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Queue-constrained packing: a vehicle ferry case study

Queue-constrained packing: a vehicle ferry case study
Queue-constrained packing: a vehicle ferry case study
We consider the problem of loading vehicles onto a ferry. The order in which vehicles arrive at the terminal can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the packing on the ferry as it may not be possible to place a vehicle in an optimal location if it is not at the front of one of the dockside queues at the right point in the loading process. As the arrival order of vehicles is stochastic, we model the loading process as a two-stage stochastic optimization problem where the objective is to reduce penalties incurred by failing to pack booked vehicles. The first stage consists of optimizing the yard policy for allocating vehicles to dockside queues while the second stage solves the packing problem for a realisation of the arrival process using the yard policy determined in stage one. A novel stage-wise iterative metaheuristic is introduced, which alternates between packing optimization for each of a training set of scenarios whilst fixing the yard policy and optimizing the yard policy whilst fixing the packing solutions. We introduce two novel packing encoders for the second stage packing problem. Termed Sequential Block Packing Encode (SOPE) and General Packing Encoder (GPE), the arrangements they produce are designed to be efficient and easy to implement for loading staff. Results show that the number of yard queues available is critical to the efficiency of the packing on board the ferry.
logistics, packing, stochastic optimization
0377-2217
727-741
Bayliss, Christopher
5e45db74-68d3-438a-9f08-a3d40d16a057
Currie, Christine
dcfd0972-1b42-4fac-8a67-0258cfdeb55a
Bennell, Julia
02b1db4a-c563-43a2-a6e1-96c5c5e0383c
Martinez Sykora, Antonio
2f9989e1-7860-4163-996c-b1e6f21d5bed
Bayliss, Christopher
5e45db74-68d3-438a-9f08-a3d40d16a057
Currie, Christine
dcfd0972-1b42-4fac-8a67-0258cfdeb55a
Bennell, Julia
02b1db4a-c563-43a2-a6e1-96c5c5e0383c
Martinez Sykora, Antonio
2f9989e1-7860-4163-996c-b1e6f21d5bed

Bayliss, Christopher, Currie, Christine, Bennell, Julia and Martinez Sykora, Antonio (2021) Queue-constrained packing: a vehicle ferry case study. European Journal of Operational Research, 289 (2), 727-741. (doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2020.07.027).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We consider the problem of loading vehicles onto a ferry. The order in which vehicles arrive at the terminal can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the packing on the ferry as it may not be possible to place a vehicle in an optimal location if it is not at the front of one of the dockside queues at the right point in the loading process. As the arrival order of vehicles is stochastic, we model the loading process as a two-stage stochastic optimization problem where the objective is to reduce penalties incurred by failing to pack booked vehicles. The first stage consists of optimizing the yard policy for allocating vehicles to dockside queues while the second stage solves the packing problem for a realisation of the arrival process using the yard policy determined in stage one. A novel stage-wise iterative metaheuristic is introduced, which alternates between packing optimization for each of a training set of scenarios whilst fixing the yard policy and optimizing the yard policy whilst fixing the packing solutions. We introduce two novel packing encoders for the second stage packing problem. Termed Sequential Block Packing Encode (SOPE) and General Packing Encoder (GPE), the arrangements they produce are designed to be efficient and easy to implement for loading staff. Results show that the number of yard queues available is critical to the efficiency of the packing on board the ferry.

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Robust queue constrained packing A vehicle ferry case study final submission - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 14 July 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 July 2020
Published date: 1 March 2021
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was funded by the EPSRC under grant number EP/N006461/1. We are also grateful to Alexander Strong, Lee Hudson and Pete Smith at Red Funnel, UK who provided us with useful practical advice when designing this method. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
Keywords: logistics, packing, stochastic optimization

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442536
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442536
ISSN: 0377-2217
PURE UUID: 81968ecf-7f48-442c-b510-5af42a9c00de
ORCID for Christine Currie: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-7016-3652
ORCID for Antonio Martinez Sykora: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2435-3113

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2020 16:31
Last modified: 29 Oct 2022 04:03

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Contributors

Author: Christopher Bayliss
Author: Julia Bennell

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