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Towards a green and sustainable ecosystem for the EU Port of the Future

PortForward will attempt to address important challenges that today’s ports are facing, in order to take a substantial step towards the Port of the Future. More specifically the following needs are addressed:

  • Lack of efficiency in operations with heterogeneous freights (roll-on/roll-off cargo, containers), such as inefficient land use, berth scheduling and quay crane allocation, quay crane scheduling and bay sequencing, yard con-figuration and stacking policies, and lack of monitoring of the depth of access channels and quays, which varies due to silting
  • Need for real time monitoring of freight flows through the use of end-to-end track-and-trace solutions in order to optimize port activities.
  • Need for remote monitoring and management of important port operations, such as maintenance scheduling, cargo and passenger traffic, especially for short sea shipping cases
  • Interconnection with hinterland transportation with special focus on inland waterways
  • Interface with the surrounding urban environment
  • Experience sharing and transferability to other intermodal transport hubs (ports, airports, etc.)
  • Environmental impact reduction through the use of green technologies and energy solutions saving

Professor Mansouri, as Brunel’s PI, is leading a work package on Green Scheduling and Sustainability of Operations for the development of a novel green yard scheduler (GYS). The scheduler is used for yard operations and is a core component of the PortForward decision support system (DSS). It is designed to enhance the environmental sustainability of port operations.

The GYS is developed in close collaboration with the Port of Vigo from Spain in a flexible and scalable manner for wider application by other container terminals. Interested ports and other stakeholders of container terminals are welcome to get in touch with Professor Mansouri for further details, demonstrations and applications of the GYS.

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Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Afshin Mansouri
Professor Afshin Mansouri - Afshin Mansouri is a Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at Brunel Business School (BBS). He holds a PhD, MSc, and BSc in Industrial Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology. In addition to his academic education, he has gained valuable experience working for several business organisations in the fields of production and project management. Prior to joining Brunel University London, he held academic and research positions at the University of Tours, University of Tehran, and King’s College London. His areas of interest encompass sustainable operations, supply chain management, and disaster relief, utilizing OR/MS methodologies and data-driven decision-making. During his tenure at BBS, he has held various leadership roles including Director of Research (2017-22), overseeing BBS's REF 2021 submission, Director of Postgraduate Studies (2016-17), and Course Director for BSc Business and Management (2010-16). Professor Mansouri has secured over two million euros of funding as a Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-Investigator (Co-I) in eight projects from EU and UK funding bodies. He is recognized as a pioneer in the field of Green Scheduling and is actively working to expand its application in both the maritime and manufacturing sectors. In the PortForward project, Afshin successfully led the development of The Green Yard Scheduler (GYS), an innovative decision support system aimed at improving the sustainability and productivity of container terminals. This system has progressed from fundamental principles to TRL7, marking its first implementation at the Port of Vigo in Spain. Afshin is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), and a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Science (INFORMS).

Related Research Group(s)


Operations and Information Systems Management - We specialize in responsible and sustainable operation management exploring information systems, operations research, management science, and general management and strategic management knowledge and approaches across public and private industry sectors


Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Our focus is on how individuals, businesses and societies can tap into creative and entrepreneurial flair to develop innovative solutions, in order to not only create economic value, but also solve social and environmental problems.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 12/10/2023