Decision support for container terminal berth planning: integration and visualization of terminal information

M. Bruggeling, A. Verbraeck, H.J. Honig

A large volume of container terminal berth planning research has been done. Unfortunately, this research has had little impact in practice. This can be explained by a mismatch between theory and practice: several assumptions made in literature regarding availability and stability of information do not hold in practice. Directing more attention towards softer approaches that have a greater ability to take the specific demands of the situation into account may help to address these issues. A prototype berth planning decision support system has been built that places the planner in control of making the berth plan, but at the same time offers maximal support for continuous planning with missing, ambiguous, wrong, and rapidly changing information. The prototype has been tested with a number of berth planners and usability and usefulness were judged to be excellent. In other places in the supply chain where there are rapid changes in the environment, tools based on the same paradigm might be useful for planning as well.

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