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Crane Double Cycling in Container Ports: Affect on Ship Dwell Time


  • Goodchild, Anne V.
  • Daganzo, Carlos F.


Loading ships as they are unloaded (double-cycling) can improve the efficiency of a quay crane and thus container port. This paper describes the double-cycling problem, and presents two solution algorithms and simple formulae to estimate reductions in the number of operations, and operating time. The problem is formulated as a scheduling problem. Small problems can be solved to optimality with a standard numerical solver, but problems of typical size are computationally burdensome and terminated after 10 hours with optimality gaps larger than 50%. A formula for an improved lower bound to the optimal solution is developed and shows the optimality gaps are actually below 2.5% in all cases. The paper presents a greedy algorithm that can obtain solutions in seconds. A formula for an upper bound to the greedy algorithm's performance can be used to accurately predict crane performance. The problem is extended to include an analysis of double-cycling when ships have deck hatches. Results are presented for many simulated vessels, and compared to empirical data from a real-world trial. The paper demonstrates that analytical methods can be used in addition to numerical methods to provide greater insight. More importantly, the paper demonstrates that double-cycling can create significant efficiency gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Goodchild, Anne V. & Daganzo, Carlos F., 2005. "Crane Double Cycling in Container Ports: Affect on Ship Dwell Time," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt9qp7p7jq, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:itsrrp:qt9qp7p7jq

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. De Castilho, Bernardo & Daganzo, Carlos F., 1993. "Handling Strategies for Import Containers at Marine Terminals," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5gr4622f, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Notteboom Theo E., 2004. "Container Shipping And Ports: An Overview," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-21, June.
    3. de Castillo, Bernardo & Daganzo, Carlos F., 1993. "Handling strategies for import containers at marine terminals," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 151-166, April.
    4. Kim, Kap Hwan & Kim, Hong Bae, 2002. "The optimal sizing of the storage space and handling facilities for import containers," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 36(9), pages 821-835, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bierwirth, Christian & Meisel, Frank, 2010. "A survey of berth allocation and quay crane scheduling problems in container terminals," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 202(3), pages 615-627, May.
    2. Liu, Ming & Chu, Feng & Zhang, Zizhen & Chu, Chengbin, 2015. "A polynomial-time heuristic for the quay crane double-cycling problem with internal-reshuffling operations," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 52-74.
    3. repec:spr:annopr:v:243:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-014-1645-z is not listed on IDEAS

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