In this paper we propose a framework for shift-level container scheduling and resource allocation decisions at a cross-dock facility. The Multi-Mode Resource-Constrained Cross-Dock Scheduling Problem (MRCDSP) approach minimizes material flow and schedules inbound and outbound containers to dock-doors such that the total processing time is minimized subject to the resource constraints at the cross-dock. While container scheduling and resource allocation problems at cross-dock facilities have been studied previously in isolation, our work is the first to consider a complete view of cross-dock operations providing optimal container to dock-door allocation, and a makespan minimizing schedule of containers to the cross-dock. We present a comprehensive framework that includes identification of container clusters to reduce the problem size, a container-to-dock-door assignment algorithm, and a container clusters scheduling model that is solvable for practically sized problems. In a comparative numeric study based on data simulating a cross-dock facility, our approach is shown to outperform current practice, reducing the average time required for processing a set of containers by 37% and reducing the weighted-distance material traveled within the cross-dock by 45%.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to sincerely thank Prof. David Gillen at the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of British Columbia, without whom this research would not have been conducted. We would also like to thank Colin Laughlin and Warren Wolfe of Logico Carbon Solutions, and the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council of Canada for the funding provided for this study. We would also like to thank seminar participants at the Fifth ALRT Asian Logistics Round Table and Conference held at the University of British Columbia in 2012, for their insights regarding the paper. We thank Mr. Karidi for his insights, support and useful comments. Finally we wish to thank the Editor-in-Chief of Omega, the International Journal of Management Science, the senior editor and three anonymous referees for all the constructive criticism which helped improve this paper.
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
- Dock-door assignment
- Facility logistics
- Resource allocation