Simulation tool for testing crane and berth assignment procedures in a dry bulk
Report 2008.TEL.7251, Transport Engineering and Logistics.
As a result of the increased world trade, induced by global economic growth,
shipping is one of the fastest growing economic sectors. These increasing
volumes of traded commodities are handled by ports. A common commodity that is
transported by sea is dry bulk which is transported by dry bulk carriers. These
ships are unloaded at dry bulk import terminals. Global competition between
these terminals leads to an increasing focus on cost control. Efficiency
improvements are required to cope with the increasing volumes of dry bulk.
This report describes the design of a simulation tool that explores
possibilities of increasing the performance of a dry bulk import terminal
with the existing infrastructure and handling equipment. The scope of the
research is the ship waiting area and the quayside operations. A simulation
model is designed to simulate the terminal operations based on user input
and generate results that allow the effect of this input to be assessed.
In the terminal ships are assigned to a berth and cranes are assigned to a
ship. The assignment procedures is use today are straightforward. The effect
of these assignment procedures on the performance of the terminal will be
determined by implementing alternative assignment procedures in the
simulation model. This performance is measured by the key performance
indicator, the average ship waiting time.
The simulation model was built and run. It was used to compare alternative
procedures for berth and crane assignment to the assignment procedures that
are currently used. The results show that the KPI is negatively influenced
by implementing a dynamic crane assignment procedure, a procedure in which
cranes are constantly being assigned to the ship at which they are needed
most. The model revealed that the extra productivity achieved while actually
unloading does not compensate for the time lost to travelling, resulting in a
lower average crane productivity.
The alternative procedure for berth assignment, however, shows an improvement
of 12.5% of the KPI compared to the current assignment procedure, based on the
average of the generated results. The standard deviation of the generated
results is too large, however, to accredit this improvement to the alternative
Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
, TU Delft