Faculty of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.
Cross docking is one of the innovation product distribution strategies for transhipment of time-sensitive products in distribution centers which has absorbed a lot of attention in the last 10 years. The current study develops a new concept named on-line docking" in an actual container port which is the main contribution of the research. In the model, some previous simplications were removed from the model using optimization via simulation technique, and also new decision variables were introduced to control the system. The objective function is to minimize the average annual system costs by assigning the best number of inbound-outbound docks and the fleet size for the internal transportations. To do so, all information was taken from an actual container port system and the model was built in the simulation software and then it was optimized via a meta-heuristic algorithm. The computational results show the effciency of the proposed approach in real world applications.