This paper considers the time cost incurred when a container ship is queuing to enter a port and when a container ship arrives at the port ahead of or behind the scheduled time. With this regard, we derive a series of the optimal congestion toll scheme, in order to eliminate or decrease the port congestion. By means of collecting congestion tolls, container ships’ departure schedules can be rationally altered, and consequently disperse container ships’ arrival times at the destination port as well as eliminate or decrease container ships’ queuing times for port entry. Next, we use the sense of economic equilibrium to derive the consequent changes of container ships’ departure schedules after collecting congestion tolls. These results help predict ship owners’ departure behaviors under the optimal step toll scheme.

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