Port authorities aim to maximise container (TEU) throughput whilst minimising rehandling.
Major upgrades to the terminal can improve TEU throughput, but improvements may be obtained with less expenditure through analysis of work methods - in particular the layout and height of TEU stacks on the berth.
Key decision to be made: What is the optimal stack configuration that allows increased throughput without increasing the rehandling of TEUs?
Evans & Peck utilised a discrete event simulation modelling approach to demonstrate the trade-off between increased TEU throughput and increased rehandling from increased stack heights.
Through the use of an object-orientated approach, individual container tracking is possible. The overall functionality of the port is assessed by measuring utilisation of the berth and the staddle carrier fleet.
The same decision modelling method can be applied to analyse various layout and configuration options for intermodal container terminals (ie. rail to road).