This paper considers the scheduling problem of multiple rail cranes to load and unload inbound and outbound containers to and from wagons of trains within rail stations. We not only assign working areas to cranes, but also determine the job sequence of each crane. We minimize the maximum completion time (makespan) of all rail cranes. Dual-cycle operations of cranes are applied and the re-handling work of containers is also considered. A branch-and-bound algorithm is developed to find an optimal solution. A simulated annealing algorithm is designed to obtain near optimal solutions of large-sized problems. Numerical examples are studied to investigate the performance of these algorithms.
Branch and bound; simulated annealing; rail crane; scheduling
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