Ammar Al-Bazi1*, Vasile Palade1, Rami AL Hadeethi2, Ali Abbas1

Author affiliation

1Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing, Coventry University, Coventry CV1 2JH, UK

2School of Engineering, Department of Industrial Engineering, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan


This paper considers the problem of allocating newly arrived containers to stacks of existing containers in a yard when the departure date/time for containers is unknown. Many factors and constraints need to be considered when modelling this storage allocation problem. These constraints include the size, type and weight of the containers. The factors are the number of containers in a stack and the duration of stay of the topmost container in the stack. This paper aims to develop an improved Fuzzy Knowledge-Based ‘FKB’ model for best allocation practice of long-stay containers in a yard. In this model, the duration of stay factor does not need to be considered in the allocation decision if the duration of stay for the topmost containers in a stack is similar; hence, a new ‘ON/OFF’ strategy is proposed within the Fuzzy Knowledge-Based model to activate/deactivate this factor in the stacking algorithm whenever is required. Discrete Event Simulation and Fuzzy Knowledge-Based techniques are used to develop the proposed model. The model’s behaviour is tested using three real-life scenarios, including allocating containers in busy, moderately busy and quiet yards. The total number of re-handlings, the number of re-handlings per stack, and the number of re-handlings for containers were considered KPIs in each scenario.


Fuzzy Knowledge-Based Model, Fuzzy Rules, Long Stay Containers, Duration of Stay Factor, ‘ON/OFF’ Strategy, Container Yard Operations, Unknown Departure Time.