Abstract:In a yard where export containers are piled up, only those on the top are directly accessible to the stacking equipment. As a result, extra rehandles may occur when lifting them up for loading onto ships. One way to improve operational efficiency is to pre-marshal the containers in such an order that it fits the loading sequence. This paper proposes a model to develop a movement plan to improve the layout of containers in a bay. The proposed heuristic consists of a neighborhood search process, an integer programming model, and three minor subroutines. Each of the components plays a different role in the heuristic. Several sets of testing results demonstrate the performance of the heuristic as well as the contributions of the components.