The impact of lanes segmentation and booking levels on a container terminal gate congestion

María D. Gracia, Rosa G. González-Ramírez, Julio Mar-Ortiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recent trends in port performance improvement include the coordination of intermodal transport logistics to reduce congestion and inefficiencies generated at the gates of the terminals. Congestion at the gate of a terminal generates several problems such as pollution and long waiting times for truck carriers. As part of the strategies and best practices to reduce congestion, some ports worldwide have implemented advanced booking systems in order to coordinate truck arrivals and deliveries at the gate of their container terminals. We will refer to these systems as truck appointment systems. In general terms, a truck appointment system provides a mechanism where truck carriers coordinate their time of arrival at the container terminal based on an advanced booking. In this way, gate managers are able to better plan their port operations and equipment allocation, to reduce the waiting times of trucks and improve the turnaround time for container deliveries. In order to account for the real benefits of such systems, the particular conditions of each container terminal need to be considered. In this paper, a case study of a Chilean port terminal is analyzed. The aim is to provide recommendations that may reduce congestion and improve the container terminal´s gate control of truck arrivals, turnaround times and container deliveries by means of efficient lane segmentation policies. Several scenarios were examined under which different booking levels are considered for an environment in which the arrival of containers can vary significantly from day to day and on a seasonal basis. As a basis for our study a fractional factorial design is performed in order to analyze the impact of controllable factors on two service levels measures, which reduce the number of scenarios needed to obtain robust conclusions.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)403-432
Number of pages30
JournalFlexible Services and Manufacturing Journal
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Intermodal coordination
  • Port terminal congestion
  • Ports optimization
  • Simulation analysis
  • Truck appointment system


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