Impact on yard efficiency of a truck appointment system for a port terminal

Adrián Ramírez-Nafarrate, Rosa G. González-Ramírez*, Neale R. Smith, Roberto Guerra-Olivares, Stefan Voß

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Port terminals consist of two interfaces for transferring cargo among transport modes: (1) the seaside or quayside interface and (2) the landside interface. At the seaside interface, cargo is loaded and unloaded from the vessels and stored temporarily at the yard. Landside operations consist of receiving and dispatching cargo from external trucks and rail. The increasing volumes of international trade are demanding more efficient cargo handling throughout the port logistic chain and coordination with the hinterland, hence attracting more attention from both practitioners and researchers on the landside interface of ports. Due to the high variability of truck arrivals with a significant concentration at peak hours, congestion at the access gates of ports and an unbalanced utilization of the resources occur. Truck appointment systems (TAS) have already been implemented in some ports as a coordination mechanism to reduce congestion at ports, balance demand and capacity, and reduce truck turnaround times. Based on the current situation faced by the Port of Arica, Chile, this paper aims to analyze potential configurations of a TAS and evaluate its impacts on yard operations, specifically in the reduction of container rehandles, as well as truck turnaround times. For this, a discrete-event simulation model and a heuristic procedure are proposed and experimentation is performed using historical data from the port terminal. Results indicate that implementing a TAS may significantly benefit yard operations in terms of reducing container rehandles as well as truck waiting times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-216
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been financially supported by the Asociaci?n Mexicana de Cultura A.C. as well as by Research Grant P11IDL2-10759 of Innova Corfo from the Economy Ministry of Chile. We thank the Port of Arica for the support provided for this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Discrete-event simulation
  • Landside coordination
  • Port terminal operations
  • Truck appointment system


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