Scheduling of Intelligent and Autonomous Vehicles under pairing/unpairing collaboration strategy in container terminals

Shahin Gelareh*, Rochdi Merzouki, Kay McGinley, Roisin Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new class of Intelligent and Autonomous Vehicles (IAVs) has been designed in the framework of Intelligent Transportation for Dynamic Environment (InTraDE) project funded by European Union. This type of vehicles is technologically superior to the existing Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), in many respects. They offer more flexibility and intelligence in maneuvering within confined spaces where the logistic operations take place. This includes the ability of pairing/unpairing enabling a pair of 1-TEU (20-foot Equivalent Unit) IAVs dynamically to join, transport containers of any size between 1-TEU and 1-FFE (40-foot Equivalent) and disjoin again. Deploying IAVs helps port operators to remain efficient in coping with the ever increasing volume of container traffic at ports and eliminate the need for deploying more 40-ft transporters in the very confined area of ports. In order to accommodate this new feature of IAVs, we review and extend one of the existing mixed integer programming models of AGV scheduling in order to minimize the makespan of operations for transporting a set of containers of different sizes between quay cranes and yard cranes. In particular, we study the case of Dublin Ferryport Terminal. In order to deal with the complexity of the scheduling model, we develop a Lagrangian relaxation-based decomposition approach equipped with a variable fixing procedure and a primal heuristics to obtain high-quality solution of instances of the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Automated guided vehicle
  • Discrete-event simulation
  • Intelligent Autonomous Vehicle
  • Lagrangian relaxation
  • Mixed integer programming
  • Scheduling


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