Academic articles

Multi-agent Optimization of the Intermodal Terminal Main Parameters: Research Based on a Case Study

Due to numerous uncertainties such as bad weather conditions, frequent changes in the schedules of vessels, breakdowns of equipment, port managers are aiming at providing adaptive and flexible strategic planning of their facilities, especially intermodal terminals (dry ports).

This research shows that the combination of the agent-based modeling with other simulation approaches simplifies the process of designing simulation models and increases their visibility. The developed set of models allows the researchers to compute the balanced values of the parameters. Consequently, it helps achieve effective operation of a seaport – intermodal terminal system. The provided case study on one of the busiest ports in China proves the adequacy and validity of the developed simulation models.

Increasing capacity utilization of shuttle trains in intermodal transport by investing in transshipment technologies for non-cranable semi-trailers

For shuttle trains with a fixed transport capacity which are the dominant operating form in intermodal transport, increasing capacity utilization is of crucial importance due to the low marginal costs of transporting an additional loading unit. Hence, offering rail-based transport services for non-cranable semi-trailers can result in additional earnings for railway companies. However, these earnings have to compensate for the investment costs of the technology. Based on a dynamic investment calculation, this paper presents a simulation model to evaluate the economic profitability of transshipment technologies for non-cranable semi-trailers from the railway company’s perspective. The results depend on the capacity utilization risk faced by the railway company. In particular, if the railway company does not sell all the train capacity to freight forwarders or intermodal operators on a long-term basis, investing in technology for the transshipment of non-cranable semi-trailers can be economically profitable.

A Simulation-Based Investigation of Freight Transportation Policy Planning and Supply Chains

Regional freight transportation policy planning is a difficult task, as few policy-planners have adequate tools to aid their understanding of how various policy formulations affect this complex, socio-technical system. In this paper, we develop a proof-of-concept model to simulate the impacts of public policies on freight transportation in a simulated region. We use the techniques of multi-disciplinary system design and optimization to analyze the formulation of regional freight transportation policies and examine the relative effects of policies and exogenous forces on the region in order to provide insight into the policy-planning process. Both single objective and multi-objective analysis is performed to provide policy-planners with a clear understanding of the trade-offs made in policy formulation.

Increasing Rail Capacity Utilization in Port of Hamburg by Early Provision of Information for Import Containers

Various actors are involved in hinterland transportation of incoming rail containers along the maritime transport chain. To coordinate each actor’s logistics processes, and therefore to improve utilization of existing transport capacity, the early provision of information, e.g. in form of estimated time of arrival (ETA), is inevitable.

Agent-Based Simulation for Dual Toll Pricing of Hazardous Material Transportation

A dual toll pricing is a conceptual policy in which policy maker imposes toll on both hazardous materials (hazmat) vehicles as well as regular vehicles for using populated road segments to mitigate a risk of hazmat transportation. It intends to separate the hazmat traffic flow from the regular traffic flow via controlling the dual toll. In order to design the dual toll pricing policy on a highly realistic road network environment and detailed human behaviors, an extended Belief-Desire-Intention (BDI) framework is employed to mimic human decision behaviors in great detail. The proposed approach is implemented in AnyLogic agent based simulation software with using a traffic data of Albany, NY. Also, search algorithms in OptQuest are used to determine the optimum dual toll pricing policy which results in the minimum risk and travel cost based on the simulation results. The result reveals the effectiveness of the proposed approach in devising a reli-able policy under the realistic road network conditions.

Modeling and simulation of container terminal logistics systems using Harvard architecture and agent-based computing

As the highly complex logistics system, container terminal logistics systems play an increasingly important role in modern international logistics, and therefore their scheduling and decision-making process of much significance to the operation and competitiveness of harbors. In this paper, the handling, stacking and transportation in CTLS are regarded as a kind of generalized computing and compared with the working in general computer systems, whereupon the Harvard architecture and AnyLogic agent-based computing paradigm are fused to model the operational processing of CTLS, and the kernel thoughts in computer organization, architecture and operating system are introduced into CTLS to support and evaluate container terminal planning, scheduling and decision-making.

Modelling and Analysing Cargo Screening Processes: a Project Outline

The efficiency of current cargo screening processes at sea and air ports is unknown as no benchmarks exists against which they could be measured. Some manufacturer benchmarks exist for individual sensors but we have not found any benchmarks that take a holistic view of the screening procedures assessing a combination of sensors and also taking operator variability into account. Just adding up resources and manpower used is not an effective way for assessing systems where human decision-making and operator compliance to rules play a vital role.

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