An iterated construction approach with dynamic prioritization for solving the container loading problems

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

18 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


  • Andrew Lim
  • Hong Ma
  • Jing Xu
  • Xingwen Zhang

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4292-4305
Journal / PublicationExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


This paper addresses the single and multiple container loading problems, which forms the core engine of a warehouse management system we are contracted to implement for a Hong Kong logistics company. We propose to use dynamic prioritization to handle the awkward box types, whereas the box type with a higher priority is packed onto lower surfaces of the container for the single container case, or packed in earlier containers for the multiple container case. The solution found in one iteration of the algorithm is analyzed, and the priorities are updated and used in the next iteration. This approach provides very competitive results using standard benchmark data sets as compared with other methods. It helps to reduce the difficulty in system implementation and maintenance, because the algorithm is easy to understand for practitioners in the local industry, and it is applicable for both the single and multiple container loading problems at the same time. In addition, we find the existing test data for the multiple container loading problem to be deficient and supplement them by generating new test data consisting of 2800 test cases. Last but not least, our algorithm has been packaged into a software component with full graphical user interface and integrated into a warehouse management system for daily operations. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Container loading problems, Dynamic prioritization, Iterated construction, Warehouse management system