Berth allocation and pilotage planning are the two most important decisions made by a seaport for serving incoming vessels. Traditionally, the berth allocation problem and the pilotage planning problem are solved sequentially, leading to suboptimal or even infeasible solutions for vessel services. This study investigates a vessel service planning problem (VSPP) in seaports that addresses berth allocation and pilotage planning in combination. A compact mixed-integer linear programming formulation for the problem is introduced. To solve large-scale instances, Dr Wu and the team developed an exact solution approach that combines Benders decomposition and column generation within an efficient branch-and-bound framework. The approach is enhanced through practical acceleration strategies. Extensive computational results using data instances from one of the world's largest seaports demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the solution approach in solving instances with realistic scales.
Dr Lingxiao WU is a Postdoctoral Researcher at GERAD and the Department of Logistics and Operations Management, HEC Montréal, Canada. He received his doctorate in transportation and logistics management from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2020. His research interests lie in the design and implementation of methods that combine operations research and data analytics for solving problems arising in logistics management and transportation. His research has appeared in Operations Research, Transportation Research Part B, and Transportation Science, among others.