Extended Models for the Berth Allocation Problem: A Case Study on Mina Zayed Free Port

  • Shaikha A. Al Zaabi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The rapid growth of the maritime industry has created a need for improvement of container terminals towards more efficient operations, by effectively utilizing the available resources. One of the most important seaside planning problems that has received considerable attention in the literature is the assignment of quay space to vessels, commonly referred to as the Berth Allocation Problem (BAP). Despite the significant contributions to the BAP found in the literature, there are certain important requirements that have not been considered, such as the length of the vessel. Thus, in the first part of the research we formulate a model that explicitly considers the length of each vessel, in order to produce more realistic results. The model assumes that the quay is partitioned into berths of the same size and that more than one berth can be assigned to one vessel, in cases where the vessel is too long to be accommodated by a single berth. Considering the possibility of occupation of several berths by one vessel implies that the sequence of berths occupied is valid and feasible. In addition, we consider two extensions. The first extension of the model accounts for the various service requirements of each vessel, which means that vessels must be assigned to berths that can not only accommodate their size, but also provide the specific type of service they require. These services can vary from refueling to loading and unloading of diverse cargo types. The second extension of the model will assume that not all of the berths along the quay wall are of the same length. In the second part of this thesis, the formulation of the model will be compared to real data obtained from the Free Port at Mina Zayed in Abu Dhabi, UAE that will serve as a case study for the BAP with vessel length considerations due to the large variation of vessel sizes that arrive at the Free Port.
Date of AwardMay 2015
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorAli Diabat (Supervisor)


  • Mina Zayed free port
  • maritime industry
  • maritime operations
  • port quay
  • Berth allocation problem
  • vessel space allocation
  • cargo parking.

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