Constraint-based local search for container stowage slot planning

Dario Pacino, Rune Møller Jensen, Tom Bebbington

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Due to the economical importance of stowage planning, there
recently has been an increasing interest in developing optimization
algorithms for this problem. We have developed 2-phase approach that
in most cases can generate near optimal stowage plans within a few
hundred seconds for large deep-sea vessels. This paper describes the
constrained-based local search algorithm used in the second phase of
this approach where individual containers are assigned to slots in
each bay section. The algorithm can solve this problem in an average of
0.18 seconds per bay, corresponding to a 20 seconds runtime for the
entire vessel. The algorithm has been validated on a benchmark suite
of 133 industrial instances for which 86% of the instances were
solved to optimality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIMECS 2012 : Proceedings of the International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists
Number of pages6
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)978-988-19251-1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • stowage planning
  • optimization algorithms
  • constrained-based local search
  • deep-sea vessels
  • industrial benchmark instances


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