A beam search approach to the container loading problem

I. Araya, M. C. Riff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The single container loading problem is a three-dimensional packing problem in which a container has to be filled with a set of boxes. The objective is to maximize the space utilization of the container. This problem has wide applications in the logistics industry. In this work, a new constructive approach to this problem is introduced. The approach uses a beam search strategy. This strategy can be viewed as a variant of the branch-and-bound search that only expands the most promising nodes at each level of the search tree. The approach is compared with state-of-the-art algorithms using 16 well-known sets of benchmark instances. Results show that the new approach outperforms all the others for each set of instances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-107
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Beam search
  • Combinatorial optimization
  • Constructive algorithms
  • Container loading problem
  • Load planning


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