When terminal operators start considering opportunities to increase terminal capacity, e.g. by optimising the existing facility with a terminal expansion or by converting to another handling system, they must first know the maximum capacity of the current operation. Additionally, it is important to know the bottlenecks in the system because limitations determine capacity. When investigating measures to increase capacity, focusing attention on these elements is essential. Also for designing new facilities, it is important to have thorough knowledge about all aspects of a terminal's operations.
TBA has developed a systematic approach for determining the capacity of a terminal and has used it for the majority of its successful terminal design and optimisation projects.
Many different components comprise terminal capacity. In a properly designed terminal, all the elements balance. Because initial design conditions typically change significantly over time, often this balance is lacking. Therefore, TBA addresses the following components in performing a capacity analysis:
- berth capacity
- yard storage
- yard and transport equipment handling
- rail terminal and gate
- general (static) review and bottleneck analysis
To determine berth capacity, TBA uses the strategic berth simulation model TRAFALQUAR. TRAFALQUAR delivers an up-to-date picture for future service and terminal requirements, such as:
- vessel service times
- required quay length and number of cranes
- required terminal transport capacity
- required stack size and stack handling capacity
- required landside service levels for truck and rail
TBA calculates yard storage capacity based on the amount of ground slots in the current layout. We translate the storage capacity into an annual throughput derived from transshipment ratio, dwell times, peak factors, and filling rate. TBA considers different requirements for the various container types.
Yard and Transport Equipment Handling
Containers delivered to and picked up from a terminal either on the water- or land-side should be handled both by stacking cranes, e.g. RTGs (rubber-tired gantries) or RMGs (rail-mounted gantries), and by transport equipment, e.g. AGVs, shuttle carriers, or terminal trucks. Based on extensive experience with previous capacity studies, TBA assesses the capacity of all these equipment types in relation to each other and to the specific terminal layout.
Rail Terminal and Gate
Like the berth at the water-side entrance to a terminal, the land-side entrance also has a certain capacity at the gate. This capacity is strongly determined by local traffic patterns and terminal operating hours.
General (static) Review and Bottleneck Analysis
By combining the results of the capacities of all components and by studying the layout of the current facility, TBA obtains an overall assessment of the terminal capacity. We also identify possible bottlenecks. TBA uses a checklist of relevant design standards that it developed specifically for design reviews.
Gained insights from the capacity analysis form the basis for design studies or optimisation projects. TBA performs further investigations for alternative handling systems and verifies them with detailed simulations, e.g. with TIMESquare.