Department of Economics and Business Economics

Simon Emde

Robust spotter scheduling in trailer yards

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Giorgi Tadumadze, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • ,
  • Nils Boysen, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • ,
  • Simon Emde

Spotters (also denoted as switchers) are specialized terminal tractors, which are dedicated to the rapid maneuvering of semitrailers between parking lot and dock doors in large trailer yards. This paper is dedicated to spotter scheduling, i.e., the assignment of predefined trailer movements to a given fleet of spotters. The limited number of dock doors for loading and unloading is often the scarce resource during trailer processing, so that idle time of the bottleneck, e.g., caused by unforeseen delay in the yard, is to be avoided. In this setting, we aim to insert time buffers between any pair of subsequent jobs assigned to the same spotter, so that small delays are not propagated and subsequent jobs can still be executed in a timely manner. We formalize two versions of the resulting robust spotter scheduling problem and provide efficient algorithms for finding optimal solutions in polynomial time. Furthermore, we simulate delays during the execution of spotter schedules and show that the right robustness objective can greatly improve yard performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOR Spectrum - Quantitative Approaches in Management
Pages (from-to)995-1021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • Robustness, Terminal tractor scheduling, Truck scheduling, Yard operations, DOCK ASSIGNMENT PROBLEM, STABILITY, TRUCK

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