Cargo assembly planning
A critical component in a coal export supply chain is the stockyard at a terminal, as this is where coal from different mines is “mixed” in a stockpile before being loaded onto vessels. We develop a tree search algorithm for managing the stockyard aimed at maximizing the throughput. The algorithm relies on the analysis and use of geometric properties of a coal assembly plan when represented in a space–time diagram. A computational study establishes the efficacy of the algorithm and analyzes the merit of commonly used stockyard management rules.