Early Assistance in Design and Improvement Processes
Terminal development projects have strategic importance. Many decisions have to be made about layout design, control algorithms, and equipment numbers and characteristics. Simultaneously, time and cost budgets need to be considered and design decisions must be evaluated constantly. To assist these processes and to ensure that terminal projects achieve required performance within a given time and cost framework, TBA developed a systematic design approach.
- Shorter lead-times
- Improved focus on terminal performance
- Smooth integration of cost and performance analysis
- Efficient integration of hardware and software design
- Better control over project design work for management
Assessment of Future Vessel Service Levels and Terminal Requirements
Knowing today what a port needs in the future is central to smart planning. This could be key elements like more cranes or a quay extension. TBA’s way of anticipating and planning for these needs is TRAFALQUAR – a strategic terminal simulation model that evaluates key terminal characteristics, uses container volume prognoses as input, and considers effects of locks and tidal influences.
TRAFALQUAR delivers up-to-date insight about future service and terminal requirements, such as:
- Vessel service times
- Quay length and number of cranes
- Terminal transport capacity
- Stack size and stack handling capacity
- Landside service levels for truck and rail
Using this model, TBA can provide short indicative studies. Usually, TRAFALQUAR studies are included in strategy port development, terminal design, expansions, and optimisation studies.
Design and Evaluation of Terminal Handling Systems
A trial-and-error approach is simply not good enough for effective terminal planning since many parameters all impact each other. Simulation is a helpful tool that makes the best use of all relevant data. Data includes many variable parameters like vessel arrival times and call sizes. Also considered are terminal resource limitations like quay lengths and number of equipment. Simulation enables precise evaluation of complex given situations and exact modelling of different future scenarios, including expansions and improvements.
A key ingredient in the successful design or extension of a terminal is the choice of transport and stacking systems among a wide variety of available terminal systems. TBA’s TIMESquare simulation models – developed for all major terminal handling systems, including automated systems – combined with technical know-how and experience gained from many projects, provide terminal operators with a sound data basis for each system considered:
- Specifications and numbers of transport and yard equipment
- Waterside and landside performance and service levels
- Truck-gate system design
- Rail terminal design
- Future capacities and potential for further growth
This is the way that TBA opens a dialogue with terminal operators to find the optimal system for their individual demands. We have observed that terminal design is often focused on high performance handling equipment. But smarter control may result in equal or better performance. TBA’s simulation approach helps terminal operators to evaluate different possible solutions in detail and to compare them with each other, and to even compare combinations of solutions with each other.
Cost Analysis of Systems Handling
To evaluate costs for different handling systems, TBA uses its CASH (Cost Analysis of Systems Handling) model. CASH computes cost developments according to terminal operators' needs, including:
- Capital costs on investments, including early payments for infrastructure and equipment
- Labour costs for operational, control, and maintenance personnel
- Operational costs for energy and maintenance
- Annual revenue and cash flow developments
The cost comparison combined with results from the studies described above enables a TBA client to make a quantified decision among different alternatives.