Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains pages:91-109
The present chapter focuses on locks and their impact on (inland) waterbound logistics. Examples of lock systems are given, and the main characteristics of the serial lock scheduling problem discussed.
Locks are often scheduled manually and, despite constituting a complex combinatorial problem, academia has given little attention to optimizing lock operations. Two measures can be suggested to considerably improve the competitiveness of inland waterway transportation within the supply chain: increasing the scheduling horizon of locks and treating series of locks as a single system, instead of operating them individually. A decision support system for the ship placement problem is introduced. The system is analysed both from the algorithmic and operational side, and some implementation difficulties are highlighted. Transferring ships through a series of locks based on their requested time of arrival at a destination, has potential to generate a green wave for waterbound logistics.