European Journal of Operational Research
Heuristics, Container loading problem, Dynamic space decomposition, Holistic loading, Tertiary tree
Increasing fuel costs, post-911 security concerns, and economic globalization provide a strong incentive for container carriers to use available container space more efficiently, thereby minimizing the number of container trips and reducing socio-economic vulnerability. A heuristic algorithm based on a tertiary tree model is proposed to handle the container loading problem (CLP) with weakly heterogeneous boxes. A dynamic space decomposition method based on the tertiary tree structure is developed to partition the remaining container space after a block of homogeneous rectangular boxes is loaded into a container. This decomposition approach, together with an optimal-fitting sequencing and an inner-right-corner-occupying placement rule, permits a holistic loading strategy to pack a container. Comparative studies with existing algorithms and an illustrative example demonstrate the efficiency of this algorithm.
Wang, Zhou-Jing; Li, Kevin W. Dr.; and Levy, Jason K.. (2008). A heuristic for the container loading problem: A tertiary-tree-based dynamic space decomposition approach. European Journal of Operational Research, 191 (1), 84-97.