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Journal of Applied Mathematics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 781907, 12 pages
Research Article

Migrating Birds Optimization for the Seaside Problems at Maritime Container Terminals

Department of Computer and Systems Engineering, University of La Laguna, 38271 La Laguna, Spain

Received 13 March 2015; Revised 25 May 2015; Accepted 27 May 2015

Academic Editor: Wei Fang

Copyright © 2015 Eduardo Lalla-Ruiz et al. 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.


Sea freight transportation involves moving huge amounts of freights among maritime locations widely spaced by means of container vessels. The time required to serve container vessels is the most relevant indicator when assessing the competitiveness of a maritime container terminal. In this paper, two main logistic problems stemming from the transshipment of containers in the seaside of a maritime container terminal are addressed, namely, the Berth Allocation Problem aimed at allocating and scheduling incoming vessels into berthing positions along the quay and the Quay Crane Scheduling Problem, whose objective is to schedule the loading and unloading tasks associated with a container vessel. For solving them, two Migrating Birds Optimization (MBO) approaches are proposed. The MBO is a recently proposed nature-inspired algorithm based on the V-formation flight of migrating birds. In this algorithm, a set of solutions of the problem at hand, called birds, cooperate among themselves during the search process by sharing information within a V-line formation. The computational experiments performed over well-known problem instances reported in the literature show that the performance of our proposed MBO approaches is highly competitive and presents a better performance in terms of running time than the best approximate approach proposed in the literature.