In maritime container terminals, yards have a primary role in permitting the efficient management of import and export flows. In this work, a mixed 0/1 linear programming model and a heuristic approach are proposed for defining storage rules in order to minimize the space used in the export yard. The minimization of land space is pursued by defining the rules to allocate containers into the bay-locations of the yard, in such a way to minimise the number of bay-locations used and the empty slots within them. The main aim of this work is to propose a solution approach for permitting to the yard manager to compare yard storage strategies for different transport demands, in such a way to be able to evaluate and, eventually, change the storage strategy when the characteristics of the transport demand change. Computational experiments, based on both real instances and generated ones, are presented. All instances are derived by a case study related to an Italian terminal.