Synchronization between Over-head shuttle cranes(OSs) and flatcars, i.e., automated container transfer vehicles, plays an essential role in streamlining rail-based container terminal operations. The remarshalling operation in the rail-based container terminal preliminarily relocates the loading containers to a loading remarshalling buffer area, and temporarily stores the unloading containers in an unloading remarshalling buffer area. We propose a remarshalling buffer location model that determines the buffer locations to optimize the OS-flatcars synchronization performance via a tradeoff of the OS workloads. The mixed integer programming (MIP) model maximizes the balanced workload while satisfying the expected loading and unloading flow capacity. Simulation experiments show that the proposed model reduces the waiting time of flatcars by 32.3% ~ 38.8%. Additional integrated simulations confirm that container terminal throughput improves by 9.2% ~ 13.7%.


Container terminal, Yard opertaion, Remarshalling, Mixed integer programming, Simulation