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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2017, Article ID 4730253, 13 pages
Research Article

Mathematical Model and Algorithm for the Reefer Mechanic Scheduling Problem at Seaports

School of Economics & Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yujian Song; moc.361@tcivnoos

Received 11 October 2016; Accepted 14 February 2017; Published 6 March 2017

Academic Editor: J. R. Torregrosa

Copyright © 2017 Jiantong Zhang and Yujian Song. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the development of seaborne logistics, the international trade of goods transported in refrigerated containers is growing fast. Refrigerated containers, also known as reefers, are used in transportation of temperature sensitive cargo, such as perishable fruits. This trend brings new challenges to terminal managers, that is, how to efficiently arrange mechanics to plug and unplug power for the reefers (i.e., tasks) at yards. This work investigates the reefer mechanics scheduling problem at container ports. To minimize the sum of the total tardiness of all tasks and the total working distance of all mechanics, we formulate a mathematical model. For the resolution of this problem, we propose a DE algorithm which is combined with efficient heuristics, local search strategies, and parameter adaption scheme. The proposed algorithm is tested and validated through numerical experiments. Computational results demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithm.