On the berth allocation problem

Shaikha Ahmed Jumaa Alzaabi, Ali Diabat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rapid growth of the maritime industry has created a need for improvement in container terminal operations, by effectively utilizing the available resources. One of the most important seaside planning problems that has received considerable attention in the literature is the assignment of quay space to vessels, commonly referred to as the Berth Allocation Problem (BAP). Despite the significant contributions to the BAP found in the literature, there are certain important requirements that have not been considered. These include vessels of different sizes, suitability of a berth to a vessel, known as service requirement, and the possibility for one vessel to be accommodated by more than one berth. Thus, we formulate a mixed integer program (MIP) that explicitly considers these factors, in order to produce more realistic results. The model assumes that the quay is partitioned into berths of the same size and that several berths can be assigned to one vessel, given that the vessel is too long to be accommodated by a single berth. Considering the possibility of occupation of several berths by one vessel implies that the sequence of berths occupied is valid and feasible. In addition, we consider two extensions; the first extension of the model accounts for the different service requirements of each vessel, while the second assumes different berth lengths. A preliminary computational analysis is conducted to test the effectiveness of the proposed models and provide useful insights to port operators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-501
Number of pages11
JournalRAIRO - Operations Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Berth allocation problem
  • Container terminals
  • MIP formulation
  • Maritime logistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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