain the optimal berthing plan in bulk ports. Thus, the current paper studies the integrated dynamic hybrid berth allocation and yard assignment problem (BYAP) in the context of bulk ports. Important assumptions are taken into consideration in order to produce a realistic and practical model. Finally, a relevant case study is presented for the case of Mina Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalRAIRO - Operations Research
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2015


  • Berth allocation problem
  • MIP
  • bulk ports
  • maritime logistics.
  • yard assignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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