Operations research methods in maritime transport and freight logistics
The current decade has witnessed a remarkable growth in container transportation and vessel sizes. This has come alongside an increasing need for optimisation of both on the seaside and on the landside. As the linking nodes, container terminals are facing great challenges in handling, stacking and transferring large numbers of containers, and high productivity is the key factor in maintaining terminal competitiveness. At the same time, terminals’ major customers demand reliability and efficiency at low costs. The changes that have taken place in the liner shipping industry require terminal operators and logistics service providers to continuously improve their performance and guarantee seamless operations. In particular, the increasing integration of container supply chains and the consequent higher vulnerability of the chains to disruptions in container flows and operations, place more pressure on controlling and improving the performance of the various segments of the chain.